Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Holy Week: A Journey from Death to Life

2015.03.30 From Palm Sunday

Holy Week began with Palm Sunday when we were reminded by Saint Andrew of Crete to “spread before [Christ’s] feet, not garments or soul-less olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him.”  Thus began our journey from darkness to light, from death to life as we make our way through the week.

Tomorrow the Church begins the celebration of the Paschal Triduum which includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.  These are the most solemn and holy days of the liturgical year when we recall the glorious Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the triumph of the holy cross and His victory over the darkness of sin and death.  During the pre-dawn hours, we begin each day with Tenebrae, which means “darkness” or shadows”; it is an important part of our life as Dominicans during Holy Week.  Below are pictured some of our preparations for the Triduum and in anticipation of Easter, the most solemn and profound celebration in the Church.

Tenebrae Preparation1

LOTS of elbow grease!!!LOTS of elbow grease!!!


Tenebrae Preparation5

Preparing for the altar of repose

Tenebrae Preparation4

More preparation for Maundy Thursday…


Practicing for the Chant Lessons for the Tenebrae


Tenebrae Preparation7

A Traditional Dominican chant – in place of the ordinary intercessions for the Divine Office

Tenebrae Preparation6

As we continue to meditation on Christ’s suffering, let us open wide our hearts and make every effort to celebrate these most sacred mysteries of our faith with joy and gratitude for “[t]he death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory.  In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.” -St. Augustine

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