Making Holy Week Holy-Preparing your Mind

In the Gospel from St. John that we heard at the beginning of Mass on Sunday, it is written,” His disciples did not understand this at first, but when Jesus had been glorified they remembered that these things were written about him…” (John 12:16). In the moment the disciples were not able to make sense of what Jesus was saying. Do you sometimes feel this way at Mass when you hear the readings? Do you sometimes wish you could hit a pause button and think about what you just heard?


The Scripture for the liturgies of the Triduum celebration are rich in imagery and meaning. Why not plan to read through them before you go to church. You can find the readings at There is another service during Holy Week called the Tenebrae. It is a celebration of Word of God that sets the perfect tone for Holy Thursday and Good Friday.


Tenebrae is a Latin word that means “darkness.” The service is an ancient monastic  tradition that uses darkness and light to tell the story of Jesus’ conquering the darkness of sin. The service includes the chanting of Psalms and the music of the Lamentations of Jeremiah as he wept for the children of Jerusalem. It is a gorgeous liturgy. Tenebrae services are scheduled on Wednesday evening at St. Matthew’sCathedral :

or at Dominican House of Studies in North East. You can get a taste of the service by viewing the video below. Let us know what you think!

3 Replies to “Making Holy Week Holy-Preparing your Mind”

  1. I attended the Tenebrae Mass this year. It moved my soul in awe. I was glad to see you Susan.

  2. CSJ,

    It was a great way to begin the celerbation of the Triduum!

  3. Great short video. It captures the spirit of Tenebrae well. My family and I have attended Tenebrae at DHS in DC the past couple of years and find it to be a most beautiful way to capture and focus one’s attention, body, mind, and spirit, on the meaning of this most beautiful Holy Week, the holiest of weeks–as we enter deeper into the Passion and Death of Our Lord and walk His last hours with Him and Our Blessed Mother Mary and Sts. John and Magdalen and Peter, et al. The chant and chorale music amidst the candlelight is not only beautiful but also captivating and enriching for one’s mind, body, and soul. 🙂

Comments are closed.