“We can look around and see plentiful sorrow, and we may be unable to fix it. We may find no words, no actions, are sufficient to dress the wounds of the world. So, take heart; do not shun your tears. Do not be ashamed or afraid or dismissive of weeping, for tears can be living water.” – Br. Lucas Hall

On Wednesday, the Brothers pray the ancient monastic office of Tenebrae, a service that derives from the monastic services of matins and lauds. The liturgy uses darkness and the gradual extinguishing of candles, until only a single candle remains, a symbol of our Lord.  The service provides an opportunity for sustained reflection on the Lord’s suffering and death.

This liturgy, parts of which you can listen to below, is a choral offering, with chanted psalms and canticles set to plainsong and chanted lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremiah (in which each verse is introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet). As you listen, you might light a candle, allowing its light to inspire your meditation.

In what ways has Jesus’ coming penetrated the darkness of your own life? In what ways are you blind, or unable to see? 


Chanted Lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremiah


“Suffering with Jesus” – Br. Jonathan Maury
Br. Jonathan Maury suggests how Holy Week offers a sacramental and transformational means by which we experience the grace of divine love, which evil can never defeat.

“The Identity of the Beloved Disciple” – Br. Jim Woodrum
“Who are you in this story?” Br. Jim Woodrum asks, inviting us to step into the gospel and find our own place – and responses – to the story unfolding.

“In the Shadows” – Br. Luke Ditewig
Jesus was troubled, sad, and afraid – as we all are. This night invites us to linger in the darkness with him.

“And It Was Night” – Br. James Koester
We only know the relief of dawn when the terrors of the night have kept us awake, so spend some time today in the darkness.


Paradox (3:11)
Br. Jonathan Maury
Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.55.24 PM
 On Tenebrae (4:09)
Br. David Vryhof

“Light of the World” (40:37) Br. David V.


  1. gladys solomon on April 12, 2019 at 12:04

    Dear brothers I felt consoled reading your articles. How to be with Jesus in the dark moments of my life

  2. Beverly Cone on March 28, 2018 at 06:30

    Pray for my friend who has just been ousted from his apartment, and has no where to go – he is alone and from a different country – very lost right now. My heart is hurting for him, but I know Jesus went through deep sorrows also, and will walk beside my friend at this difficult time.

  3. Jimmy Wright on March 23, 2016 at 11:08

    Praying for the brothers and everyone at SSJE this Holy Week.

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