Tenebrae: Monsignor Ronan, Saint Michael’s Choir School and Thomas Tallis


‘Tenebrae’ – or ‘darkness’, in Latin – is a service of solemn songs and readings in the three days (the ‘Triduum’) commemorating our Lord’s own descent into His Passion, with the gradual extinction of candles, preceding the great light and joy of Easter, with the victory of the Resurrection. Music for Tenebrae has been composed by Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, as well, closer to our own day, Monsignor John Edward Ronan, sometime director of Saint Michael’s Choir School.

On a note of local talent, here is a presentation of selection of renditions of Tenebrae, beginning with the choir school:

And, while we’re at it, here is a selection Thomas Tallis’ version from the sixteenth century, his incomparable If Ye Love Me: