Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tennebrae At All Hallows

From the Capital Gazette:
Next Monday evening, the organ in the choir gallery at All Hallows Chapel in Davidsonville will be silent, but the church will be filled with music.
During the Service of Tenebrae, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the All Hallows choir, assisted by friends, fellow choir members and singers, will sing the "Lamentations of Jeremiah" by Thomas Tallis, capelmeister to Henry VIII, his son, King Edward, and his daughters, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.
The "Lamentations" is a recognized masterwork of church music. It was meant to be sung a cappella. It is a difficult piece to sing, but it is exquisitely haunting.
Rev. Alistair So, rector of All Hallows, said the Tenebrae combines "our fine liturgy with musical excellence" thereby helping those who come to experience this service deepen their spiritual journeys.
Tenebrae is a Latin word signifying 'darkness,' 'shadows,' and 'obscurity.' It is a word that pointedly calls our attention to the scriptural accounts of our Lord's crucifixion," So added.
"The name of this service is taken from the opening words of the fourth responsory: Tenebrae factae sunt – 'darkness came over the whole land,' " So said.
Tenebrae is characterized by the progressive extinguishing of all the lights in the church except one candle. Tenebrae's content forms a contemplation of the events of Jesus' last days, beginning with the Last Supper and ending with his burial, and the hint of the resurrection symbolized by the one remaining candle, he said.
The All Hallows choir is relatively small, but they have been singing the "Lamentations" for 10 years, just because they all loved it and wanted to sing it.
"In the third year that we sang it, in the middle, all of a sudden every gear meshed and we had it," said choir member Jan Powers. "I still get chill bumps thinking about it. It was overwhelming. We were doing it so well together. Now every time we do it, it just gets better."
This year, the choir will be enlarged by fellow singers.
All Hallows Choir members are: Lillian Armstrong, Grant Bagley, Margaret Bagley, Gail Enright, Linda Johnson,Rich Johnson, Betty Kilgus, David Patterson, Michael Power and Jacki Thoms. The friends joining are: Holly Brandon, former Washington Cappella Antiqva member Thaddeus Cavuoti of Christ Church in Rockville, Carl Ellinwoodand Glen Jaross of the Rennaisance Singers of Annapolis, and Michael Ryan andPatti Sachs of St. James Church in Lothian.
The Service of Tenebrae featuring "Lamentations of Jeremiah" begins at 7:30 p.m on Monday. The church is located at 809 W. Central Ave..
For more information, call 410-798-0808 or visit

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