Service of Tenebrae (Paul Stetsenko)
- Editor: Paul Stetsenko (submitted 2016-06-06). Score information: Letter, 19 pages, 882 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes:
First published: 2004
The vocal ensemble is two sopranos, two altos, two tenors, and two basses, all accompanied by 3-octave handbells (handchimes can be used instead, too). With each subsequent chorus, a singer drops out so that the last number is sung by a soprano solo. The opening number is a canon. It can be sung in various ways, from simple unison to 8-part canon. Passion accounts from various Gospels may be read in between the numbers, and extinguishing candles may also supplement the liturgical action.
Original text and translations
1. I will watch beside my Jesus; I will gladly submit myself to take up the Cross and to drink from the cup. He is ready to drink the cup wherein all the sins of the world are poured by the hands of the sinners.
2. Whither shall I flee from thy spirit, whither shall I leave thee, too? Thou knowest my thoughts from afar, before a word is on my tongue. Thou knowest me completely, O Lord my God.
3. I have denied Thee many times, but my soul longest after Thee like a hart for water-brooks. Teach me true allegiance, have mercy, my God, abide with me, O Christ.
4. Give me back my Jesus, take back the money, the wages of murder. I have sinned, my sins are coins in Judas’ purse.
5. I strew Thy way, I sang the praises, resounding Hosannas to Thee; but then I cried, Crucify him!” in all my breath, thirsty for Thy death to wash away my sins.
6. In Thy most bitter Passion, O Lord, is They victory. To mock Thy reign, O King, we made a crown of thorns; Thy scarlet kingly robe is a garment of mercy, covering our naked shame, a scepter reed is a shepherd staff to lead us to thy true light.
7. The guiltless does with the guilty. My sins are crucified with Thee, like thieves. ‘Twas I, my Lord, my King who crucified Thee.
8. It is fulfilled, the end has come. Am I from death forever free? Thou bowest Thy head in silent “yes.”