Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


The office of Matins and Lauds, which is by ancient tradition conjoined on these three sacred days into the office known as 'Tenebrae', or 'shadows', a word rich in symbolism, reflecting both the nocturnal hour at which it was customarily chanted, the gradual extinguishing of the lights, and the sadness and desolation of Creation during these days of Our Lord's Passion, was sung in choir on the three days.  Images of the Office of Good Friday are below.

The candles of the hearse, one for each of 14 psalms, are extinguished during the repeat of each antiphon.  During the Benedictus on Thursday and Saturday (on Friday the altar is bare) the altar candles are gradually put out. The term 'hearse' survives in the modern church to describe this sloping candlestick, and refers to the similar shaped stands which were customarily used for the many candles placed around the coffin at funerals until the 19th century.
The Office begins with the first Antiphon
Psalms in choir
Extinguishing a candle on the hearse
The Schola