Fire and light in the Western Triduum : their use at Tenebrae and at the Paschal vigil
The stage-by-stage development of Tenebrae is described showing the extension of light-loss at Lauds on Good Friday to the three night offices of the Western Triduum. The emergence, development, and use of the hearse at Tenebrae from the eleventh century onwards is explored, together with the integration of that device into the liturgical drama that the service of Tenebrae represented. The varying number of lights used and the extinction-points are shown to be derived from differing liturgical traditions. The presence of other lights at the service is discussed; and the extinguishing of lights is shown to have a rememorative, not a utilitarian origin. The new fire ceremonies of all the Western rites, which were of Galilean origin, were deliberately adopted by the Church as part of her missionary work. An in-depth survey of the ritual surrounding the kindling of the fire and the subsequent procession with the fire into church reveals a heritage of different cultural and liturgical traditions. Not only was the threefold production of fire linked to the triple performance of Tenebrae;the new fire ceremony was integrated into the Paschal vigil liturgy because of the common theme of light; and to the former was extended the Passover motif. Not only are the geographical and liturgical origins of the Easter candle considered; an historical analysis is presented of both the Candle itself and of the ceremonial surrounding the blessing of the Candle. This ceremonial, being largely of Galilean provenance, is ex-aunined in relation to the corresponding Milanese, Mozarabic, and Roman Vigil liturgies, all of which are related to the Lucernariua of Jerusalem. The study shows that the late medieval Paschal ceremony of light was a synthesis of Roman and Galilean elements; and that a two fold tradition existed relating to the provision of light at the Vigil.