QUAERITUR: Tenebrae hearse

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From a reader:

Praised by Jesus Christ! Thank you for your blog. Our small parish needs to find a tennabrae hearse. I am searching on ebay and various church supply websites, but I need your expert advice. Any help will be greatly appreciated! God bless.

The candles on the hearse are snuffed out one by one as the psalms of the nocturnes and lauds of Tenebrae are completed.

So… anyone?

Also, does anyone have a blueprint to make one?  A carpenter could probably get one ready for use before Holy Thursday.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mary Jane says:

    Oooh! Our schola is doing Tenebrae this year. Our parish already has a Tenebrae hearse…not sure where they obtained it.

    I found this link – how to make a Tenebrae hearse – may be helpful: http://www.ordorecitandi.org.uk/HowtoMakeaTenebraeHearse.pdf

    For readers who have never been to Tenebrae, if it’s available in your area (or better yet, at your parish!) I’d highly encourage you to go! It’s really beautiful. Plus, it may be the only time during the liturgical year that you actually get to purposely make *noise* in church! ;-) (referring to the strepitus)

  2. APX says:

    How to build a tenebrae hearse

    Can’t help you with buying one.

  3. APX says:

    Great minds think alike.

  4. momoften says:

    LOVE TENEBRAE!!!!!! sons chant it, and it sounds awesome, the servers LOVE it! What an
    awesome way to add solemnity to Holy Week !!!!!!

  5. JohnE says:

    Is he really saying your blog is praised BY Jesus Christ?! I think it’s pretty good, but…Wow!

    ;-) Praised be Jesus Christ!

  6. Specialized items like processional umbrellas and tenebrae hearses can be made as custom orders.
    Scroll to end of page

  7. Kerry says:

    Dear “From a reader”. I may be able to help you. I am in St. Paul, MN. IBlamyMyTools.com Kerry

  8. Kerry says:

    Alternately any reasonably good furniture guy could make one. Father, what is a ‘blueprint’?

  9. PostCatholic says:

    I’m much more intrigued by the salutation “praised by Jesus!” Does it imply you’re a Centurion or a mustard bush?

  10. APX says:

    A blueprint is is a technical drawing that lays out the plan for how to build something (ie: a house, ship, etc). It’s called a “blueprint” because traditionally they were created in a complex technical manner involving a bunch of chemistry stuff (I won’t even pretend to sound like I know about chemistry) that caused the print to be blue. Later on as technology got better, they processed them using cyanotype, which also creates a print that is blue, specifically cyan blue.

  11. Father P says:

    Just in case it is too late. On a table covered by the funeral pall use one High Mass candlestick in the center and arrange on either side of it a seven branched candlestick (usually you can adjust the angle) so that each side rises up toward the center

  12. LaudemGloriae says:


    They are the largest repository of vintage church goods in the US.

  13. irishgirl says:

    So it’s called ‘a hearse’? I thought it was merely a candlelabra….[hey, what do I know…I’m just a dumb laywoman]
    I went to a Tenebrae service on Holy Thursday 2009 at a convent of traditional Sisters in the Catskills of New York State. Very beautiful, though I was startled by the Sisters’ ‘pounding’ of their Breviaries on their prayer desks in the darkened chapel at the end! I nearly jumped out of my seat! Very ‘spooky’!
    But I loved it anyway!

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