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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Triduum music for 2014

This can be a stressful time of year for church musicians and therefore for choirs and musicians who have to work with us. What I strive for year after year is a Triduum and Easter program with as much familiar music in it as possible, along with the unique and prescribed texts of those days in settings that are self-taught in performance and bear repetition year after year. My feeling is you set up a solid structure of music and you work with it, change a few things if you want to, but once the ritual music is working well, well, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

So we don't do new communion songs, new entrance songs, new acclamations during the holy days. I try to keep a paschal repertoire active all through the year, so that much of our music can be used on any Sunday and also works well for the Easter season. I believe that this is at the heart of what the Church means, in the General Norms on the Liturgical Year, #4, what it states that "on the first day of each week, which is known as the Day of the Lord or the Lord’s Day, the church, by an apostolic tradition that draws its origin from the very day of the resurrection of christ, celebrates the paschal Mystery. hence, Sunday must be considered the primordial feast day." Then, in #18, it says that "the preeminence that Sunday has in the week, the Solemnity of Easter has in the liturgical year." (Both quotations cited originate in Sacrosanctum Concilium.) Every Sunday is Easter; they have a reciprocal meaning.

Repeating a lot of music every year also saves on the stress as these days get closer together and with wonky late winter/early spring weather rehearsals and attendance thereto can be unpredictable. Somehow, I just feel that liturgy depends on this kind of repetition, so that people come to be able to count on music and prayer to feel familiar and comfortable as well as challenging, with multivalent meaning. I feel about it the way I feel about the rest of the liturgy, and scripture for that matter: it doesn't matter so much that it's always the same because we change. The metaphors and allusions might stay the same, but our lives and self-understanding evolve week-to-week and certainly year-to-year. There's no reason that everything has to be new. We're new. God's activity is ever ancient, ever new.

And yet there is that impetus, that energy, that inspiration that demands of us, "Sing a new song unto the Lord." So if that works for you, by all means, do it. Just not all new songs, all the time, OK? ;-)

For the record, this is the music we're using for Triduum this year with a few notes and links for those who want more information. Where I've done a "SongStories" piece on one of the songs, it's linked. I'll try to get as many as possible in the iTunes link at the bottom.

Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper

Gathering: Glory in the Cross (Schutte, OCP)
Receiving the Oils: Chant (based on Mass of St. Aidan)
Glory to God: Mass of St. Ann (Bolduc, WLP)
Psalm 116: "Our Blessing Cup" (Cooney, OCP)
Gospel Acclamation: Mass of St. Aidan (Cooney, WLP)
Washing of Feet: This Is My Example (O'Brien)
Preparation Rite: To You Who Bow (Cooney, GIA [unpublished])
Eucharistic Acclamations: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Fraction: Lamb of God (Daigle, GIA)
Communion: May We Be One (Daigle-Cooney, GIA)
Procession: Praise the Savior's Glorious Body/Tantum Ergo (chant)

Good Friday Solemn Commemoration of the Lord's Passion and Death

Psalm 31: I Place My Life (Cooney, GIA)
Gospel Acclamation: Mass of St. Aidan (Cooney, WLP)
Passion Acclamation: based on "Faithful Cross" (Kendzia-Cooney, OCP)
Solemn Intercessions: based on "Good and Gracious God" (Haugen, GIA)
Showing the Cross: "Behold the Wood" (Schutte, OCP)

  1. Adoramus Te, Christe (DuBois)
  2. Faithful Cross (Kendzia-Cooney, OCP)
  3. Glory in the Cross (Schutte, OCP)

Communion: Christ the Icon (Cooney, WLP)

Vigil of Easter

Procession and Exsultet: (setting by Tom Kendzia, OCP)

Liturgy of the Word
Genesis Reading (with acclamations and psalm) (Cooney, Balhoff, Daigle, Ducote, GIA)
Exodus Reading (sung) (Cooney)
Isaiah 12 "With Joy You Will Draw Water" (Haugen, GIA)
Easter Alleluia (O Filii et Filiae)

Liturgy of Baptism

Litany of Saints (Becker, OCP)
Blessing of Water acclamations (Haas, GIA)
Baptism Acclamation "You Have Put on Christ" (Daigle, GIA)
Renewal Acclamation with sprinkling "We Have Put on Christ" (Daigle, GIA)
Confirmation Music: "Rain Down" (Cortez, OCP)

Response to Intercessions: "O Lord, Hear Our Prayer" (Ray East, GIA)

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Preparatory Rites: Be Ye Glad (Greer, Lillenas, choir)
Mass of Creation Eucharistic Acclamations
Lamb of God: Mass of St Aidan (Cooney)
Communion: One Bread, One Body (Foley, OCP)
Recessional: O Happy Day (Edwin Hawkins)

Easter Sunday masses

Prelude Music: Barrington Brass Quintet
Gathering: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
Psalm 118: Today (Cooney, GIA)
Easter Alleluia (O Filii et Filiae)
Sprinkling Rite: Glory to God from Mass of St. Ann (Bolduc, WLP)
Preparatory Rites: Three Days (Holst, Ridge arr. Honoré, OCP)
Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Lamb of God (Mass of Creation, Haugen)
Communion: (1) I Am the Bread of Life (Toolan, arr. Cooney GIA)
(2) Barrington Brass Psalm XIX, Marcello
(3) May We Be One (Daigle-Cooney, GIA)
Recessional: Sing with All the Saints in Glory (Ode to Joy)
Postlude: Barrington Brass Quintet

We make a few adaptations on Easter Sunday in order to fit five masses into the morning, while we generally only have three. St. Anne's is a large church in a suburban neighborhood; we seat about 1400 people, but parking is extremely limited. Ordinarily we have two hours between masses in order to let people mingle, leave, and then new folks come in. On Easter, in order to accommodate the 8000+ people who come to mass, we need to have mass last no more than an hour, so that we can clear the streets and lots for the next mass to come in. Consequently, we use the "Glory to God" as music during the sprinkling, and omit the sequence, both things that I hate to do but which are pastoral necessities, or seem to be. The liturgies themselves are really beautiful and uplifting, and generally by-the-book. Try not to judge us by too rigorous a standard of adherence to rubrics. For the glory of God and the safety of our community, we do what we do.

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