I tend to go into hiding in the Easter Octave. All that singing, arm waving and praying during the Triduum and there is no better way to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord than putting one’s feet up and sleeping. (Gosh, I sound like I’m 102.)
I did get a chance to lunch with the choir director of Blackfen last week who was looking for some ideas to enhance their Sunday morning liturgy.
I opted for a Mass setting closer to home. (Storrington is in West Sussex.) This score unfortunately lacked the optional tambourine parts.
I thought our Triduum services went really well.
We had a smaller choir than usual, quite a few were away or have recently left but we bravely stuck to the Graduale Romanum or the new Missal and sang everything we were supposed with a few extra bits thrown in for good measure. Adam, our organist and multi talented Counter-tenor/Bass has now become an afficionado with Gregorian Chant which is fantastic.
Holy Thursday we sang the Introit, Gradual and Communion Proper from the Graduale and Tom Haggar from Seaford’s Gospel Acclamation. We managed ALL the Antiphons from the New Missal translation set to the Graduale melodies by Aristotle Esguerra.
At the Offertory, we sang Durufle’s Ubi Caritas and at the Transference of the Blessed Sacrament we sang the Pange Lingua. During the Stripping of the Altars we chanted some psalms in Latin. Compline in the Extraordinary Form was sung at 11.45pm.
Good Friday, my female voice Schola (Schola Santa Scholastica) minus the choir director of Blackfen who was obviously busy in her own parish, came to sing all the chant from the Graduale Romanum. This year we sang the entire Improperia with the London duo taking up the reigns as Choir 1 and the Brighton ladies as Choir 2. I had Hagios Theos in my head for most of last week. Last year my earworm affliction during the Easter Octave was the Crux Fidelis.
Holy Saturday, there were only six of us but we managed all the Antiphons plus verses from the Graduale Romanum for all seven readings plus the Easter Alleluia with a polyphonic Contitemini Domino verse thrown in. After the Litany of the Saints mostly in Latin and a soaking in the Vidi Aquam we sang the beautiful Marian hymn Concordi Laetetia (Parish Book of Chant p.154) at the Offertory and at Communion all twelve verses of O Filii et Filiae.
And then Easter Sunday, with an even smaller choir, but a packed churchand the return of a loud organ, we left it to the congregation to sing out as the sounds of Gloria VIII and Jesus Christ is Risen Again filled the church.
Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, allelúia!