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Andrew Motyka is the Archdiocesan Director of Liturgical Music and Cathedral Music for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

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Singing A Capella During the Easter Triduum
published 9 April 2014 by Andrew R. Motyka

HE EASTER TRIDUUM can produce some interesting musical challenges. The amount of music preparation necessary for these most important three days of the liturgical year is daunting. Hopefully your preparation is going well.

One tradition that many parishes continue is singing a cappella beginning after the Gloria on Holy Thursday until the Gloria on Easter Vigil. While this is normative in the Extraordinary Form, it is optional in the Ordinary Form. The rubrics about instrumental use during the Triduum are identical to those during Lent: instruments may only be used to accompany singing. Nevertheless, following the older tradition, even in the Ordinary Form, lends a solemnity to the Triduum that punctuates the entire season.

Most choirs can sing at least simple music without accompaniment. Here are Responsorial Psalms for both Holy Thursday and Good Friday. They are set for a cappella SATB choir, and could quite easily be learned in one rehearsal (good thing; that’s probably all you have left).

I hope your last week of preparation is fruitful, beautiful, and low-stress.


CLICK BELOW for the FREE PDF download.

      * *  Holy Thursday Responsorial Psalm — Motyka

      * *  Good Friday Responsorial Psalm — Motyka