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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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“One would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.”
— Ven. Pope Pius XII (20 November 1947)

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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