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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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“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod.”
— Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431)

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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