About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

How did your Holy Week go?
published 11 April 2015 by Veronica Brandt

candle OLY WEEK IS A MASSIVE EVENT. Singing for the Sacred Triduum and Easter ceremonies is an awesome privilege. The more you think about it, the more enormous it seems. And after it passes there is an enormous relief. Coming out the other side can be very sweet indeed, even when things didn’t always go quite as planned.

In the spirit of a overwhelmed and collapsed inarticulate person, I’ll proceed in disconnected recounts:

Most memorable moment:

The Litany of the Saints when miss 2 demands help with her socks. The three of us leading were kneeling in the back pew, well out of view. I tried as best I could between invocations to figure out what she wanted and keep her happy. It must have impressed her because she started singing along with “ora pro nobis”.

Of course everyone complimented her on how well she behaved throughout the week.

Favourite music:

The Reproaches. We only sang from Popule meus down to the end of Sanctus Immortalis. My eldest son was choir 2. I was choir 1. Have I mentioned we could use some more choir members?

My introduction to this piece of music was by way of Victoria’s polyphonic setting, which is awesome. I was disappointed at first with the plainchant original, but it has definitely grown on me since then. The more you get into the chant the more it gets into you.

Trickiest music:

Easter Sunday Day Mass offertory and communion – but mostly because I overlooked practising sufficiently for them. Fortunately my mother was there with more experience and I could lean on her. The rest of the choir had been focused on learning the Ordinary parts of the Mass. After that we had only got as far as the Introit and Haec Dies. You do what you can.

Notes for next time:

Remember that they use incense for Holy Thursday so make use of the extra verses for the Introit. Booklights for the Easter Vigil Canticles and make sure there are no page turns while singing. Also pick the recessional hymn ahead of time and tell any potential singers about it a good week in advance. Also have someone with you while you play the organ who can keep an eye on what’s happening up the front. If you’ve run out of verses and you’re still waiting for the priest to come past then it could just be some slow servers.

And get a T-shirt made with the slogan: “Silence is Always an Option”

After all that, there were many, many compliments. Lots of people enjoyed the music.

Happy Easter! Christos Anesti!