Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Triduum

The services in the Roman Catholic tradition for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil on Saturday evening are referred to collectively as the Easter Triduum, or the 'three days', approximately. The congregation is not officially dismissed on Holy Thursday or Good Friday, and it is not officially welcomed at the Easter Vigil, in order to emphasize that they are a continuous whole.

Of course, they are long services (last night for Holy Thursday it actually took a little over a whole hour, but then we have a very speedy priest who normally gets us out of there in about 40 minutes... how could you possibly object to a priest who loves to give short sermons??? XD).

The Passion is read on Palm Sunday and Good Friday- if memory serves me correctly, the Passion according to the Gospel of John is always read on Good Friday, while the one read on Palm Sunday alternates from Matthew, Mark, and Luke depending if the liturgical readings are in Year A, B, or C. (I think we're in C right now... It's terrible that I can't remember, but then I haven't been playing the responsorial psalms for the past couple of Masses, and that's when I see the little marker.)

Today there are actually two services: the Stations of the Cross around 3:00 instead of the usual late in the evening, and then the Veneration of the Holy Cross later. That one takes forever because there is a period where various intentions for various groups of people are read and the congregation has to kneel and pray, then stand up for the next intention to be read, then kneel again... It goes on and on seemingly ad infinitum.

Oh, well. I've been going for as long as I can remember, so it's become unthinkable for me not to go. I hope the choir sounds as good tonight as it did last night, because last night they rocked. (Sounded kind of sketchy on Palm Sunday; only a few of them turned up apparently... Of course, it was the Vigil Mass, but even so...)

For Stations earlier today I had to play the Stabat Mater, which I've never done before. However, I was pleased that it went off well, without me flubbing it horribly or something. It's a really beautiful song and if you start me off on any verse I can finish it for you. I can't sing it all the way through necessarily, but so many years of attending Stations has paid off...

I should find a video of it and post it. Because I feel like posting things today. Posting-itis it is, then!

No singing, but it gets the tune across. If it works. Google hates me, you know. I want to strangle it on a regular basis.

I should also mention the beautiful hymn Pange, Lingua that is traditionally sung on Holy Thursday. The last two verses out of the six are better known as the Tantum Ergo/Humbly Let Us Voice Our Homage. Humorously, I know the Pange, Lingua in Latin (all six verses! This is what happens when I am bored and am playing the piano...) but not in English, so I was left fumbling around for the book and trying not to finish a verse with, "Rex effudit gentium."

Lol, the problems of a Latin nerd.

Ooh, I should post a video of Pange, Lingua as well!

Basically I've been singing that song, all six verses, in Latin, throughout Lent this year! Whenever I'm just doing dishes or helping cook or something else in the kitchen, I don't know why but I just start singing stuff, and it's usually Latin songs. I just love the sound of them so much (I honestly love Gregorian chant; it's so soothing and I don't find it creepy in the least). Luckily, most Latin songs are also pitched low enough for me not to have a problem with them, since my voice doesn't really go high... at all...

The fact that I do actually know what I am saying when I sing them helps, too.

Semi-amusing story: I went to Midnight Mass for Christmas last year for the first time (yay!) and the opening hymn was Adeste Fideles. They sing it in English as O Come, All Ye Faithful for the children's Mass, but keep it in Latin for Midnight Mass. I was delighted and was happily singing it along with the choir while the rest of the congregation was fumbling around for the books, messing up the Latin words, or having other similar issues.

Oh, and then after Communion one of the choir members sang Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (in German, naturally). I knew it (at least the first two verses, and that's all he did), so I was pretty much the only member of the congregation who was singing along that time!

The weirdest thing is that I don't find this unusual in the least... I've been taking German and Latin for so long that when I realized today that sooner or later I might as well slap the label "trilingual" (especially as I think I'm going to shoot for a German minor) on my forehead I was actually surprised.


I really don't know where I'm going with this blogpost; I'm just sort of celebrating Latin stuff and my faith and having fun along the way.

Oh, and just to prove that Catholics have a better sense of humor:

I just think that picture is hilarious. I giggled like anything when I saw it. From the fact that Dwalin is staring off at nothing to the fact that Gloin is Judas... just, you name it.

In Pace Christi,


1 comment:

  1. I really missed being in the Easter Choir this year. When I went to Holy Thursday Mass and Good Friday service (they didn't do stations but rather had Veneration of the Holy Cross at both the early and evening services) and when the choir here was singing the responses, I was like "Yes I know these from years and years of Easter Choir!" but then I was disappointed when the tunes were different! Oh well... Oh and it was Damian who sang Silent Night in German at the Christmas Midnight Mass. So, yeah I am back on Blogger... I think I left partly because I was busy and partly because I resented Google... But I am back! HI!