A typical Triduum at my parish

Judging from the usertitle, you’d expect me to have a first-hand view of everything going on in my parish…so let me tell you about how we do Triduum (if there are any points you’d like to make, feel free to do so).

We open it all on Holy Thursday evening, with the procession (“Table of Plenty” is the entrance hymn). Then Fr. Mark starts Mass as usual, at which point we do the first Gloria since the last Sunday before Lent (aside from the feasts of the Chair of Peter, St. Joseph, and the Annunciation) (that Gloria is the St. Louis Jesuits one; “Give glory to God in the highest (trumpet line)…”) Then the Mass goes on as usual (I typically do the Gospel Acclamation-this Lent it’s to the tune of “Wondrous Love”-it goes “Praise and honor to you, O Lord, O Lord. Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ”) up to the point where Fr. Mark does his homily…every Holy Thursday he gives it from the POV of one of the people involved with Holy Thursday ('06 he did Jesus, '07 Judas, '08 one of the soldiers outside, ‘09 the Angel of Perseverance in Faith-looking forward to who 2010’s folk is)…then 12 people are chosen to have their feet washed (while the choir is singing “No Greater Love” and “The Lord Jesus”)…then Mass goes on as usual (our offertory hymn is the OCP rendition of “Ubi Caritas”-say what you want, but I think it’s an awesome contemporary rendition) until Fr. Mark sings the Eucharistic Prayer (Haugen’s Mass of Creation adaptation of Eucharistic Prayer III-BTW Fr. Mark really doesn’t like that one-he hopes we can find another sung setting of the Eucharistic Prayer-one more thing: there’s much more quiet from the assembly than usual at that point)-and then Mass goes on as usual (“The Supper of the Lord” is one of the two communion hymns we do)-and after the PaC comes my favorite part of the night-I have loved the Pange Lingua ever since I was six years old! (though I like how it was at St. Rita’s better than how it is at St. Lucy’s-St. Lucy’s doesn’t use any Latin, and it’s all to minimal piano-over at St. Rita’s-we always used the Latin-first four verses followed by English, last two just Latin-MAN HOW I LOVE AQUINAS’ ORIGINAL LATIN!)-but I digress…

At Good Friday, we enter in silence, then Fr. Mark and my dad fall prostrate in front of the altar (as is perscribed)-then Fr. Mark opens up with “Let us pray” (even though it explicitly says in the missal “Let Us Pray” is not said)-then it goes on like a traditional Good Friday service would be expected to-though I do have a question. At St. Rita’s, they used to have a bare cross for people to venerate, but at St. Lucy’s, Fr. Mark brings a complete crucifix for that purpose. Which one is supposed to be that?

Now comes the Easter Vigil, where I’ll just leave you some notes about that

  1. My dad rehearses the Exultet each day up to then, starting with before Lent-yes, it’s THAT hard.
  2. The readings we use are the Creation, Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac, the parting of the Red Sea, and Isaiah’s “come to the water” text-always been one of my favorites!
  3. Once again, we do the St. Louis Jesuits Gloria (I REALLY wish we could get the Gloria of the Bells for this one)
  4. We use a special Psalm 118 version of the Celtic A-word (can’t say it during Lent, but it’ll be sung a lot once the Vigil comes)…
  5. During Confirmation, the Taize “Veni Sancte Spiritus” is sung-I’ve always loved that
  6. The offertory hymn is just by the Choir-it’s called “Jubilate Deo”-allow me to take a break to describe it.
    a. Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate Deo!
    O sing to the Lord a joyful song and praises bring alway,
    O sing to the Lord a joyful song for Christ is risen today.
    Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate!
    b. (to the tune of O Sacred Head Surrounded-lemme know if you find anything wrong with this)
    They crucified him on a tree, He humbly bowed His head.
    He suffered there for you and me, the people thought Him dead.
    This God-child of the Virgin’s womb henceforth triumphantly
    Arose from out his earthly tomb to bring us victory.
    (then part a. again)
  7. Eucharistic Prayer I is used-and every year I do a quick prayer that Fr. Mark uses the full forms of the saints part (a. James, John, Thomas, etc. b. Ignatius, Alexander, etc.)-of course he never does.
  8. Our first Communion hymn is a choir piece called “Easter Angel Hymn”-quite fitting with the scriptures-especially since this year Luke’s account is used.
  9. It’s wrapped up as usual, with Dad chanting the dismissal (and to correct an earlier thread, it’s a double A-word, not a triple one) and “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” as the recessional.
  10. We used to have a big party in the gym afterwards-but not anymore because some underagers consumed the wine-however, our Choir still has a little party in the rehearsal room.

So, that’s St. Lucy in Racine’s version of Triduum-any and all feedback is appreciated!

Do you do the Litany of the Saints?

Yes. We used to do the chant version, but starting this year, we’re doing the Becker version (MUCH smoother)

We do the traditional chant version. One of my favorite parts of the Vigil. There is an RCIA candidate at my church that has become fascinated with the Communion of Saints. She is really into the Saints. I told her about the Litany of Saints and how she would experience it at the Easter Vigil, and she is really looking forward to the Vigil. She comes from a non-liturgical church background and is also fascinated by the Liturgy and all things Catholic, like a kid in a candy store. I can’t wait for her to experience the Triduum. And for her to receive the Eucharist, because she talks about this all the time, how she can’t wait to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. This is what makes the Vigil so special for me–the Catechumens and the Candidates being received into the Church.

Does your choir sing the Halleluijah Chorus? Ours does and it is so awesome.

I will be assisting at another local parish for the Triduum. They’ll do the full 3-day program as prescribed in the American Missal.

Mass as usual on Maundy Thursday, with the Gloria in excelsis; no recessional hymn, of course, as “Pange lingua” accompanies the procession of the MBS to the Altar of Repose, after which the sanctuary altar is stripped while the congregation recites Psalm 22.

The Good Friday service begins with the clergy prostrating themselves before the bare altar (no red vestments here, we still wear black), followed by the unannounced reading of the prophecy, the Epistle, and the Passion according to St John (with Tracts in between). After the Passion reading, the Solemn Collects, followed by the Veneration of the Cross (with a crucifix; a plain wooden cross is an incomplete symbol here) and the Liturgy of the Presanctified.

The Vigil begins with the lighting of the New Fire and the singing of the Exsultet. The 12 Prophecies are read, interspersed with Tracts, the Song of Moses, and the Benedictus. Then the font is blessed and baptisms performed, if any are to be done. The rest of the Mass proceeds as usual, with the threefold Alleluia and of course, lots of joyful Easter hymns (“The strife is o’er,” “Jesus Christ is risen today,” “He is risen! He is risen!”, etc.) After which, a party in the parish hall with all of the goodies we couldn’t eat (or drink) during Lent–including some very well-chilled vodka…looking forward! :slight_smile:

We have a new choir director and just last week got a new pastor. Our Holy Saturday music isn’t set yet, except for the readings and Psalms. I was the first one at practice last night so I got to pick which Psalm I’ll sing, and I chose, “I will sing to the Lord, He has covered Himself in Glory” (I think those are the words, my memory is fading fast).

Here’s Holy Thursday:
ENT - Dona Nobis Pacem
GLO - Jesuit Mass
PSA - Our Blessing Cup
FEET - The Summons
OFF - Jesus the Lord
MAS - Heritage Mass
COM - The Supper of the Lord
REP - Pange Lingua Gloriosi
ADO - Stay With Me

Dona Nobis Pacem is new to us, and it’s a very pretty canon in Latin. That’s the entire lyric. The part the altos are singing is a little high, and I’m a bit worried about it.

Our Blessing Cup is from the Breaking Bread Hymnal and we use it other times for Offertory or Communion. As the cantor sings the verses, we’re going to “oooh” the melody under it. That should be interesting.

Jesus the Lord is pretty new to us, and kind of hard. Maybe just really different rather than hard.


Stay with Me is new and they’re hoping it will keep people in the pews for a while longer if we keep singing. The director plans to start with a few people singing, then more and more, then people drop out until finally a single bass ends the piece. A bass will have to actually show up for that to hapen. We’re not doing well on attendance these days. No boys at all last night but there are so few of them anyway…

This is Good Friday:
PSA - Psalm 31
VEN - Behold the Wood
- Jesus Remember Me
COM - Were You There
- O Sacred Head Surrounded

Jesus Remember Me is a round and pretty cool. Were You There is nice, but not Mass music to me. I didn’t remember Sacred Head Surrounded last night. I thought I was going to know it, but I don’t think it’s an old song – I was thinking I’d know it from grade school. The scary part about Good Friday is that in the past, a single cantor did the whole thing. I would go to Stations somewhere else but didn’t go to the Good Friday Service in the evening. So this is pretty strange to me. I don’t think I’ve gone to a Good Friday (except stations) since about 1965. We’re singing everything a capella. I’m not very comfortable singing brand new songs a capella. This should be interesting.

There’s supposed to be the first liturgy meeting with the new pastor on Monday. We’ll find out on Wednesday what we’re singing on Holy Saturday. I really do like to prepare a bit, and this makes me tense.

Last night he told us that Easter will be like any other Sunday: 9am is the “choir Mass” and whoever shows up sings. To me, Easter is a big deal. We always had special music before, so this doesn’t feel quite right to me.

At my parish, I have been dreading Holy Thursday each year because of the music. I am hoping that the new director will finally lay “Come to the Feast” to an enternal rest. “Table of Plenty” is just as bad. Neither of these songs really speak to the mystery that we are about to enter. A better fit would be either Gift of Finest Wheat or At that First Eucharist.

The Servant Song for the Mandatum is not a good song either. I would much prefer that we use “What Wondrous Love Is This” or “Where Charity and Love Prevail”.

The SLJ Gloria is not one that I would recommend. Their version toys too much with the text, especially the refrain. A better choice would be either the Gloria from a New Mass for a Congregation or the one written by the late Richard Proulx for his Community Mass setting.

For Holy Communion, I would choose Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, omitting the last verse because of the Alleluia reference. Another one would be Draw Near and Take the Body of Your Lord.

The one thing that we have gotten right is the Pangia Lingua.

Good Friday is a little better to take. However, with the pastor, parochial vicar and deacon present, I do not see the need to have a lay person assist with proclaiming the Passion. This has been problematic for me.

The Easter Vigil begins in the usual manner until the Exultet is chanted. For the last three years, we have had a badly paraphrased version of the Exultet chanted to the beat of a drum. It sounds lousy. I complained to the Archdiocese of Portland because it’s an OCP creation and even they told me that it was ilicit. The problem is that OCP is still plugging this as something that can be used.

I would suggest doing all seven readings in the Easter Vigil for two reasons. First, because the readings outline nearly the whole of salvation history which is beautifully appropriate on the night where Christ, our Savior, passes from death to life. Second, because the Congregation for Divine Worship says that readings can only be omitted for "grave pastoral reasons.

Musically, this piece is fine, but it includes “saints” that are not saints (Origin, who was a heretic), The Litany of the Saints is not just nice background music to be played/sung while people are getting situated for baptism. It is a very important, and ancient part of the Easter Vigil liturgy. It is important that it is theologically correct. It also should sound like what it is supposed to be- a prayer from the priest and the faithful, asking the saints’ intercession on behalf of the people about to be baptized, and the whole church. Although musically this piece is fine, it doesn’t really sound appropriate to me for this type of prayer (I realize of course that this is just my opinion).

You are right. We need to stick to those who have actually been declared saints by the Church, not someone’s opinion of who should be on the rolls. That is why I am concerned about well-meaning composers who take excessive liberties with what the Church dictates.

As you stated, the Litany is not some pretty piece. There is a deeper meaning behind it. We are asking the saints in heaven to intercede for the ones who will be baptized. That is why the Litany is also used for ordinations, as well. It was also used for the funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II and for the Installation Mass of Pope Benedict XVI.

The day I let the choir paraphrase the Exsultet with drummers is the day they pry the Paschal Candle from my cold, dead hands!

I’ve chanted the Exsultet from the Sacramentary every year that I’ve been ordained a deacon. And I intend to continue as long as I can.

Like DeaconSon mentioned, I do also start rehearing during Lent. In addition, I have a CD of the chant that I keep in my truck and practice with as I drive around during Lent. I sneak into Church early in the mornings so as to have a little time with the microphone and so forth.

I always apologize to the parishioners doing Adoration, but they don’t seem to mind – they just smile and say they enjoy the chant.

God bless you all,

Yes. We used to do the chant version, but starting this year, we’re doing the Becker version (MUCH smoother)

There was a very interesting thread on the Litany of the Saints, with specific discussion of the Becker version, in this thread over on the discussion board of the Church Music Association of America. There’s an embedded video of a very well-done rendering of it about halfway down the first page – personally I can’t stomach listening to the whole thing.

^ Actually, we sub out Origen’s name…once we subbed in “Anthony,” another time we subbed in “Patrick”.

My primary gripe about the chant is that it leaves out too many saints. Why are less than half the apostles mentioned? (at least the Becker version says “…and all apostles”)

My parish’s Easter Triduum is always beautiful. Its nice having the Pange Lingua chanted in Latin. Our Good Friday services are always very solemn and in a way touching. This year our Parish is going to have a Passion Play instead of the Gospel, However the words in the play are nearly exactly the same as in John’s Gospel
For the Easter Vigil, the Apostolic Nuncio is presiding over it in our parish. I’m happy about it

Thats pretty much this years Easter Triduum at m Parish

Can someone define “grave pastoral reasons”? Because the pastor at my church (we’ve had him since May of 2007) has cut down the 7 OT readings down to 3 at the Easter Vigil of 2008, and 4 at the Easter Vigil of 2009. Our old pastor ALWAYS did the 7 OT readings. I have a feeling that all 7 readings should be read. It seems like he’s only cutting it down so we can get out of the church faster, and for no real licit reason.

You would probably know if your parish had a grave pastoral reason for limiting the Liturgy of the Word to 4 readings. If your priest was very ill or very elderly and there was no chance of finding a concelebrant or a replacement that would qualify. Or perhaps if your parish was in a war zone or something (that sounds pretty grave). :wink:

Last year, the Holy Father limited the number of reading during the Easter Vigil. Given his age and the length of the liturgy, that certainly was a valid option.

Well, he did it for no reason then. Should I bring this up to him? I know he’s not gravely ill, nor are the readers who opt to do it.

I think it even says in the Breaking Bread that they should only be limited to 2 or 3 for grave pastoral reasons.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.