Easter Octave Happenings

Some of you know that the Easter Sequence can be used at Masses for the first week of Easter. At our Thursday night student Mass, a request came down to sing it. The student leader was unfamiliar with the plainsong, which, of course, is lovely when done well. I knew she would be more at ease improvising something, and with the English text. So the flute player and I came up with a musical background in the lydian mode. Our final result was an extended “mood” for flute and piano, and Elise started singing when she felt comfortable we had played long enough. Then we finished up our adventure in C-lydian and went straight in to Howard Hughes’ “Joyful Alleluia.” I just love that piece. Seven-Eight time is just perfectly jaunty.

It was interesting that the priest and the student planners opted to use incense for this Mass, but selected a Kyrie over a Sprinkling Rite.

On another front, a parishioner emailed me wondering about Sunday’s song choices. Nothing of Easter, she protested. And if we were looking for selections from the Easter section of Gather Comprehensive, she was right. Haugen-Alford’s “We Walk By Faith.” David Haas’s “Without Seeing You,” which we usually reserve for Easter. But its verses come from all over the Biblical map. Psalm 118, of course. But these pieces don’t have the resonance with the Easter Season. All this was topped by the bulletin cover which reminded parishioners of the Fifty Days of Easter–and it was quoted back to me. Paul Ford muses about it at PrayTell, I see. By some accounts, I’ve failed Easter Octave–do I have a prayer for Fifty Days? Time will tell. What about you readers?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Easter Octave Happenings

  1. Liam says:

    Well, if using hymnody, the Second Sunday of Easter merits being treated as if it were Easter Day in terms of “this day” type of texts and oodles of alleluias; the two hymn texts you cite, while certainly in sympathy with the Gospel pericopes of the day, lack the *irrepressible* energy that should be present (which one can even see in the relatively short propers – Gradual and Missal versions both – just by tacking on that irrepressible alleluia – doing that to such a short text amplifies it greatly). Generally, the first three weeks are oriented toward the Resurrection event, then there is a pivot around Good Shepherd Sunday in the middle, and we start to look forward towards Ascension and Pentecost.

  2. Have faith, old friend, there’s always hope! And besides your beloved and the young miss, you’ll always have the filial love of Liam ‘n’ moi!
    I was going to cite you in Paul’s thread at PTB, but I ran outta allowable figures! And Gerard Flynn rejoiced!

  3. Ken Macek says:

    Sorry to jump in self-referentially with my Easter Introits collection, but we pull out the Easter Sunday piece “I Have Risen” as a go-to Communion processional (or extender) throughout the season (seems appropriate to repeat the mantra-like “I have risen, and I am always with you, Alleluia!” as often as possible until Pentecost). Our introduction to the collection encourages occasional liturgical use of the selections outside of their intended Introit/Entrance use as a means of getting the texts into minds and hearts, and, pretty-much-needless-to-say, that is the only thing that the erstwhile ‘one brick at a time’ commentators chose to focus on, as “evidence” that GIA apparently is ignorant of the fact that Propers exist for Offertory + Communion. Typical…

  4. Ken Macek says:

    I’m with you all the way on wishing that DH had written more Easter appropriate verse texts for “Without Seeing You”. I’ll bet that if he wrote that tune today, we would see verse text alluding to Thomas, to Emmaus… we sang it Sunday and tried to stay with fairly generic verses, avoiding the heavily-Lenten verse 1 (tears and ashes) at all costs!

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