Easter choral piece recommendation?
  • AMAJ
    Posts: 15
    I am looking for something for my choir to sing after communion at Easter vigil and on Easter Sunday. Polyphony, homophony, any motet really.
    Specifically, I'd like to find something a cappella, Latin or English, public domain or for purchase, for SATB, SSATB, or SAATB and a major key is preferred.
    In the past several years we've done If ye love me (Tallis), Exsultate justi (Viadana), and Regina Caeli (Aichinger), and we need something new.

    All suggestions appreciated!
  • CGM
    Posts: 363
    This page lists numerous options.
  • Regina caeli following mass is commendable -
    The Marian antiphon within mass is inappropriate.

    Within the mass only the Deity is addressed licitly or petitioned directly.

    The saints are referred to or recalled within the canon and other places, but not addressed or petitioned directly.

    The sole exception to this throughout the year is the litany of the saints at the Easter Vigil.

    There be many who are, it would seem, unaware of this - or choose to ignore it.
    Thanked by 2bhcordova CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,696
    M. Jackson,

    May I ask where this is written?
    Thanked by 2CGM Spriggo
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 429
    I did not know this. Thanks for the info. Always learning something worth knowing on this forum.
  • Advent IV, and Masses of the Blessed Virgin, are obviously an exception: Gradual "Benedicta es tu", Alleluia and Offertory "Ave Maria", Offertory "Tota Pulchra es", etc..

    Also the Gradual ("Priusquam te formarem") and Alleluia ("Tu, puer") for the Nativity of St John.

    Also the Communio for the feast of St Joseph, "Noli timere".

  • Andrew -

    Ir occurred to me that someone would toss in the seeming (to some) expamples of some of the propers. It should be understood that the propers are not prayers, nor should they be understood correctly to be. In this context these, as are nearly all propers, are quotations from scripture whose purpose is to expound that day's theme, its theological import, and teaching. Quoting Ave Maria, the angelic greeting, in an offertory antiphon is relating a scriptural event. It is not understood correctly as a prayer addressed to our Lord's Mother, blessed be she.

    Kathy -

    I can't at this moment quote chapter and verse. It is, I think, rather common knowledge that the bishops have spoken on this matter, which came to a head in recent years with the increasingly common-but-improper invoking of the BVM in the Universal Prayers at mass and commending them to her. Difficult as it is for some to accept, there are rituals and activities that are specific to the Godhead, who is quite capable of acting on his own without the help of saints - and whom we may directly address (as we do supremely in his mass) without any mediaries to intervene. And, I hasten to add, lest there be any doubt, that my love and esteem for our Lord's Mother is great. We do, though, worship the Most Holy Trinity at mass, and him alone - not an effectual quadratum.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins CHGiffen
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 478
    As far as I recall, even where others than the Godhead are addressed, if they are asked for anything then it is that they pray to God for us. In England&Wales there is an indult allowing invoking the BVM at the end of the Universal Prayers, though I have read that the CDW has asked our bishops to discourage the practice. Even in the EF, the celebrant would ask me to pray for him, though it can be argued that the prayers at the foot of the altar are before Mass.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,517
    Don't forget the Easter Sunday listing at CPDL here, which includes various settings of the Communio "Pascha nostrum" ... those by Byrd, Isaac, and Vaet are particularly nice.
  • Jackson,

    You may well be right, but Pope Pius XII says (and I can't put my finger on it) that among the things which shouldn't be expected is uniform participation by everyone present. He even uses the example of some praying the rosary at Mass.

    Furthermore (and, again, I'm willing to learn a nuanced answer from you, because you often make careful points) if you're correct, why are there so many good setting of the text Ave Maria that are not merely settings of a proper text?
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,204
    We have sung Franck's "Dextera Domini" for Easter Vigil the last few years. It has been very successful and I have grown to love it.

    This year I would like to try Stanford's "Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem."

    My choir is much more found of, and better at homophony than polyphony and I like to keep them happy on Easter Vigil.
    Thanked by 1AMAJ
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,517
    The Everett Titcomb "Christ our Passover" is a marvelous piece, the English equivalent of "Pascha nostrum." It's not public domain but is available from SheetMusicPlus(*) and from J.W.Pepper. I've used it with great effectiveness in the past.

    (*) Currently listed as unavailable.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,298
    Within the mass only the Deity is addressed licitly or petitioned directly.

    This surely goes too far:
    "…therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
    all the Angels and Saints,
    and you, my brothers and sisters…"

    CPDL lists other Regina caeli settings with voicing annotations; after Tallis, Viadana and Aichinger, Morales, Lasso, Guerrero, Isaac and Lasso will not disappoint.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,204
    Mr. Giffen... I can't find a recording of the Titcomb. Do you know of one?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,787
    Inasmuch as the text of the Ave Maria (well, half of it) is a proper offertory chant in Advent, JMO's MJO's rule should not be taken as an absolute.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,517
    Canadash, I don't know of any available recording. But I'll attach a synthesized sound file of the work, via Finale. If you need a copy of the score PM me with your email.
    Thanked by 1AMAJ
  • Correction, good friend Chonak -

    It's not 'JMO's' [sic] rule.
    I didn't make this up out of whole cloth.
    The bishops have spoken
    (as if they should have needed to!).
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,787
    Chapter and verse, if you please.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 793
    I'm with Chonak here: could you cite your source? I think you might be mistaken, MJO.
  • Admittedly, I have no literary evidence to quote - though I don't doubt that it exists. I was told of this by a priest some years ago, and read somewhere of the bishops' concern over this matter. I've found several current bishops on the internet, from the US and Britain, who reinforce the views that I have reported on, and who stress the mind of the Church as exemplified in the forms for universal prayers in the Roman Missal.

    I'll not pursue this further, nor comment on it further
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,787
    Jackson, I believe the rule you cite is correct in regard to collects and other "presidential prayers" but not everything: in particular, not everything sung by the choir.

    Besides the Litany of the Saints, and besides the Advent "Ave Maria", there is also the sequence "Stabat Mater" containing several prayers addressed to the Mother of God. It would be interesting to find out whether any sequences no longer used in the Mass also contain invocations of saints; those could provide examples of precedents too.

    I really wish you'd stop making this claim about church teaching in such an apodictic manner while you are unable to present any evidence for it.

    Now, please, can we get back to Easter pieces for AMAJ?
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 67
    I have always thought that the Billings Easter Anthem creates a joyful noise.
    Thanked by 2madorganist AMAJ
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,417

    I've found several current bishops on the internet, from the US and Britain, who reinforce the views that I have reported on

    You've found the bishops on the internet, but you're unable to cite them or list them, and now you're done posting about it.

    Seems legit.
    Thanked by 2Annabel Xav
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,023
    Actually, the real Billings chestnut - perhaps the oldest native-penned hymn in continuous active use in the Anglo-American repertoire, dating from the time of the American Revolution - also works for Easter as a communion anthem: I Am The Rose of Sharon.



    Thanked by 2CHGiffen AMAJ
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,057
    Well, as far as liturgical prayer is concerned, MJO is correct: after flipping through random Masses in MR3, (Altar Missal) there are no liturgical prayers to any Saint, save for the Litany of Saints at Easter: All of the collects, orations, Eucharistic prayers, etc, are addressed either to God the Father or God the Son, there are no exceptions. However, the Mediaeval liturgy was full of exceptions: and these are the Sequences -- and probably the reason why many of them were suppressed after Trent was because they addressed directly a given Saint, and not God, and therefore did not fit the criterion for liturgical prayer.

    And, regarding the Sequence Stabat Mater, it was suppressed after Trent (it doesn't appear in the 1570 Missal), but was reinstated in the Masses of the Seven Dolours by Pope Benedict XIII in 1727 -- though it was removed from liturgical use, it was still used devotionally.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,696
    As far as the liturgy goes, we ask the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, brethren, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

    (as mentioned above)
    Thanked by 2Annabel Xav
  • I'm glad that Mr Hawkins has started a separate thread for this topic. It is needed.

    And, Salieri has done excellent home work. What he has discovered shouldn't be news to any Catholic, certainly not to any church musician. The question of who, what, when, and how we address and worship at or in the mass could not be made more clear than by becoming more familiar with the ritual text itself - which, I should think, would be pretty definitive. It would seem to me that what diverges from the content and import of the ritual text is self-evidently an objective imposition and a refutation of the text's integrity. The Church has not given us a text which, as Salieri notes, addresses any other than God. It remembers others, mentions them as in communion with us, but never utters the slightest invocation of any angels or saints - though it is plain that they are with us.

    Salieri is also right about the seeming exception offered by sequences. (Speak of grasping at straws!) It is the nature of sequences that they tell a story, sometimes with dialogue, outline theological truths, and in times past often went overboard, far overboard, in their enthusiasm for some of their subjects. it is not for nothing that most of these were suppressed at Trent, and they make poor examples for modern usage.

    Finally, to Matthew - for your information, one of the bishops I found on the internet who supported the views which I am merely passing on was Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton. He, too, takes the ritual text of the mass as a starting point, and particularly sees the exemplary universal prayers offered in the Roman Missal as being what the Church expects, and from which one should not depart.

    I suggest that we all move any further commentary on this subject to the new thread started by Mr Hawkins. The pique which some have displayed here in this matter is unbecoming of the genuine academic discourse which should mark this forum's proceedings.

    (And, as far as the penitential rite goes, yes, yes, we do ask each other and the saints to pray for us 'to the Lord our God'. This is a rather singular exception to the entirety of the ritual's language and thrust. One might suggest that it serves as the prayers at the foot of the altar in the old rite. Within the mass, language such as this is confined to the penitential rite. Properly understood, it is a cleansing which prepares us for the real work of speaking to and adoring the Godhead, and him alone as the ritual language and action unfolds.)
  • In addition to the CPDL selections, I’ll add a few non-PD ideas:

    Proulx “Christ the Lord is Risen Again” (brass/timpani obbligati)

    Raymond Weidner “Christ the Lord has triumphed over death”

    Cope “He is Risen” (from Oxford Easy Anthem Book … 2-part, but nice)

    Thatcher “Come, ye faithful”
    Thanked by 2canadash AMAJ
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 505
    I have just updated the Isaac "Pascha nostrum" (S/ATTB and SATB) files.

    I have added an alternate version onto the end of the SATB file, where the alto and tenor parts (actually written as equal voices, anyway) have been switched, here and there. This will hopefully make it more accessible for a regular choir (i.e. removing phrases with low F in alto, or high A in tenor).
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 169
    Haec Dies by Caspar Ett. Available on imslp
    Thanked by 1AMAJ
  • For those with a nice organ, a brass consort, SATB choir, divisi sopranos, and a baritone soloist, there isn't a more splendidly festive (of 'recent' vintage) Easter offertory anthem than Willan's 'O sing unto the Lord a New Song'. This multi-sectioned, eight-or-so minute work ends with a gorgeous fugal four pages of 'alleluyas'.


    I just located a recording by the Notre Dame Lit Choir on youtube - sans the optional brass.
    Thanked by 2canadash AMAJ
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,210
    making this claim about church teaching in such an apodictic manner while you are unable to present any evidence for it.

    FWIW, Milwaukee WAS one of the very persnickety musico/liturgico Dioceses in the US until 1970 or so. There was no official or unofficial ruling from the Diocese about using Marian motets (e.g., Regina Coelior Ave Maria) during the Mass as a voluntary. Those who did so usually used them at the Offertory.