Out of Curiosity: Good Friday music in the EF
  • As I was reading/singing through the ample music provided for the veneration of the cross today, I was struck by how long it would take to sing it all. Do the EF rubrics require all (ie Crucem Tuam and the Reproaches and Crux Fideles) of the music to be sung, or is there to be music simply until veneration has ended? In today's climate this is especially relevant, as there may be nobody aside from the priest, servers, and musicians to reverence the cross. This has little impact on me personally as I work for an OF parish, but I am curious. I suppose it might help me decide whether to use Crucem Tuam instead of the Reproaches in my own parish.
  • Crucem Tuam is the melody for Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, I think, so there is value in seeing the connection between Good Friday and the re-presentation of that idea throughout the year, at least musically. On the other hand, if they're sung properly, the Reproaches are beautiful.

    As to the central tenet of you question, though, I shall have to look it up in more detail.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,666
    Does it not say somewhere that you only need to sing enough to cover the action.

    We always start with the Popule meus, with half the choir going to venerate, when they come back the other half go down. We then sing a number of the Ego... depending on numbers venerating. We usually omit the Crucem tuam, before singing a number of verses of the Crux fidelis always singing the last verse at the end as it must not be omitted.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    LU1962 (801 English) p737 The singing is continued for as long as the adoration continues. It always ends with the doxology Sempiterna... [last verse of Pange lingua]
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  • Incardination
    Posts: 818
    The rubrics do not require all of the music to be sung.

    There was a time where the faithful observed a similar but reduced form of veneration than the ministers / servers, which meant that the veneration took considerably longer than it does now, so in the past it might have conceivably taken all of the music to cover the action, particularly in large parish churches.

    The servers genuflect 3x in approaching the cross to venerate it.

    The faithful used to genuflect a single time before venerating... which meant that the cross was usually positioned in the middle of the Communion rail and the faithful would approach in twos, with a genuflection on the approach.

    Today, the faithful simply kneel at the Communion rail as they would for any standard Communion movement, and the cross to be presented in more of an assembly line fashion - drastically reducing the overall time needed for the veneration of the cross.

    Like Palm Sunday (which has many different antiphons and responsories available for the procession with palms), I typically choose different selections in different years although there is always some commonality (on both days). In one year, I may choose to focus more on the reproaches and less on the Crux, albeit with a different structure than what may be in the Liber (which is provided as a guideline, not a rule - one would not typically reach the Crux Fidelis if there wasn't some shortening); another year I may focus on some of the reproaches but more of the Crux; a third year, may choose a part of the reproaches, the chants between the reproaches and part of the Crux (always ending with the doxology in verse 10 as indicated). I would love to be able to do the polyphonic reproaches of Victoria at some point.

    The texts of all the music available for the adoration are a profound meditation in their own right, and it wouldn't seem fitting not to expose either the choir or the faithful to some aspect of the entirety of what is available over time, in my opinion.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    Incardination - I do not see the procedure you describe suggested by either the current OF Missal, nor the 1962 EF. Both suggest a procession of the faithful and a single genuflection for them (or a kiss according to local custom).
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 699
    Unfortunately, modern practice promoted in recent years requires exactly 12 seconds of music. That can only get shorter this year. This seems to me the natural outcome of the "music to cover the action" approach.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    2011
    18. For the Adoration of the Cross, first the Priest Celebrant alone approaches, with the chasuble and his shoes removed, if appropriate. Then the clergy, the lay ministers, and the faithful approach, moving as if in procession, and showing reverence to the Cross by a simple genuflection or by some other sign appropriate to the usage of the region, for example, by kissing the Cross.
    1962
    18. ..., ita ut fideles, ante Crucem quasi processionaliter transeuntes, primum viri, deinde mulieres, pedes Crucifixi devote deosculari possint, praemissa simplici genuflexione.
    In the very ordinary parishes I know, any diminution of this would cause a riot.
  • Incardination
    Posts: 818
    AFH
    I do not see the procedure you describe suggested by either the current OF Missal, nor the 1962 EF.


    There was a time where ...

    i.e. prior to 1962. :)

    The genuflection would precede the actual veneration itself - i.e. the kiss. There was, in fact, a time where even the faithful would remove their shoes (not just the ministers), and when there was a separation of the faithful (men, women) all of which contributed to the length of the adoration.

    For the ministers / servers, I think I may have conflated the old practice with the newer practice post-55.

    As primarily described for the ministers in the pre-55:
    When the Cross has been completely uncovered, all remain kneeling, while the priest carries the Cross down to the middle of the lowest step of the altar. During the Solemn Prayers, the acolytes lay on the floor, in the middle of the sanctuary, a violet carpet, and upon the lowest step itself, a violet cushion, symbol of the regality of Christ. This cushion is covered with a large white veil, which represents the Shroud of His burial. All rise, and the priest, deacon and subdeacon genuflect to the Cross once more. They then go to the seats, where they remove their shoes, as do all of the acolytes and the attending clergy; the adoration of the Cross is done barefoot, an ancient gesture of repentance. Meanwhile, the choir begins to sing the Improperia, or Reproaches of Christ to His people, one of the most beautiful texts in the Missal.

    All those who are in the sanctuary go in procession to the Cross, first the priest, then the deacon and subdeacon together, then the acolytes and attending clergy in pairs. As each person comes towards the Cross, he stops before It three times, and makes the so-called “double genuflection”, that is, kneels and makes a profound bow. The third of these stations is made immediately before the Cross; each person kisses the feet of the Crucified Lord, then rises, genuflects again, and returns to his place. When all those in the sanctuary have thus adored the Cross, it is brought outside the sanctuary, together with the violet cushion and its white veil, for the adoration of the faithful. (It should be noted that in the Byzantine Rite, the double genuflections and adoration of the Cross are done in a very similar way during the ceremonies of Good Friday.)
    (excerpted from: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2009/04/compendium-of-1955-holy-week-revisions_03.html#.XnzEl4jYqUk)

    Over the years, I've been involved either with the serving or the singing of both the pre-55 and post 55 Holy Week - there are a lot of variations between the two. There was a time where I was quite disappointed that the pre-55 was no longer in use... did the post-55 for 12 years or so, and was then in a situation where the parish used pre-55 for several years. (Now I'm in a parish that does post, currently.)

    It isn't a simple comparison to say one is better than the other. There are definitely things that I value from both, and a greater commonality than some would accept.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    Some confusuion here I have caused -
    Today, the faithful simply kneel at the Communion rail as they would for any standard Communion movement, and the cross to be presented in more of an assembly line fashion - drastically reducing the overall time needed for the veneration of the cross.
    what I was trying to say is that procedure does not appear in the books, either EF or OF. However it is better than the alternative, which does appear in both books, of elevating the cross and inviting the faithful to a brief period of adoration while remaining in the pews.
  • Incardination
    Posts: 818
    Ah!! I've been in a number of different (EF) parishes (several different groups) over the past 40+ years... I can't remember a single one that didn't have individual adoration, most commonly from the Communion rail as described above. I wasn't aware that there might be EF groups that don't provide for that... maybe diocesan where they have it on a more limited basis (the diocesan groups I've been with are mostly daily EF).

    Interesting!
  • GerardH
    Posts: 127
    It seems pertinent to also note that once upon a time, the Popule meus and Trisagion didn't accompany the action, it was the action. See, for example, the use of Sarum (p. 258(696)).

    Two priests stand with the cross and sing the words of Christ, Popule meus, two deacons in black copes sing Agyos o Theos and the choir responds Sanctus Deus etc. It us not until after the threefold dialogue that the invitation to venerate, Ecce lignum is sung, and the other chants follow to accompany the action.

    To my mind this makes far more sense, and makes the drama of the liturgy and the events represented therein so much more apparent than in either the OF or the Tridentine.
  • Reading about Sarum always makes me realize how much I pine for medieval liturgy. I also wonder, though, with such elaborate ceremonial, how this was managed in your average parish.
    Thanked by 2GerardH CharlesW
  • Incardination
    Posts: 818
    AFH, here is the Good Friday Adoration as described by Fortescue (first in the 1961 edition, then in the 1943 edition):

    1961
    ... the ministers and the clergy and servers, remove their shoes for the veneration of the cross. The celebrant, followed by the ministers, goes some distance away from the altar and advances toward the cross, making a simple genuflection, three times, at intervals. ... The deacon and subdeacon, one after the other, do the same. ... They are followed by the servers. [i.e. 3 genuflections at intervals.] ... the acolytes... carry it to the Communion rail, and... present it for the veneration of the people. ... The people approach in single file, the men first, genuflect once only, and standing, kiss the feet of the Crucified.


    I must have been hearkening back to my days as MC when I spoke of 3 genuflections by the ministers / servers.

    1943
    ... the celebrant and ministers take off their maniples, then their shoes... the celebrant, with the MC at his left, goes first to worship the cross. He kneels [three times in succession with a short prayer, after the third time he stands and bends to kiss the feet of the Crucified]. The ministers now go to worship the cross in the same way... [the clergy follow in order of rank, shoeless, with genuflections on both knees - the servers do the same after the clergy] ... The people may come up and (shod) worship the cross in the same way after the servers. ... Another way, also allowed, is that a priest in surplice and black stole take the crucifix to the Communion rails and there let the people kiss it. They come up as to Communion.


    My experience (various groups, various parishes) has been most commonly the approach to the Communion rail, and 1-2 situations where it was by twos to the cross in the center with a single genuflection.

    I might check out what Matters Liturgical or O'Connell says regarding this.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,666
    @trentonjconn
    Reading about Sarum always makes me realize how much I pine for medieval liturgy. I also wonder, though, with such elaborate ceremonial, how this was managed in your average parish.

    Research has been made that has shown that even parish churches in small villages managed the ceremonial.
    Firstly they really did believe, Secondly the chantries, these were little chapels that were set up to say Mass for the deceased laid therein. These always included a fund that paid the stipend of the priest, and a certain number of clerks (Cantors / Lectors / Acolytes).
    After their Mass, they would then repair to the Parish church (sometimes next door) to assist the main Parish Mass.
    Also we did not have seminaries, so the training of priests was done at a parish level, so deacons, sub deacons, etc. were also more common.

    Also they did not have television / internet and all sort of other sundry things to waste their time on.
    Thanked by 2GerardH trentonjconn
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 333
    It is still the case in rural Brazil that the sense of time is very different, and there is no pressing need for church events to be limited in time. On feasts the accumulation of processions, liturgies, social time, raffles, snacks, meals in common, etc can fill most of the day and into the evening. I imagine in medieval times it was only more so. Besides attending to your shop or farm animals there's nothing pressing to do, and worship is considered very important.
  • If y'all haven't read "The Stripping of the Altars" by Eamon Duffy, I highly recommend it. It paints a positively vibrant picture of pre-reformation England. Of course, it ends rather heartbreakingly with the split from Rome and iconoclasm, but it's a fantastic read. It really makes me wish England had managed to stay Catholic. But I digress...
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,666
    @trentonjconn

    Plenty of places kept the Faith but where are they now? "My Kingdom is not of this world" I would love to be able to have a mediaeval set up...

    But then again they had plagues that actually killed lots of people. oh and if they had a bad summer they went very hungry over the winter!
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 752
    And no air conditioning!
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  • Incardination
    Posts: 818
    The 1956 Matters Liturgical has same general description as the 1961 Fortescue (which makes sense since they are both describing the post-55 Holy Week.

    Celebrant, ministers, clergy, servers, 3 (simple) genuflections, shoeless "where this is customary or convenient". For the laity, it describes from the center of the Communion rail, "... men first and then the women pass in single file before the Cross, making one simple genuflection before kissing the Cross. ..."

    Fortescue and Matters Liturgical are both sourced / documented from a wide variety of references including decisions from the SRC.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 333
    @bhcordova - no air conditioning, really intense heat, and plentiful mosquitos (as well as occasional wasps, bats, dogs, birds, cats, etc.). Having spent nearly 10 years in the tropics now, in a country where churches are not very likely to have air conditioning (it's very expensive), one does acclimate a bit, in the same way we got used to being sweaty all the time in August in Ohio, when I was a kid.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    Missals of 1920, 1862 & 1604 all say-
    Postmodum Ministri Altaris, deinde alii Clerici, et laici, bini et bini, ter genibus flexis, ut dictum est, Crucem adórant.
    Interim, dum fit adoratio Crucis, cantantur Improperia, et alia quæ sequuntur, vel omnia vel pars eorum, prout multitudo adorantium vel paucitas requirit:
    Of course Missal rubrics rarely even mention laity, and are not exhaustive. 1962 has a single genuflexion and requires men first and then women.
    In pre-Reformation England this Creeping to the Cross was one of the high points of the liturgical year.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,314
    We will be playing John Cage 4'33'' on Good Friday, Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. It will be the same in EF and OF.

    We may do it again the next week unless conditions change.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,939
    CharlesW

    In what key? F up major? or B afraid, minor?
    Thanked by 2CatherineS CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,314
    I thought I would play it with all augmented 4ths.
    Thanked by 2CatherineS Liam
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,245
    I would diminish a few 5ths before (and after) playing it.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Liam
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,245
    Shhhhhh!

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    You should hear the version for full orchestra!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Have you heard the fugue on a theme by John Cage?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,939
    That fugue's tempo is so fast that it exceeds the speed of sound.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 752
    @CatherineS - I was a junior in high school, in Deep East Texas, before we had A/C in our schools.
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,245
    If someone performs 4'33" and nobody hears it, did the performance actually occur?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    If someone performs 4'33" in a locked church and nobody hears it, ...