Strangest Holy Week ever - comments?
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    For the first time in over what 30 years (!) I am doing NOTHING in church for Holy Week.
    It is very strange, anyone else want to comment?
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    Certainly very odd! I have much less time in that than you, but for the last 5 years this was always the high point of the year. I remember being exhausted day after day from the heat, the mental concentration, and the sheer hours standing. I loved the little details like waiting in the large sacristy with the altar boys while they rehearsed before Mass and various moms and other people helping with organizing things did their organizing, and we sat on some benches in the corner and ran through the chant... It was always very moving, too. I really love Lent, and Holy Week is something very beautiful and touching.

    This week I am at home, in relative silence. I am, however, really enjoying meditating on the prayers and readings in a way that I often didn't when I was busy singing. And, since I'm not exhausted, I'm reading a few Hours of the Office each day and having time for more personal prayer, too, and I really appreciate that.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I noted elsewhere that the last two Sundays are the first I have missed playing/directing since 2007. I know the Easter Vigil is exhausting and I say every year I don't think I will do it again. But I actually am missing the lead up to it this year.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    For the Triduum, my parish is planning on have a church packed full of the angels and saints, but only three sinners. At least I get to be one of them!
  • Strange for me as well. Though not because I'm not playing, singing, and directing, because I am. But I'm also setting up and operating all the A/V, lighting, and IT gear for live streaming. And trying to make the music as glorious as possible under all of the restrictions and guidelines we have to follow. I only get one cantor, so I'm trying to work in some nice two part music along with the chant. We're live streaming all three days of Tenebrae, Solemn High Mass for Holy Thursday, the Good Friday afternoon liturgy, the Vigil Mass, and Easter Sunday Solemn High Mass (schedule and info at if anyone is interested). It's a new experience, and certainly interesting trying to juggle directing, singing, and "teching" at the same time. Every now and then I even get to pray! But I'm trying to remind myself what a privilege and grace it is to be able to be at Mass when so many cannot. Deo gratias!


  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 542
    Friday was Palm Sunday. Yesterday was Holy Thursday. Today was Good Friday. Saturday, exceedingly early in the morning before the doors are opened for private prayer, will be the Easter Vigil (so odd in the NO). Such is my life recording, as we lack the technology, staff, and internet bandwidth to stream decently.

    I do not know what day it is, and already feel greatly disturbed psychologically by celebrating all of Holy Week, but on the wrong days, having sung the Passion tonight, but now waiting four days to sing Alleluia.
  • vansensei
    Posts: 216
    La semaine sante sans la musique sent... étrange... la plus étrange qu'avons vécu...

    Doing nothing for Holy Week is... weird to say the least. I have a sliver of hope that St. Robert might livestream Masses and invite the choir and schola, but I'm not hopeful.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,306
    That’s very strange, @Gamba. I’m surprised you’re being permitted to keep that liturgical schedule; we’ve been forbidden from doing that by our ordinary.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    A lot must depend on where one is. Oakland had their full-strength cathedral choir, while San Francisco is also lax about social distancing rules in effect but made do tonight with cantor & organ.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • All Holy Week services at Walsingham have been live-streamed, complete with choir and sung readings. It is indeed bizarre that we are all watching our services on a computer screen rather than being in our beloved churches where we belong, making sacred music for our God and our people. We may be upset that the Devil has had his evil virus in our midst and wreaking havoc throughout the Church and all of civilisation. But we, like Job, may continue in spite of all to give thanks and worship our Father just the same, though in constrained circumstances. Indeed, some seem to be discovering an almost monastic dimension to their prayer lives in their isolation. This is bringing good out of evil, is it not? God is with us all the same, and we love him ever more fiercely - and the Devil is vexed.

    Anyone interested can view Walsingham's live-streamed Maundy Thursday mass, complete with choir, sung readings and all. It is a rather modified solemn pontifical mass. Bishop Lopes broke his leg last month and cannot walk, so he was in choir and gave a beautiful homily. Just google (Oh! And offer a prayer for Bishop Lopes.)
    Thanked by 3tomjaw Carol CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    While Paris is in a Lockdown, that is far more strict than our fake lockdown in London, their Archbishop has more wisdom and presumably is happy with the following programme, at Saint-Eugène!

    They are still able to have Solemn High Mass, and for Holy Thursday they had Polyphony!

    I am happily reading The Liturgical Year, Gueranger to my children and we are singing and reading parts of the various Liturgies. It is so nice not to be rushing around providing music and servers for the various Liturgies. It is a good change to have the time to pray, rather than spend all my time providing the framework so that others may be able to pray in a more fitting manner the greatest week of the Church's year.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    I'm fortunate to be helping out in our place this week. That said, it's profoundly sad not having the People of God represented out in the pews. A great reminder to me, at least, that all of us in the Church Militant are really in this together (whether we can see each other or not). If you're interested in our livestream services, visit Orders of worship for each liturgy will be posted here:
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    It is indeed bizarre that we are all watching our services on a computer screen rather than being in our beloved churches where we belong
    The Ultimate (demonic) Simulacrum has descended upon us.

    However, I must add that what has been in force from on high for decades has been the mass of the simulacrum. Now we are getting to the last chapters of the book.
    Thanked by 1bhcordova
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 542

    It’s me (singing/organ prelude/postlude when appropriate), pastor (celebrant and homilist), and assistant (functioning as deacon, lector, concelebrant). We keep to ourselves, 6’ apart in the sanctuary, and the cameraman is out in the church.

    Except for what has been omitted by our ordinary/Rome due to the pandemic, things are pretty much intact this way. Fr. Weber propers, sung dialogs and Passion and GF intercessions, appropriate incensing, etc. We are completely freed from “local custom” and left with what can be done with the forces at hand, which is what is actually beautiful and required. Obviously the authentic chants would be nicer, but we don’t have the resources to add in captions or distribute worship aids.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen ghmus7
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I'm enjoying 'assisting' at the EF in Campos, which is unpretentious, in my time zone, and in a language I can understand (homilies, etc). I know some of the people there in person, too, which makes me feel at home, and I know their rhythm of speech and movement, so it's easy and non-distracting to follow. I'm really enjoying the much deeper attention to the prayers and readings I can give at home, in silence, than when singing in the loft or even kneeling in the pews. There are no distractions at this time of day at home. It's just a huge blessing to be able to pay that much attention.

    I 'stripped my altar' last night as they did (I have a table with candles and so on for an oratory). And I'm really enjoying the Office during the Triduum - the starkness of the psalms alone is lovely.

    I am quite aware of many people around me being quite miserable (neighbors, neighbors' kids, family members, more distant friends and acquaintances), so the darkness of this time is accentuated by their sorrows and fears, too. And very dark, drizzly weather adds to the atmosphere.

    God bless you all.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Catherine, feel free to post a link here for services in Campos.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    The youtube channel is called "Rádio Gregoriana" and should be at this link:

    Radio Gregoriana

    That's the livestreams (and miscellaneous parish stuff, too) from the Matriz (cathedral?) in Campos, Brazil seat of the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney...

    Nothing in English, but if you speak Italian or Spanish you might get the Portuguese.
  • As many liturgies, but also lower-key liturgies. More family time than ever before.

    On the whole, kind of grateful.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    I've discovered that I'm not a fan a live-streamed services, that is, not simply a regular liturgy (with the people---or even a Missa Privata) that happens to be broadcast, but a "TV Mass", particularly if the priest goes out of his way to talk to and 'involve' the TV audience with blah-blah.

    Lots of blah-blah on Palm Sunday (also, he rushed through the dialogues so that the readers and myself couldn't respond: The Lord be with you. And wi...Lift up your hearts. We li...Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It i...It is truly right and just, &c.). Slightly less blah-blah on Holy Thursday (also, after talking with him, the dialogues were said normally).

    Thankfully, because of the way the Good Friday liturgy is set up, there was no room for blah-blah. By far the most dignified so far.

    It's only myself, the reader(s) and the celebrant. No servers. Which made tonight (Good Friday) awkward--particularly when the crucifix broke.

    I have noticed, though, that of the OF Triduum services that I've seen, no one seems to be following the directives from Rome, i.e. keeping the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, etc.

    After setting up for the Vigil tonight, I discovered that we're going to have to re-use last years' paschal candle, because the person in the office who ordered the new one got the wrong size (much too big). Considering the bizarre way this Lent and Holy Week has gone so far, it only seems appropriate that anything that can go wrong will.
  • We had our first example of the schola being downstairs while the organist tried to accompany the Gloria (Mass IV) from the loft, yesterday.
  • Many thanks for those links, Tomjaw. I was able to view several requiems for Louis XVI. An angst experience for an ardent royalist who on days he is not an ardent Anglophile is an ardent Francophile. Alas! At least the English repented of their regicide. The French have stubbornly refused to do so. (The irony, though, is that a Fifth Republic president is really a constitutional monarch who wields more power than any French king ever dreamed of!)
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ghmus7
  • The Good Friday liturgy at Walsingham is now viewable via live-streaming at - completely sung with all the Good Friday chant from the Palmer-Buregess Gradual, Byrd Ave Verum, etc; unbleached candles and all.
    Thanked by 3tomjaw ghmus7 CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Jackson, will the Vigil be available "live"?
  • I'm not sure yet.
    But the morning mass will be.
    If the vigil is I'll be sure to let you all know.
    The service folder for the vigil is now on our website.

    I just read on the internet news that the pope's mass will be live-streamed tomorrow.
    Thanked by 2chonak CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    I see the Ordinariate's YouTube page is just short of 800 subscribers. If you get that up to 1000, you'll be able to start streaming video live on that site.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    The Vigil is live on the net;
  • Walisngham's Easter vigil can now be seen at
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen CharlesW
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 542
    If anyone is interested, I just posted a recording HERE of EF Matins & Lauds for Easter Sunday, as they are to be said by those who do not assist at the Easter Vigil.
  • I've been thinking as I watched all the Holy Week and Easter liturgies at Walsingham how fortunate we all are for, and what a debt of gratitude we owe to, all those who selflessly laid their lives on the line in spite of the Wuhan virus to perform, offer, and live-stream all the services for Holy Week and Easter for God our Father and for us.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW tomjaw
  • Tomorrow morning I begin a novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the reopening of our churches and the ending of this pestilence. (My parish in the Immaculate Heart of Mary).

    Our live-stream apparently malfunctioned this evening (which I discovered when I arrived home).
  • IdeK
    Posts: 87
    As someone spoke about Paris, the Archbishop was granted a special authorization to get in Notre-Dame de Paris with an auxiliary bishop, the rector of the cathedral and three artists, violonist Renaud Capuçon and two of the best French theater actors, for a veneration of the Crown of Spines.

    It was not properly speaking liturgical, but it was beautiful. The texts were taken from the finest French religious poetry (Francis Jammes, Paul Claudel, Marie Noël), and from Mother Teresa.

    It was broadcast live on KTO (Paris diocese TV) and is still available there :
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    Paroisse Saint-Eugène - Sainte-Cécile, Paris, has been fantastic, Henri et co. have really excelled.

    Easter Sunday,

    with the 12 Prophecies sung to 12 different tones, including the Tone discovered by Peter Holger Sandhof!

    Good Friday,

    Maunday Thursday,

    And Tenebrae and Little Offices all, here,

    They will start Vespers shortly...
    Thanked by 2chonak CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    We posted the veneration of the Crown of Thorns on Chant Cafe, and have been bringing other video events (live and recorded) to the attention of readers. Check out the site to see more.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    Vespers was very special it followed an ancient French use, with a procession to the Baptismal font, etc.
    Booklet here, with some chant not found in our usual books,
    @MJO I hope you like the apparel of the Cantors...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    It was a strange week but of one thing I am certain:

    Christos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese!

    Christ is risen. Indeed, He is risen!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,169
    Khristos Voskres'! Voistinu Voskres'!
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    Despite it being the strangest Holy Week ever, and not singing, and not having to even drive anywhere, I was still exhausted, grateful and relieved to reach Easter. We didn't get around to shopping for anything special for Easter lunch or dinner, but I did make some chocolate cookies to celebrate.
  • Resurrexit sicut dixit! Alleluia!

    Here's our Vigil Mass (EF):

    And Easter Morning Solemn High Mass (EF):

    We streamed all three days of Tenebrae, Holy Thursday evening Mass, and Good Friday afternoon liturgy as well.

    It was interesting being the live stream & a/v "tech" and director/organist/cantor for all of this. Such multitasking led to a mistake or two (like supplying the Gloria intonation before Father had even incensed the altar at the Vigil!), but I think we managed some beautiful liturgies in the face of new circumstances, especially since we were blessed to have three seminarians present (all of whom are brothers of our chaplain, Fr. Eichman).

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Surrexit Christus! Alleluia!
    Surrexit vere! Alleluia!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    The Norbertine canons of St Michael's Abbey in Orange County will be streaming their Vespers Easter Sunday and for the octave at 330 pm PT (630 pm ET). Here is a Facebook event for it:

    UPDATE: The first video was shaky, but it was good to hear the chanted office, including a Magnificat with falsobordone verses, which I've never heard before from a 4-part men's choir:
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,410
    We see live streaming of various qualities from professional multi-camera to mobile phone. One thing I have learnt is that if I want to be spiritually present, I need it live, from one static view and reasonable sound. Multiple viewpoints and zooming in for a closer view distance me from the action (break the illusion), thinking about the liturgical performance is a barrier to involvement. Whether I see from the front pew, from the choir loft, or have been strapped half way up a pillar is not so important.
    Thanked by 2CatherineS Elmar
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I also found it helpful not to look directly at the screen, but to have the screen off to the side a bit (at "10 o' clock"). The computer is not holy and it felt very weird kneeling facing the computer. I was much happier mostly listening and looking instead at my Missal or Crucifix, for instance, than staring at the screen. I think generally I'm really not at all happy with the livestream idea, and now that Holy Week is over I'll probably limit assisting to occasional feast days. It's nice to hear the homily and the music, yes, but it's also sort of deeply wrong in some way.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Elmar
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    The Norbertine Paschal Baptismal Vespers can be found here.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Oh, in Prague.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    Here’s the OF version they’re using, though the verses/readings are in Czech, I think.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,501
    My pastor asked me to provide music for our Triduum, so my children and I did. We had a cameraman, assistant, server, pastor and associate pastor. I was still nervous, though less so because the church was empty, which was eerie. No babies, no coughing, no nothing. Somehow my pastor got the church bells to ring during the Eucharistic Prayer. It brought me to tears because I knew that people were watching and could hear the bells in the neighbourhood. I knew they wanted to be where I was.

    Here are the links to our Masses. We only provided music for the Triduum and Easter Sunday. I felt incredibly blessed to be at Mass with my family for the Triduum.

  • Your family are impressive singers, Canadash!
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,068
    Here was Easter chez moi:
    I thought it went pretty well, and about as classy as we could manage with 4 people. Some kind of miking from the loft might have been nice. The Credo was not good (I need to stop to swallow, and the organ tends to go storming on), but Father was singing along, so it was inaudible anyway. I was just glad to be back at Mass, and singing.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 503
    Throughout Holy Week and Easter I was confined to livestreamed services, and our parish recordings on youtube afterwards. As I am only director of 'secondary' choirs elswhere, other musicians do the music - great opportunity to grow in humility...
    (I have twice been asked for funerals, though, with 4 singers; which, I have to admit, I really enjoyed; reinforced by the gratefulness of the families.)

    In "all" scheduled masses in "all" churches, only 'strictly necessary ministers' are allowed by the bishops; which means: the local clergy + one acolyte + one lector + one cantor + one organist. Double functions encouraged.

    Only our cathedral is more equal than others.
    They had changing quartets drawn from the cathedral choir in all Triduum services, with really great chant and polyphony. No idea whether they were allowed to rehearse ...
    Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • I didn't mind not having to direct. Even though I missed the full choir and the adrenaline high of conducting energetic hymns and choral selections, I still found the whole situation much less stressful. So it was myself and our Cathedral organist. Livestreamed 12 Masses and 3 recorded Masses during Holy Week and a couple of days before. Honestly, my one gripe was that I must have been frazzled by the start of the Easter Vigil (Mass #13) and I started singing the deacon's part in the Exsultet. Of course, our rector and deacons all had a laugh about it after, because THEY knew what had happened. Now that that's done, I'm looking forward to working with my choir again. Soon. Happy Easter to all!
    Thanked by 3tomjaw CharlesW Elmar