What do you use for the Easter Sequence?
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 273
    Since COVID lockdown in 2020, I’ve taken it upon myself to look at various Catholic Mass livestreams from across the U.S. to see what other parishes do. One of the things that always irks me across the board is how many parishes omit the Easter Sequence. I guess it’s an easy thing to overlook if those in charge don’t pay close enough attention, or *sigh* some omit it to save time.

    What’s done at your parish? My home parish always uses the metrical version, “Christ, the Lord, is Risen Today”, set to VICTIMAE PASCHALI. It’s the only thing the PIPs will sing with gusto. The Cathedral parish in my diocese uses a paraphrase by Ann Celeen Dohms (https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/hosanna-for-palm-sunday-sequence-print-005718) where the cantor sings and the PIPs respond with “Alleluia” throughout the text. It’s also nice; however, the paraphrase is lacking in some areas.
  • DCM
    Posts: 70
    The parish I grew up in used the first one you mentioned, and the version that went "Christians to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises"
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,039
    I chant the attached in English, which I like because it uses the Gregorian melody. Don't use it for the Latin; there is a misspelling at the end of the first staff. I don't remember where I found it.

    The sequence is not intended to be sung by the assembly. The sequence is an odd thing to expect the assembly to join in singing because people aren't expecting to have to sing at that moment, and since it occurs only once a year it has to be something the assembly can catch on to immediately, which means it has to be simple or even simplistic, which usually distorts the text of the sequence.

    Not every piece of music sung at Mass needs to be sung nor singable by the assembly. The drive to promote manic assembly participation in singing (and publishers' drive to sell new music) has resulted in the loss and neglect of beautiful, more proper liturgical and sacred music at Mass.
  • Ever since I created that PDF years ago I do not think anyone has ever noticed the typo before; here is the corrected version. Also lowered a step to better flow tonically into the Mode II Alleluia since that is what I use for the Acclamation which follows.
    I have used it as a refrain setting previously but I've found its much easier to just have the cantor sing it straight through while the congregation stares in wonder at the incense and procession of the Book of the Gospels.
  • Mark,

    I don't think you're correct that the Sequence isn't supposed to be sung by the assembled lay faithful.


    In the Ordo of Paul VI, the congregation is supposed to do everything, and without the congregation doing is not anything done which is done, except for the Consecration -- and the German bishops are working on that.

    In the older Ordo (no matter the vintage) the assembled lay faithful aren't regulated by rubric, but by custom, and in many places singing was part of the custom. Furthermore, the melodies are simple enough that attentive people can learn them. (As evidence, my boys, when they were younger, would simply break into song -- and sing the Dies Irae, which is a Sequence -- in whole or in part.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    A bit like asking who's in Grant's tomb, though I was really, really hoping someone would say Laudes Salvatori ;-)
    It's no odder for the congregation to sing a sequence than, say, a Sanctus. Our people have gotten pretty good at Victimae, perhaps because we always get in a second rehearsal on Quasimodo Sunday.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    We use one that is nearly exactly what Mark posted. I like the translation and the chant melody is lovely.
    Unfortunately, my boss does not permit us to sing the sequence at Easter or Corpus Christi. I will attempt to sneak it as a second communion hymn this Easter.
  • Polska,

    What does your boss require you to do, then, if not sing these Sequences?


  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,039
    GIRM 64 directs that the sequence is mandatory on Easter and Pentecost. It's not up to "the boss" whether it's permitted: it's mandated to be sung before the Alleluia by the authority of The Roman Missal.

    Unlike the Sanctus/Holy, a sequence is not part of the ordinary of the Mass.

    The people's parts in the Mass ordinary properly belong to the assembly; the propers of a particular Mass, not so much.

  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    We sing the chant Victimae Paschali Laudes at both English and Spanish Masses.
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    MarkB, I am fully aware of what the missal says. I happily chanted it for 10 years at my last parish.

    I have been at my current parish for 5 years. My boss does not let me do it.

    I pushed back my first two years here, and it only upset him. What am I to do about it?
    I am the sole provider for myself and three children. This particular liturgical offense is not worth losing my job over.

  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    Chris, he wants as little extra "stuff" as possible.
    He thinks people want in and out of church.
    Let's not talk about the outright elimination of most of the readings during the Easter Vigil. (Ironically he chants the long for of the Exultet.)
    He's been a priest for 25 years. I've finally accepted that no one is going to change his mind and I do my best for the people of God.
    My spiritual director has advised that I listen to my boss. It's not worth losing my job.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    The people's parts in the Mass ordinary properly belong to the assembly

    Pace MarkB, but allowing the people join a plainchant Victimae from their hymnals seems an awful lot less regrettable than loosing all polyphonic ordinaries.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,707
    I always sang what was in the book
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    In years past we have just done the actual Victimæ Paschali without any frills, however this year we are going to spice it up quite a bit with an arrangement of my own, in the style of Chanoine Jehan Revert (former cappelmeister at Notre Dame Cathedral), with a few organ interludes and a few spots sung SATB, however we are going to sing straight chant rhythms rather than turn it into a metrical hymn as he did. Will still be good fun, however.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,731
    though I was really, really hoping someone would say Laudes Salvatori ;-)

    For those in France perhaps Zyma Vetus...
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Some years we do Latin, some English (it depends on what way the gnu-church liturgical winds seem to be blowing). If English, we use #183 in "The Hymnal 1982", which is what we're doing this year.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 264
    When we are elected Pope, we will place the sequence back to its original place, following the alleluia, hence "Sequence."
  • I'm going to go out on a limb here, acknowledging that I'm at an ICKSP apostolate, so not perhaps typical of the rest of the country: when the question "what do you use for the Easter Sequence?" has an answer other than "The Easter Sequence".... there seems to be something amiss.

    When I was younger (and more stupid than I am now, and also more naive) the idea of a new-composed melody for the Exsultet was intriguing, but I finally decided to go with the approved English translation and the official melody. I only sang the text when requested by a pastor who acknowledged that he didn't have the voice to do it properly and when, in a different parish, the alternative was a gentleman who had no discernible faith.

    Now, this evening, a semichorus of my choir will sing Feroci's Dextera Domini, in place of the chant, so I'm clearly not of the opinion "Chant and only chant" at Mass, but I rejected the idea of replacing the Sicut Cervus text for Saturday, electing to have a (different) semichorus sing Rick Wheeler's edition of anonymous' Sicut Cervus supplementarily. Why do we need to find alternatives to the Sequence, since it comes but once a year?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,731
    Well the Dextera Domini is sung at least twice a year, it is also used for the third and seq Sundays after Epiphany. So why not replace it with the Palestrina setting at least for one Feast.
    The Sicut Cervus / Sitivit can also be sung at the Pentecost vigil, but the mode 8 melody is rather boring and is repeated in many other Tracts. So this is definitely worth replacing.
    The Easter Sequence is sung all week, so why not sing another arrangement? As long as you are singing it more than once.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Hopefully my answer above was sufficiently clear; like CGZ, I don’t believe in replacing the sequence with something else. My arrangement is just a dressing up of the actual sequence itself. Not something else entirely.
  • The Easter Sequence is sung all week,

    Not this year...but we may get to the point at which we can have High Mass every day of the Octave of Easter.

    We're singing Tenebrae (as a parish) this Triduum recto tono except for the Lections (which the priest and seminarian split. In some year in the not too distant future, I hope to be able to have the full chant (or even some polyphony) at the Triduum, but one must build a solid foundation and build upon it.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 757
    See pps 3-4 of the attached, which gives the Ordinariates' text from Divine Worship, set to the traditional plainsong melody. I sang it in England, but I don't doubt members of the Ordinariate of St. Peter did so in North America. I hope Chaswjd will be pleased to see it follows the Alleluia.
  • Our pastor took the time during one of his morning homilies this past week to teach us about Victimae Paschali laudes, breaking down the text. People were noticeably more confident in singing it the next day.
  • What gradual is this from, IanW?
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 757
    It's my own private edition, Liam, though I've begun to leak it to the Internet as an alpha! I'm building it up as I go through the year. Texts are from Divine Worship: The Missal. Minor propers and sequences are adaptations of traditional chants by Palmer & Burgess, via Gregobase (originally transcribed by the estimable Andrew Hinkley), with my adaptations to the text of DW where it varies; plus simpler versions of the propers, largely based on solemn psalm tones. The Sequence is also to be found in modern notation in the St. Peter Gradual.