Friday, 12 March 2010

Something else practical

During the Hours of the Triduum, which is fast approaching, the ending of each Hour has a special structure.

This consists of the antiphon Christus factus est etc followed by a silent Pater noster. Then the Miserere is recited on a low note (unless one is fortunate to have the choir singing Allegri's setting etc.) After the psalm, without Oremus, the prayer Respice is then monotoned by the Celebrant. Its conclusion is added silently.

At Tenebrae the antiphon Christus factus est is sung. At the other Hours it is recited.

To save having to turn the pages of one's choir books to find these texts, printed after Lauds, download this 'Cheat Sheet' (it will make two copies) and keep it in the book being used. Make sure all those in choir have a copy. When the end of each Hour is reached there will be no need to fiddle with turning back pages and the Hour can be finished without any irritating hiatus. After Respice simply move the cheat sheet to the end of the next Hour.

The Little Hours in the Triduum require very little in terms of effort, resources and time. Each of the Hours takes barely five minutes to recite. Whilst ideal if there are several people each side of choir to alternate their chanting as a minimum the Hours can be done with two people.

Having the Hours makes so much difference and adds to the completeness of the Triduum with minimal input. Why not decide now to start twenty minutes earlier each morning of the Triduum and have Prime, Terce, Sext and None - it really is well worth it! Likewise Compline. On Mandy [sic] Thursday and Good Friday Compline is so short and simple that it can be celebrated during the time it takes to light the altar candles and the candles on the Tenebrae hearse. An excellent 'warm up' for Mattins too...

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