Monday, March 19, 2018

Easter Triduum in London; Lassus Tenebrae

Cross posted from Rorate Caeli.

The Holy Fire is lit outside the church's back door, from which it is a short procession
through the streets of the City of London to the church's front door.

This Holy Week in London, a rare opportunity to experience one of the oldest services in the Catholic Church along with a feast of sacred music rarely sung in its proper context.

Beginning on ‘Spy Wednesday’ with the ancient office of Tenebrae, The Latin Mass Society will be celebrating Holy Week with a wealth of traditional Latin liturgy at St. Mary Moorfields in the heart of the City of London.This year’s Triduum celebration will be directed by professional musician and classical pianist, Matthew Schellhorn with his group ‘Cantus Magnus.’

Matthew Schellhorn, the LMS Director of Music for London, said:

“It is once again a great pleasure to be making the musical preparations for the Latin Mass Society’s flagship celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

“Music by Franco-Flemish renaissance Orlande de Lassus (1532–94) will enhance the Office of Tenebrae, which will be particularly special with not only the haunting four-part Responseries but also the great five-part Lamentations of Jeremiah. These glorious masterpieces, date from the 1580s.

“As in past years, I have included well known repertoire in order to draw upon the rich treasury of Sacred Music in the Church’s possession. Along with further works by Lassus, repertoire will come from the English Renaissance  – William Byrd (c.1539/40 or 1543 – 1623) – and the Italian Renaissance and Baroque – Felice Anerio (ca.1560–1614) and Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (1657–1743).

“I also like to introduce less familiar masterpieces, with a view to enriching the experience of those who attend year on year. In this way, the English Emancipation-period composer John Richardson (1816–79) will provide our Reproaches on Good Friday, and the French Romantic and Twentieth-Century organist-composers Jacques-Louis Battmann (1818–1886) and Théodore Dubois (1837–1924) will provide uplifting fare for the Easter Vigil. These works are rarely heard, and it has been rewarding to prepare special editions from the sources – a musical resurrection, if you will!”

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society says “ 'I am delighted that the Latin Mass Society continues to make a unique contribution to the liturgical life of the capital in putting on these services, with the solemnity and the excellent musical accompaniment which they deserve.'

The Holy Week services commence with Tenebrae at 21.00 on Wednesday 28th March and continue until the great celebration of the Easter Vigil at 18:00 on Saturday 31st March.

As well as the services at St Mary Moorfields, Traditional Triduum liturgies will be celebrated at churches throughout the country. Details of Holy Week Mass listings are:

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  1. I wonder whether this is pre-55? Otherwise it would not be technically true that it is "one of oldest services" of the Church.

  2. Why no solemnities for Easter Sunday in the capital?

    1. The churches are otherwise occupied. But there will be Sung Mass at St Bede’s Clapham Park.