So it’s still Easter?

May 20th, 2019

Yes it is !!

We’ve had Holy Week and the Triduum with its magnificent ceremonies – we’ve had the Easter Octave, Divine Mercy Sunday – so what now?

Do we let our music lapse into a type of ‘ho hum’ zone?…

Well, let’s remember that Easter is an entire season of 50 days culminating with Pentecost – an entire season to enjoy and explore Easter music !! This period of Easter also includes Good Shepherd Sunday – and the chance to explore the numerous versions of this beloved psalm.

Finding ourselves in the month of May AND of course remembering it’s still Easter, let’s make sure we don’t forget the Regina Coeli and salute Our Lady with her very own Easter antiphon !!

And what about those specifically Easter hymns which have such a triumphant character and speak of those immense mysteries – especially during Eastertide it’s as though they remind us to bask in the glory of our Risen Saviour – and it’s almost as though their texts try to help us somehow comprehend as much as we can what we have just celebrated during the Triduum…those mysteries that started at the very first Easter…and never end.

Let’s take as an example the Easter hymn ‘At the Lamb’s High feast’ and ponder on juts a few of its lines: ‘where the paschal blood is poured, death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;’…’mighty Victim from on high, powers of hell beneath you lie’…’souls from sin and death set free glory in their liberty’…’victory’s banner now you wave conquering Satan and the grave’…

In fact, the very opening interval of this hymn is an ascending fourth which immediately sets a tone of victory, assurance… interestingly, Handel uses the ascending fourth as the opening interval of his aria ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’ from ‘Messiah’.

So let’s make sure we don’t turn our music into Ordinary Time just as yet – after our Lenten fasting, let’s enjoy these 50 days of Easter feasting on the kaleidoscope of musical riches of our Church’s heritage – and keep our churches resounding with Easter rejoicing !!