He is Risen! Alleluia!
This common saying is so important, where Jesus confirmed that He is the Son of God, and took on Death as a propitiation for our sins. Easter is such an explosive and happy time for the Church where we are reminded of who we are in the Beloved, and that our sins are washed away. And this brings with it some of the best music we have in the Catholic tradition. Down below I have shared video recordings of songs that we sang during the Triduum.
Mozart – Ave Verum Corpus
One of Mozart’s most we’ll known sacred pieces. This very short motet was written for the feast of Corpus Christi, 6 months before Mozart died in December of 1791. It is about the body of Christ, sacrificed for the world. It is sung in Latin, and the English translation is beautiful. As one of my professor’s said, “If this was the only piece Mozart wrote in his life, it would be immortalized for its beauty”
Taize – Laudate Omnes Gentes
The music of Taize is very important to me. When I was 16, and not Catholic, I was sitting on the steps of St. Mary’s in Milford, Mass. It was summer and they had the doors of the church open, and I heard Taize being sung in Latin. I had no idea such music existed! I was filled with the splendor of this great style of music, it was exhilarating! I knew at that moment that I needed to be part of something that produced that type of feeling, and so the beauty of the Catholic faith is what helped lead to my conversion. I’m reminded of that testimony when we do pieces like this. The Latin is very simple, “Sing Praises, all ye people, sing praises to the Lord!”. Taken from the Psalm, it is a text complete in it’s own right.
Timothy Shaw – Ah, Holy Jesus
Ah, Holy Jesus is a great text written in 1630 that provides a great meditation on the crucifixion, our guilt, it’s intention, and it’s promise. I encourage you to meditate on the words, and Timothy Shaw’s arrangement is a stunning reworking of the melody/harmony. I used this, even though it may sound archaic, because it has a depth that is not matched in current Christian music, and needs to be returned to.
Phil Keaggy – Maker of the Universe
This piece is one of my favorite songs of all time. In this song, Phil Keaggy talks about how all of creation, created by Jesus, was ultimately used against him in his crucifixion. The music and the lyrics fit together so well, and for a short piece, it really says a lot
Newsong – I’ll Rise
I’ll Rise is another great modern song. It talks about the purpose of Jesus’ coming, and ultimately our redemption and hope in Him