Music from Eastertide to Ordinary Time

As we transition from Eastertide into Ordinary Time, I want to highlight some upcoming liturgies, and explain some of the music for the Sundays of Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi. There is a lot of information here, so take it in one liturgy at a time, and bookmark this page to come back each week. By spending 5-10 minutes once a week over the next few weeks, you can bring newfound knowledge to aid your worship at Mass.

Ascension of the Lord – Sunday May 12th (All Masses)

40 Days after the resurrection of Jesus[1] we celebrate his Ascension into heaven. “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise” (LLANFAIR) is the quintessential hymn of the day. These types of hymns are a perfect teaching tool for novice singers, like young children learning to sing, of which we have many in our “family of families” at Sts. Anne & Joachim. Here is how the hymn is constructed: The text is split up into four parts with a short “Alleluia” attached to each phrase. Of the four lines of music, three of them are the exact same thing (Phrases 1, 2, and 4):

(To hear this hymn, click on the music image)

The third line imitates the others– notice the similar rhythms and contour of the melody. Because of this structure, anyone new to singing out of a hymnal, or who hears this hymn for the first time, is able to catch on to the consistent pattern. My 3-year-old daughter already sings ‘Alleluia’ in hymns like this, because the repetition of the same word and melody even allows illiterate toddlers like her, the ability to participate in our singing. The excited yet bashful smile that paints her face when she joins the congregation in song is an incredible delight to me as a father.

-see our Breaking Bread Missal, #191 to preview this hymn.

Pentecost Extended Vigil – Saturday May 18th (5:00pm Mass)

There is an Extended Vigil for Pentecost that, in many ways, parallels the great Easter Vigil. The USCCB published a supplement to the Lectionary in 2017 to promote this ancient liturgy to be more widely celebrated. We are celebrating the Extended Pentecost Vigil on Saturday May 18th at the 5pm Mass. Though it is an ‘extended’ liturgy, the only noticeable difference is the use of 5 readings with a psalm and collect during the Liturgy of the Word. If you have been to the Easter Vigil before, the Liturgy of the Word will feel strikingly similar, but shorter. 

-see our Breaking Bread Missal, pages 159-165 to preview this liturgy.

Pentecost Sequence – Sunday May 19th (All Sunday Masses)

There are two days during the liturgical year where the Sequence Hymn is required to be sung: On Easter Sunday we sang the “Victimae Paschali Laudes”—”Christians to the Paschal Victim”. On Pentecost we sing “Veni Sancte Spiritus”—”Come O Holy Spirit”. The Sequence Hymn has a rich history in the Catholic Church as a tastefully artistic presentation of the realities of the feast they represent. The Pentecost sequence tells us of the power and comfort of the Holy Spirit, imploring the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives anew.

-see our Breaking Bread Missal, pages 167-168 to preview this hymn.

Mass of St Phillip Neri – Trinity Sunday May 26th (All Masses)

Pentecost marks end of the Easter season, and now we enter Ordinary Time with the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. We mark our change in liturgical season with a change to our Mass Ordinary.[2] We are returning to the Mass of St. Phillip Neri by Paul Jernberg for Ordinary Time. We used this Mass setting during Ordinary Time last year, so it should be familiar to many ears. With this move, our parish now has an established rotation of Mass Ordinaries:

-Advent-Christmas/Winter Ordinary Time: Heritage Mass – Owen Alstott
-Lent: Belmont Mass – Christopher Walker
-Easter: Mass of St. Frances Cabrini – Kevin Keil
-Summer-Fall Ordinary Time: Mass of St. Phillip Neri – Paul Jernberg

Singing a different Mass Ordinary in each season goes back as long as the Church has maintained records of chanted manuscripts with collections such as the Liber Usualis giving specific times of the year in which to sing 18 different Mass Ordinaries.[3] Each musical setting has a different ‘character’ that fits each season. For example, the Belmont Mass setting we use during Lent has a melancholy temperament compared to the stately tone of the Mass of St. Frances Cabrini for Eastertide.

-The cards with the “Mass of St Phillip Neri” will be prepared in your pews for convenience

Corpus Christi Sunday – Sequence & Procession

As you’re certainly aware by now, our parish (and all Catholics in the United States) have been engaged in the Eucharistic Revival over the past couple of years, which culminates with a gathering in Indianapolis from July 17-21. On Corpus Christi Sunday, we will hold a Eucharistic Procession here at Sts. Anne & Joachim after the 9:15am Mass. Our recently confirmed youth who received their First Holy Communion on May 11th will join with other parish groups to lead us as we process around the campus of our parish. It will be well worth your time as we give special veneration and witness to the Eucharist as a parish community.

There is a lot of information here! I again encourage you to take it in one liturgy at a time, and by spending just 5 minutes or so processing what is coming, your time at Mass will be fruitfully edified by the knowledge you bring with you. As always, if you ever have questions about ‘why we do (something at Mass),’ please don’t hesitate to ask! Our wonderful priests and staff are always happy to assist you in whatever way we can. 

[1] Plus a few more in most dioceses of the United States, including ours

[2] The Kyrie (Lord, Have Mercy), Gloria (Glory to God), Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), Mysterium Fidei (Mystery of Faith/Memorial Acclamation), Great Amen, and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).

[3] And we only use 5-6 a year (counting the daily Mass Ordinary settings)!