Holy Week

Entire service (from the Book of Occasional Services ) Booklet (Lamentation tone in first nocturn, 8.5x5.5")

The Passion according to John

Chanting the Passion

For as long as Christians have read the Gospel in worship, they have read the Passion Narratives from all four Gospels. As chant became used more, so too did a tradition of chanting the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, and it is this earliest tradition that Is represented here. Two other common styles you may find are responsorial Passions (also called Turba Passions) where the verses attributed to the crowd are set polyphonically for a choir, as well as through-composed Passions (such as Stainer’s The Crucifixion ) where all the text is set polyphonically.

The Passion Gospels are unique liturgically in that they are the only ones where a lay person is allowed to join in the reading, with the Dicastery for Divine Worship publishing a letter in 1988 that specified that lay readers can only be used for reading these Gospels only if there are not enough clergy to read or chant all the parts. In that case, they write, “the part of Christ should be reserved to the priest” – which runs counter to current pastoral guidance in some parts of the Anglican Communion.

Three people are needed to chant the Passion, and in Anglo-Catholic tradition, lay and clergy chanters may vest as liturgical deacons with the dalmatic for the sole purpose of chanting these Gospels – occasionally called “Deacons of the Passion.” They vest right before the chanting and remove the unique clerical garb right after.

In these settings, we hold to the requirement of three parts for three singers – Chronista, indicated by “C.”, is the narrator or Evangelist, and sits square in the middle of the voice until the switch to the “Weeping [ Planctus ] Tone” when Christ’s body is laid in the tomb; Synagogus, indicated by “S.”, represents the voice of the people, both crows and individual figures, most notably Pilate, Peter, and the High Priests, singing in a higher register; and Christus, indicated by the dagger, is Jesus Christ, singing in a register lower than that of Chronista. The latter two remain on the same tone throughout the whole Passion.

Entire Passion John 18:1-19:42 ( Planctus tone ending)
John 18:1-19:42 (standard tone ending)
Shorter Passion John 18:1-19:37
Shortest Passion John 19:1-37

Solemn Collects

About Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski's Collects

These Solemn Collects, part of a proposed alternate Good Friday liturgy, were written by the Rev. Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, an Episcopal priest who is the Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning and Kraft Family Professor of Theology at Boston College, in response to calls by General Convention to develop liturgical resources that addressed Christian anti-Semitism. It was developed for use in the Diocese of Texas, and has been approved for use in multiple Dioceses across the church. The full liturgy , having been proposed to General Convention by Richard Pryor, is currently under consideration by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

Dr. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski wrote the following about his changes to the Solemn Collects:

"This alternate rite introduces a new collect for the Jewish people. Historically, the Western pre-Reformation church prayed on Good Friday that Jews, who had been blamed for the death of Jesus, would convert from their blindness and hardness of heart. While such a prayer has never been in the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer, it is a legacy to which we are accountable, given that it at times inspired violence against Jews. In our own time, Christian churches have begun to repair their relationship with the Jewish people, including offering prayers on Good Friday that affirm God’s relationship with the Jewish people. Notably, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Church of England have such prayers. This solemn collect contains some of the themes found in these recent prayers. It grounds God’s redemptive work as beginning with the Jewish people from whom Jesus Christ was born. This collect states that God’s covenant with the Jewish people has never been broken and prays for their continued flourishing and safety as witnesses to God. This collect concludes with an acknowledgment of Christian harm done to the Jewish people and envisions a new life where Jews and Christians walk together in the life of God for the sake of the world.

"The Collect for those who suffer has been revised with 'person first language,' an approach that ensures that those who experience various conditions are not defined by those exclusively. Additionally, some new categories that have emerged within the collective consciousness of the church over the past several decades have been added. A specific petition for persecuted Christians has been added as a reminder that globally many still suffer for Christ’s sake.

"The final Solemn Collect retains the original petitions but its bidding and conclusion have been revised from the current rite. This collect does not frame the possibility of redemption solely within an acceptance of the Gospel, but as a question of how people respond to the work of the Triune God. The human failings named in this petition are measured in terms of loving responses to God in the world, whether within or outside the church. The final prayer especially names the importance for Christians to make amends for sins committed even as it hopes that all people may turn to God."

Book of Common Prayer 1979 Dan Joslyn-Sietmakoski
Collect 1 Collect 1
Collect 2 Collect 2
Collect 3 Collect 3
Collect 4 Collect 4
Collect 5 Collect 5
Collect 6

The Lighting of the Paschal Candle

Exsultet Exsultet

The Liturgy of the Word (NRSV)

Chanting the Prophecies

While the ancient practices of chanting the Gospels and the Epistles have been revived in many places, there is a lesser-known but equally ancient practice of chanting lessons from the Old Testament, particularly the lessons ("prophecies") at the Easter Vigil, which has not been as widely adopted in the Episcopal Church. Below are the lessons from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer's rite for the Easter Vigil set to the prophecy tone.

The prophecy tone is the same tone on which the lessons were historically chanted in the offices of Mattins and Vespers. This tone could now be used for the Old Testament lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer, as well as the Old Testament lessons at the Eucharist if desired.

Example: How to chant the Prophecy

Genesis 1:1-2:2

The Lessons (Prophecies) Lesson 1: The story of Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:2)
Lesson 2: The Flood (Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13)
Lesson 3: Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18)
Lesson 4: Israel's deliverance at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:10-15:1)
Lesson 5: God's Presence in a renewed Israel (Isaiah 4:2-6)
Lesson 6: Salvation offered freely to all (Isaiah 55:1-11)
Lesson 7: A new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
Lesson 8: The valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Lesson 9: The gathering of God's people (Zephaniah 3:12-20)