“To nothing more than the Liturgy may the word of Jesus be applied which He cried out to the woman of Samaria: “If thou didst know the gift of God!”
—Dietrich von Hildebrand
HE IS RISEN, ALLELUIA!
We hope you all had a profound Holy Week and joyous Easter—we certainly did. Passiontide is an intense time for church musicians, but even more so when you don’t cut corners on the liturgy. Thanks to Father Keith Kenney at St. Anne’s, we were given the rare opportunity to unpack all of Mother Church’s Triduum treasures unabbreviated.
From Palm Sunday to the Easter’s morning Mass, there is roughly 65 pages of pure Gregorian chant, including some of the most precious gems of the whole tradition. There is the ~12 minute tract Deus, Deus Meus, based on Psalm 22 (God, My God, why have you forsaken me?) sung after the first reading on Palm Sunday, as well as the heartrending Improperia, or Reproaches—a series of antiphons and responses expressing the remonstrance of Jesus Christ and his people, in which Jesus cries “My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!” (See chant notation below)—sung during the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday. And all this without even including the nearly 7 hours of Tenebrae chanted on the three nights prior to the Easter Vigil!
This trove of what can almost be likened to a musical performance of high drama finds much of its history dating back to the earliest days of the Church, revealing a profound empathy of the first Christian’s with Christ and His Passion.
"My people, what have I done to you? Or in what have I offended you? Answer me!
V. I lead you out from Egypt as Pharaoh lay sunk in the Red Sea, and you delivered me to the Chief Priests."
“The God-given path for growth in Christ”
Unfortunately, most of this truly spectacular tradition is nixed from parish Holy Weeks, divesting the faithful of a deeper contemplation of Christ’s death and resurrection, and an enriched appreciation for His Church. Whether due to the lack of knowledge, know how, desire, or simply because even the most sacred aspects of our religion tend to take a backseat to the workaday week, one thing is clear: Liturgy is largely quarantined to Sundays. Holy Week is just one example from an entire year rich with Christological meaning, brought to life through the Liturgy in myriad ways. The Church, in her wisdom, offers us this gift, a gift which Dietrich von Hildebrand calls the “God-given path for growth in Christ.” And this love of liturgy is at the heart of Floriani’s mission.
Singing one of the gorgeous Responsories during Tenebrae. After each Psalm, one of the candles is extinguished, until there is only one left, representing Christ.
By restoring the practice of the great liturgical traditions particularly contained in the music of the Church, we strive to bring people to a deeper faith in Jesus Christ—one where communities find Christ at their center through a communal dedication to the great work that is the Liturgy. It is an ambitious mission, but with your continued support, whether financial, spiritual, or both, we have faith that God will perfect our work, and open the necessary doors to achieve His will. We have much in store for the future, so stay tuned to see the continued impact of your patronage.
Demonstrating the psalmodic of the Jewish temple in our talk at St. Mary Magdalene in Gilbert.
Floriani in Montana
Last month Floriani travelled up to Big Sky Country to work with Stillwater Christian Academy’s impressive choral program. In the months leading up to our visit, the high school choir had been practicing a demanding piece of music composed by Giorgio, Ena na Nookhama (Aramaic for “I am the Resurrection”), which was premiered in concert following two days of workshops. Stillwater boasts an impressive 90% in student participation in the music program, and it was a great experience for us to work with motivated young musicians. We gave a performance to the entire student body as well, which was a special joy for us, because we love introducing the youth to the great variety of sacred choral music—and they tend to be the most vibrant audiences!
Questions? Feel free to email us anytime at email@example.com. We are so grateful for your support! Please keep us in your prayers! - Giorgio, Graham, Joe, and Thomas