Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday at Ta' Pinu National Shrine

by Stanley J. Portelli

8Q9A35892The Choir’s next service was that of animating the liturgy on Good Friday. This unique celebration in the catholic liturgical calendar, started at 3.00 pm, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu.

The liturgy starts in silence, as the priest walks in procession to the altar for a moment of silent recollection. The choir sang the psalm ‘Missier nerħi ruħi f’idejk’ (P. Portelli) and 'Glorja u Tifħir lilek Kristu' (P. Portelli) prior to the reading of the Passio, both in SATB. Bernadine Attard led the congregation during the recital of the psalm. The reading of the Passio from the Gospel of Saint John was followed by a short homily.

The choir animated the moment of the exposition of the cross with the ‘Ecce Lignum Crucis’ chant, with Bernadine Attard singing the first line followed by the choir’s response to the intonation of the ‘Ecce Lignum’ by the Priest. Afterwards the Improperia were performed. These are a series of antiphons and responses, expressing the remonstrance of Jesus Christ with His people. The Schola Cantorum chanted the ‘Popule Meus’ (Palestrina), ‘Crux Fidelis’ (P. Portelli) and ‘Crucem Tuam’ (D. Bartolucci) during the Adoration of the Cross. ‘O Ras ta’ Kristu Imbierka’ (Corale, J. S. Bach) and the Gregorian ‘Stabat Mater’ were performed during the communion.

The celebration ended in silence. As is the custom, the organ and the bells remain silent during this day of mourning.

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