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Music Suggestions
The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night (B)

Liturgical Music

Official texts

Other liturgical music


  • A Living Hope (PMB #61)
  • At the Lamb's High Feast (WIII #459, ICEL #65, HH #102, CBW #563, AH #411, CH #268, CHB #73, SMH #224, EH #89, VII #353, LCH #66)
  • Come and Let Us Drink of That New River (WIII #723, HH #123, CH #351)
  • Come, O Christian People, Sing (HH #110)
  • Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain (AH #417, ICEL #72, WIII #456, CHB #77, CH #279, SMH #274/7, EH #94, VII #247)
  • Give Thanks to God for He Is Good (HPSC #162)
  • O Worship the King (AH #483, CH #571, HH #201, HPSC #268, PMB #138, CHB #255, SMH #472, EH #288, LCH #91)
  • Rejoice, Angelic Choirs (WIII #455, HH #104)
  • Send Forth from the Heav'ns (HPSC #292)
  • Sing of Christ, Proclaim His Glory (HPSC #302)
  • Sing with All the Saints in Glory (CD #824, LCH #67)
  • The Perfect Law of God (HPSC #327)
  • Thine Is the Glory (CD #829)
  • This Is the Day (PMB #65, HPSC #329, CBW #589, WIII #663)
  • This Is the Feast of Victory (WIII #458, CH #265, SMH #577)
  • This Is the Lord's Day from Hymns for the Liturgical Year (Kathleen Pluth)
  • Through the Red Sea Brought At Last (HH #107)
  • We Celebrate the Lamb's High Feast (HH #108)
AH = The Adoremus Hymnal, Ignatius Press
CBW = Catholic Book of Worship II / Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CD = Cantate Domino / Hymnal Supplement, GIA Publications, Inc.
CH = The Collegeville Hymnal, The Liturgical Press
CHB = The Catholic Hymn Book [London Oratory], Gracewing Publishers
EH = The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal), used by many Anglican Use Roman Catholic parishes
HH = Hymnal of the Hours, GIA Publications, Inc.
HPSC = Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Canticles, out of print but excellent
ICEL = ICEL Resource Collection, GIA Publications, Inc.
LCH = Lumen Christi Hymnal, Illuminare Publications
PMB = People's Mass Book, World Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal – 3rd Edition 2003, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
VII = Vatican II Hymnal, Corpus Christi Watershed
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.

Choral Music

  • Alleluia (J.S. Bach)
  • Alleluia (Sr. Edith Scholl)
  • Alleluia (Randall Thompson)
  • As Pants the Hart (Christopher Tye)
  • As the Hart Longeth (R. Evan Copley, Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Bless the Lord, O My Soul (M. Ippolitov-Ivanov)
  • Cantemus Domino (Gregorian chant) Canticle of Moses [Graduale simplex, p.143]
  • Christ, Our Passover (Healey Willan)
  • Christ the Lord Is Risen Again (John Rutter)
  • Christ the Lord Is Risen! Alleluia! (Roman)
  • Easter Psalm (Gary Penkala)
  • Exsultate justi in Domino (Ludovico da Viadana)
  • Finished the Strife of Battle Now (Steven Ottományi)
  • Good Christian Men, Rejoice and Sing (Donna Robertson)
  • Hallelujah from Messiah (G.F. Handel)
  • I Will Exalt Thee (Christopher Tye)
  • Let All the Nations Praise the Lord (Volkmar Leisring) [Carl Fischer]
  • Misericordia Domini (G.O. Pitoni)
  • O Lord, How Manifold Are Thy Works (J. Barnby)
  • O sacrum convivium (Eugene Englert)
  • O sacrum convivium (Michael Lawrence)
  • Regina coeli (Gregor Aichinger, arr. Andrea Angelini)
  • Regina cæli (W.A. Mozart)
  • Regina cæli (Adam Taylor)
  • Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous (George J. Elvey)
  • Saint Patrick's Breastplate (Charles Villiers Stanford) [Stainer & Bell / ECS Publ]
  • Sicut cervus desiderat (Gregorian chant) Proper Hymn for Blessing of Font [Liber usualis, p.753]
  • Sicut cervus desiderat (G.P. da Palestrina, arr. Andrea Angelini)
  • Sing unto the Lord (Christopher Tye)
  • Sing Ye to the Lord (Edward Bairstow)
  • Sitientes, venite ad aquas (Tomás Luis de Victoria) [Ricordi]
  • Surrexit a mortuis (Charles-Marie Widor)
  • Surrexit pastor bonus (Jehan l'Heritier)
  • Te Deum laudamus (Calvert Shenk)
  • Te Deum laudamus (F.J. Haydn, Jean Langlais, W.A. Mozart, Domenico Scarlatti)
  • The Master's Rejoicing (Jim Stanley)
  • The New Lambs of Christ (arr. Gary Penkala)
  • This Joyful Eastertide (Alan Smith)
  • Those That Do Place Their Confidence / Psalm 125 (John Alcock Jr.)
  • Two Easter Anthems (Colin Brumby)
  • We Will Rejoice (William Croft)

Organ Music

The organ should maintain the silence of Good Friday until the Gloria, when it accompanies the joyful singing. A brief appropriate fanfare might precede the singing of the Gloria, during which the church bells are rung.

  • Allegro from Symphony VI (Charles-Marie Widor)
  • Allegro-Finale from Symphony I (Louis Vierne)
  • Alleluya (William Faulkes) [A Victorian Organ Album - Oxford]
  • As Pants the Hart for Cooling Streams (Newman Powell) [Parish Organist XI - Concordia]
  • At the Lamb's High Feast (Paul Manz) from Improvisations for the Easter Season [Morning Star Music Publishers #10-402]
  • Carillon-sortie (Henri Mulet)
  • Chorale Fantasie on Lasst uns erfreuen (Flor Peeters) [Novello]
  • Chorale Prelude (Healey Willan)
  • Chorale Toccata on Lasst uns erfreuen; (R. Evan Copley) [H.W. Gray]
  • Christ ist erstanden (J.S. Bach) [Orgelbüchlein] [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I – Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands (Wilbur Held) from Six Preludes on Easter Hymns [Concordia #97-5330]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (J.S. Bach) [Orgelbüchlein] [Orgelwerke VI - Peters 245] [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I – Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (Georg Böhm) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co] [Organist's Companion, March 1992]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (Dieterich Buxtehude) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (G.F. Kauffmann) [Organist's Companion, February 1986]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (J.L. Krebs) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (Johann Pachelbel) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co] [Organist's Companion, March 1993]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (Samuel Scheidt) [Eighty Chorale Preludes - Peters 4448] [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I – Oliver Ditson Co] [Organist's Companion, March 2001]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (G.P. Telemann) [Seasonal Chorale Preludes for Manuals, Bk 2 - Oxford]
  • Christ lag in Todesbanden (F.W. Zachau) [Eighty Chorale Preludes - Peters 4448] [Seasonal Chorale Preludes for Manuals, Bk 2 – Oxford] [Organist's Companion, April 1987 & March 2000]
  • Concerto for Organ and Strings (Michael J. Starke)
  • Ershienen ist der herrliche Tag from Five Chorale Preludes (Colin Brumby)
  • Fanfare on The Strife Is O'er (Alec Wyton) [Preludes, Fanfares & a March for the Liturgical Year – Flammer]
  • Fantaise über Christ ist erstanden (H.R. Basler) [Die Orgel im Kirchenjahr - Cron Luzern EC 270]
  • Gloria in excelsis Deo (Max Reger)
  • Good Christian Men, Rejoice and Sing (Paul Manz) [Improvisations for the Easter Season, Set I – Morning Star Music Publ 10-402]
  • Grand chouer dialogue (Eugene Gigout)
  • Heut' triumphiret Gottes Sohn (J.S. Bach) from Orgelbüchlein
  • Incantation pour un jour saint (Jean Langlais) uses motives from the Litany of the Saints
  • Jesus Christ Is Risen Today (Paul Manz) from Improvisations for the Easter Season [Morning Star Music Publishers #10-402]
  • Litanies (Jehan Alain)
  • Look, Ye Saints, the Sight Is Glorious (Paul Manz) from Improvisations for the Easter Season [Morning Star Music Publishers #10-402]
  • New Hymn Accompaniments, Volume 1 (Donna Robertson)
  • Partita on Gelobt sei Gott (Theodore Ripper) [Organist's Companion, April 1987]
  • Prelude on O filii et filiæ (Healey Willan) from Ten Hymn Preludes, Set I [C.F. Peters Corp]
  • Prelude on Victimæ paschali laudes (John Reese)
  • The Strife Is O'er (G. Winston Cassler) [This Is the Victory - Augsburg 11-9497]
  • The Strife Is O'er (Wilbur Held) [Six Preludes on Easter Hymns - Concordia]
  • Toccata from Symphony V (Charles-Marie Widor)
  • Toccata jubilante (Dennis Janzer)
  • Toccata on Gelobet sei Gott (Alfred Fedak) [Organist's Companion, April 1986]
  • Toccata on Lasst uns erfreuen (R. Evan Copley)
  • Tuba Tune (Norman Cocker)
  • Victory (G. Winston Cassler) [Organist's Companion, April 1987]
  • Victory (Robin Dinda) [Organist's Companion, March 1991]
  • Ye Sons and Daughters of the King (Jan Bender) [Parish Organist, Book 8 – Concordia 97-1404]
  • Ye Sons and Daughters of the King (Camil van Hulse) [Seven Preludes on Hymns for Easter – Concordia 97-1390]

Liturgical Hints & Ideas

Innumerable creative possibilities exist for music during tonight's liturgy. Resist scheduling any prelude… the silence of Good Friday must be broken by the deacon's proclamation, "The light of Christ," or Lumen Christi and the glorious Exsultet. If your parish is lucky enough to use all seven Old Testament readings, treat the responses to them in varied ways. Options include a standard responsorial psalm format, a through-composed setting of the psalm for choir, a Gregorian chant version of the psalm, a solo, or silent meditation. None of these should be accompanied by organ. The organ, silent from the Gloria of Holy Thursday, is not played until tonight's Gloria… and by all means, play it then! An introductory fanfare and intricate accompaniment to a familiar congregational setting heighten the drama of this moment in the liturgy. Choose music for the baptismal acclamations carefully. It is perhaps better to use an antiphon from a familiar hymn or psalm for each of the times when music is called for in this rite, using the same music again during the Sprinkling Rite. This will help to delineate the Liturgy of Initiation within tonight's Mass. The choir should have some worthy music prepared (this is the major feast of the entire year) and the organist should be ready with free accompaniments to those wonderfully familiar Easter hymns… and, of course, the flashiest recessional or postlude imaginable.

CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town WV 25414-7388
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