Maundy Thursday

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Today, Maundy Thursday, marks the beginning of the Triduum Sacrum, the three holy days of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, and thus the climax of Holy Week. Traditionally, in the Roman Catholic liturgy, the organ plays for the last time in the Gloria of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and then remains silent until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil. Nevertheless, a look into our database also suggests that the musical realization of the masses in Holy Week has been extremely variegated.

You can find musical sources for Maundy Thursday by using the Advanced Search of the RISM online catalog. Select the option “Liturgical festival”, and enter “Cena Domini, Feria V. in” (according to Liber usualis) into the respective search field.

The most common Maundy Thursday responsories include:
Amicus meus
Ecce vidimus eum
Eram quasi agnus innocens
In monte Oliveti
Judas mercator
Seniores populi
Tristis est anima mea
Una hora
Unus ex discipulis

The three Lamentations for Maundy Thursday are as follows:
Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae prophetae (320 sources, including Palestrina’s and Allegri’s settings 60 times)
Vau et egressus est (172 sources, including Palestrina’s setting 19 times)
Jod manum suam (174 sources, including Palestrina’s setting 14 times)

Image: Title page from Giuseppe Antonio Silvanis (1672-1728), Sacri responsorii per li tre giorni della Settimana Santa (copy from D-Dl Mus.2198.E.1)

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