Several of my piano students came in last week, saying, "Our teachers say that Easter is more important than Christmas." The way they peek up at me after making this statement, looks like they are waiting for me to refute it. However, they are right. For Christians, Easter IS more important than Christmas. Whether you practice your faith or not, Jesus Christ's sacrifice is at its very core.
Now, after five-and-a-half weeks of Lent, Holy Week is upon us. It all begins with Palm Sunday, when we reflect upon when Jesus came to Jerusalem for the Last Supper. Then the Pascal Triduum begins on Thursday night with the Last Supper and the washing of the feet. Good Friday Mass on Friday and then Easter Vigil on Saturday night (candles, bells and baptisms - it's a great service). Easter Sunday is the coda to it all, but really, for Catholics, Easter begins at the Vigil.
Here's a nice two-minute crash course on Holy Week. Special thanks to Father Wilbert Chin Jon of St. Bonaventure's parish for sending this link out:
It took quite a bit of digging to find a performance of this song. It's one that we are working on for Palm Sunday Mass. I must say, g minor is the perfect key for this. It's melancholy and pulls at the heart strings. From a conductor's standpoint, however, I can't say I'm too thrilled about those offbeat entrances. The modal nature of the piece throws off my ear too. Yes, I know what that means: more practice required.
Without further ado, Carmen Scialla's O Crucified Messiah:
In the end, we changed this hymn to "We Take Up the Cross", another beautiful but challenging hymn.