The Easter Season (and a challenge)

Extract for Curate's Corner 3
Extract from my painting of the Way of the Cross

I regret and apologies that this blog post is late.


The Easter Season runs from Easter Sunday until Pentecost.  However, Ascension Day and the days after it have a separate Seasonal Office.

Morning Prayer

Opening :-

Daily Prayer provides the Easter Anthem as the opening canticle throughout the season, and I have already blogged on this.

Canticle between the Readings :-

This is a selection of verses from the Song of Miriam in Ex 15. The version in the collection is in DCM,

1. I will sing to the LORD, for he ~ has triumphed gloriously:
The horse and rider he has thrown ~ into the surging sea.
2. The LORD is my salvation, he ~ is both my strength, my song:
3. This is my God, our fathers’ God, ~ to him plaudits belong.

This Canticle fits particularly well with the morning Old Testament readings this year since they follow the Exodus and wilderness narrative. This only happens in alternate years.  In other years, those readings come in the evening.

It goes really well to the tune Old 68th. It has a similar flavour to that wonderful Psalm. As that tune is already provided for Psalm 68, the collection provides an additional tune, Landas.  This is an anonymous Norwegian folk tune in triple time, with a rhythm which initially might demand a little care to catch. It is particularly important to appreciate that the ‘warrior’ in the first line of the middle stanza is two syllables ‘war- yar’, not three.  It would be worth trying it to both tunes and seeing which you prefer.

Daily Prayer suggests two alternatives. One is Solomon’s Seal, Song of Solomon 8:6-7 Canticle 23 in CWDP. That canticle is also recommended for weddings.  I will not be saying anything about it here since I am proposing to post a separate blog on this remarkable canticle and its setting in the collection sometime fairly soon. The other is Forget Former Things, Isaiah 43.15-6,18-21, CWDP Canticle 32. I have already posted twice on this interesting Canticle and tune, first on November 18th  2015, “Something for the Kingdom Season”, and then in “Oxford Part 2” on November 29th 2015.

The alternative to the Benedictus is Philippian Hymn, Phil 2: 5-11, CWDP Canticle 61. I wrote about that in “The Passion and Holy Week” on March 2nd this year.

Evening Prayer:-


Daily Prayer provides the well known hymn, Ye choirs of new Jerusalem. As far as I know, it is invariably sung to the tune St Fulbert. That tune is in this collection for  Psalm 96.

Canticle between the Readings:-

This is where we have a problem. Daily Prayer provides as its first recommendation, 1 Pet 3: 1-5, 18-19, 21, Canticle 65 in CWDP, under the title A Song of Faith. So far I have not produced a metrical version of it. I have my doubts as to how feasible it is to render those verses into metre.

Unfortunately, the second option is Eph 1: 3-10, Canticle No 60, called in CWDP A Song of God’s Grace. However inspiring these words may be theologically, I am fairly confident that it is not possible to render them into singable metre at all. I am not even convinced they are singable as chanted prose. The sentences, the way the thoughts are grouped and even the individual words are too long, multisyllabic  and complex to make anything of metrically. That is my opinion and my challenge. If you think you can do better, please share what you produce with the rest of us through this blog. If you do, though, it must be on the basis that you make what you write available on the same or no less generous terms of availability for public liturgical use as this collection.

The third option is Rev 21: 2-26; 22: 1, 2b, d, 3b-4, CWDP Canticle 74 under the title A Song of the Heavenly City. That also, I have not yet rendered into metre.  Of the three, it is probably the one that has the most potential of making the collection.

The alternative to the Magnificat is Great and Wonderful, Rev 15:3-4. I said at Epiphany that I was working on this, and alas am still doing so.

Night Prayer (Compline)

The psalm is Psalm 104: 1, 21-33. This is a wonderful psalm. The version in the collection is in 10, 10, 11, 11. It has its own tune, Old 104th which has also been used for the hymn Disposer supreme and judge of the earth. It also fits Hanover and Parry’s Laudate Dominum. Hanover will be familiar as the tune for O worship the king, all glorious above.  It was, though,  probably originally composed for Psalm 149, for which it is provided in this collection. Since at the moment, there are only two tunes in this metre in the collection, Laudate Dominum is not, as yet, in the tunebook.  However, as the tune in hymn books for O praise ye the Lord, praise him in the height, it should be readily available.


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