Music for Good Friday

Stephanie Martin‘s “Drop, Slow Tears” for SATB (with some divisi near the end) is stunningly beautiful, and happens to be available as a free download from her website. I particularly like the way each four lines of text is handled differently, reflecting the text. There’s a recording of it on Soundcloud:

If you have a smaller choir, or two soloists, you could sing my English setting of Crux Fidelis for SA and organ. This can also be sung in unison, because the organ part effectively doubles the alto line.

Music for Maundy Thursday

Here are some pieces for Maundy Thursday.

Ramona Luengen’s Ubi Caritas for TTBB is beautifully haunting. It’s available to purchase from Cypress Choral Music, with a downloadable perusal score, and here’s a recording of Chor Leoni singing it.

If you don’t have enough lower voices to split into four parts like that, and you still want to sing Ubi Caritas, but you don’t want to do the plainchant, you could try a metrical paraphrase, set as a hymn. That’s exactly what my version on CPDL is, with words by Marnanel Thurman:

As friendship fills our meeting-place,
Jesus is here;
He dwells in every friend’s embrace,
Each smile sincere,
Rejoicing in the love we share.
Wherever love is, God is there.

As friendship fills our meeting-place
Jesus brings peace.
Divisions heal, and by his grace
Arguments cease.
Forgiven friends are one in prayer:
Wherever love is, God is there.

As friendship fills our meeting-place,
Jesus our friend
Will smile to see us face to face,
World without end,
And hold us in his loving care:
Wherever love is, God is there.

And finally, I’ve been sent a hymn for Maundy Thursday by the author of the blog Conjubilant With Song. The text is by Frances Ridley Havergal, though I’ve only been able to find it in the post on that blog; and it fits to the tune PENMAENMAWR by Sarah Geraldine Stock; there are scores of the tune, and information about Sarah Stock, at, which is probably the most comprehensive online hymnody resource I know. If I can verify the text, I’ll probably put a copy of this up on CPDL; in the meantime I look forward to digging into the rest of the Conjubilant With Song blog, particularly the Voices Found tag.

Music for Palm Sunday

I’m getting slightly behind on things again, oh dear! But I have some great recommendations for later in Holy Week, which I’ll post on Monday or Tuesday, and I’m (still) working my way through the data entry backlog, so there will be lots of new music going onto the site next week too.

In the meantime, finding music for Palm Sunday turned out to be more difficult than I expected, though in fairness most things that work for Passiontide would work for the Liturgy of the Passion, and the Liturgy of the Palms tends to have pretty stable choices from year to year, or at least it did when I was at St Andrew’s.

I did find A Song for Palm Sunday by Hazel Hudson, set for SAB or unison with piano or organ accompaniment (it looks to me like it would be slightly better on the piano). I couldn’t find a recording online, but you can download the score from the Small Choirs International website (you’ll have to scroll down or do a text search on the page to find it). If you do have a small church choir, particularly one without much going on in the lower voices, that site is invaluable, with a good selection of arrangements of well-known classics, and music written specifically for smaller choirs, all free for use in church services.