Book Review – Resurrexit

Resurrexit: Music for Lent and Eastertide

In the time since I was ordained some years ago, there has never been a Holy Week in which someone has not telephoned to enquire where one might find a copy of the Exsultet – the ancient Easter hymn of praise. Sometimes the request is more specific – where can one find a singable version of the Exsultet? One at least one occasion, I remember trying to teach someone to sing it down a telephone line on Holy Saturday itself. This was not helped by my having to admit that I had never learned more than the first couple of lines – the rest, I make up.

However, I now have a better answer to this question. Anyone looking for the Exsultet will find it in a new hymn-book supplement for Lent, the Easter Triduum and Eastertide – Resurrexit produced by the imaginative Decani Music. In addition to two versions of the Exsultet – both singable and even more singable, there is much more which might satisfy anyone planning the music for this time of year. Coming with a modern Roman Catholic heritage, this book has responsorial psalms galore as well as simple chants which any congregation could learn easily. There are a couple of good simple settings of the Reproaches for Good Friday. For the Easter Vigil, there are several “Sprinkling Songs”, to drench the congregation to, and also a special Easter version of Bernadette Farrell’s popular hymn “Christ be our Light”.

Most of the settings in this book are covered by the Calamus copyright license, which is administered by the publishers.

The collection has been gathered specifically so as to offer pieces which have not appeared already in existing hymnbooks. All in all, it would offer many church congregations something new and refreshing for the most important time of the year. Highly recommended.

Resurrexit – Music for Lent, the East Triduum and Eastertide is published by Decani Music – and costs £11.95.

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Book Review – Holy Ground

Holy Ground: Liturgies and Worship Resources for an Engaged SpiritualityThis is the kind of book that Wild Goose Publications do well. Here there are liturgical snippets for a wide range of occasions. Not everything in a book like this will be suitable for all churches at all times but that is not the point. All kinds of global concerns are represented here which are seldom covered by the liturgical work of churches and denominations. Globalization, food and water, HIV/AIDS, prisoners of conscience, aging, racism are all covered here. The pieces have all been contributed by members, associates and friends of the Iona Community. Its style is thus of a committed spirituality. Sometimes these words will jar in worship. They are meant to do so.

This is a book for all those involved in planning or thinking about liturgy who know that the world need not stay the same way that it is. It is for those who know in their souls that peacemakers are blessèd and that prejudices need to be challenged in the name of God. Often a phrase or a prayer or a part of a poem will spark other ideas for sermons or prayers. A book for those who dream of a better tomorrow.

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Published in inspires, the magazine of the Scottish Episcopal Church