The three liturgies of the Paschal Triduum are full of beautiful, theologically rich chants most of which we only get to hear once a year in the context of the liturgy.

If you are like me, you never get to savor the depths of them while you are actually at Church. Even if I were not reminding that child to be quiet and this child to be still or wrestling with my toddler in back, the chants go by before I can plunge their depths.

Because of this I started listening to the chants for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday at home. Doing this helps me prepare my heart for the Triduum liturgies and give my children something to notice and enter into during the long days of the Triduum where the liturgical year slows down to the pace of the actual events of Christ’s life. They keep our home prayerful and peaceful during the busy Easter preparations.

So, without further ado, I present you chants and hymns from the Triduum:

Holy Thursday:

Lamentation by Thomas Tallis from the Lamentation of Jeremiah. The Lamentations are read in part during Holy Thursday and Good Friday Matins also known as the Tenebrae.

Ubi Caritas is the traditional antiphon chanted after the Washing of the Feet in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Pange Lingua by St. Thomas Aquinas. This chant is sung during the Transfer of the Most Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose at the conclusion of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Deus, Deus Meus, Respice (Psalm 22) is the traditional psalm 22 chanted at the Stripping of the Altar after Vespers on Holy Thursday.

Good Friday:

Ecce lignum Crucis (English: Behold the Wood of the Cross) is sung during the Showing of the Holy Cross.

Popule Meus (English: The Reproaches)  (is traditionally sung on Good Friday during the Adoration of the Cross.

This is a beautiful English arrangement of the setting of the Reproaches by Tomas Luis de Victoria.

Crux Fidelis (English: Faithful Cross) is traditionally sung at the end of the Adoration of the Cross.

Stabat Mater arranged by Pergolesi is a beautiful accompaniment to meditating on the Stations of the Cross.

Holy Saturday:

The Exultet (in English and in Latin) opens the Saturday night Easter Vigil.

Cantemus Dominus (Canticle of Moses) is the latin chant for after the Israelites cross the Red Sea in the reading from Exodus.

Litany of the Saints (Latin: Litaniae Sanctorum) is sung during the Baptismal Liturgy.

[See also: The Fascinating Story Behind the Rarest of Liturgical Devices: the Crotalus]

[See also: “Something Strange Is Happening”: The Greatest Holy Saturday Sermon Ever?]

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