Required Resources: SATB choir, solo, organ
The Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water has become a standard part of Eastertide Sunday liturgies in many parishes — and with good reason.
The Roman Missal states, "From time to time on Sundays, and especially in Easter Time, instead of the customary Penitential Act, the blessing and sprinkling of water may take place as a reminder of Baptism."
The text of this piece is the first among the Antiphons suggested during the Sprinkling:
I saw water flowing from the Temple,
from its right-hand side, alleluia:
and all to whom this water came
were saved and shall say: Alleluia, alleluia.
Matthew Koraus, Director of Music Ministries for the Church of Saint Patrick in Huntington, NY, and Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, has set this antiphon for soloist, SATB choir and organ.
The piece is useful in any parish: the solo line can be sung by soprano, alto, tenor or bass [range: D - D], the choral lines are well within the ranges of most choirs, and the organ accompaniment is rich but not difficult, indeed playable on one manual and pedal.
While not based on the chant Vidi aquam, the melodies are indeed chant-like, flowing easily among various time signatures.
The soloist sings first, with the sopranos and altos responding with, "Alleluia."
The next phrase is heard from the soloist, followed by a tenor and bass "Alleluia" phrase.
The soloist then sings the last half of the antiphon; the full choir sings the final page of the work, a series of Alleluias, building to a strong climax before softening to a quiet ending.
Since the ranges and text of this piece are quite easy, it makes a wonderful opportunity for the choir to focus on changing meter — almost free-meter — and expressive dynamics.
Order #: 3052
- Liturgical Setting
- SATB Choir