London: LMS celebrates Holy Week with Renaissance music

  • Clare Bowskill

Source: LMS

The Latin Mass Society will be celebrating Holy Week with a wealth of traditional liturgy and sacred music at St Mary Moorfields in the heart of the City of London.

Beginning on 'Spy Wednesday' with Tenebrae, one of the oldest offices in the Catholic Church, this year's Triduum celebration will feature the rarely heard complete set of Responsories by Spanish Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo (1566 - 1613) These will be directed by the renowned classical pianist, Matthew Schellhorn.

The Responsories were composed just two years before Gesualdo's death in 1611. Written for six voices these extraordinary settings perfectly capture the intensity of the unfolding of the Holy Week narrative.

Other highlights performed by the professional group 'Cantus Magnus' include the Mass for Four Voices by Thomas Tallis on Maundy Thursday, Byrd's Passio secundum Joannem on Good Friday and the Messe à deux voix égales on Holy Saturday. There is also an incredible array of religious music spanning hundreds of years including composers such as Garcia, Isaac, Byrd, Palestrina, Anerio and Gounod.

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of The Latin Mass Society said: "We are proud to present a complete performance of Gesualdo's deeply moving Tenebrae settings, sung over three days in the liturgical context for which they were composed, as part of our annual presentation of the Easter Triduum services in the Extraordinary Form, in St Mary Moorfields."

The Holy Week services commence with Tenebrae at 9pm on Wednesday 12 April and continue until the great celebration of the Easter Vigil at 6pm on Saturday, 15 April.

As well as the services at St Mary Moorfields, Traditional Triduum liturgies will be celebrated at churches throughout the country. Details of Holy Week Mass listings are:

For more information on the professional voice ensemble

Details of the St Mary Moorfields Holy Week Services are below:


9pm Tenebrae

Tenebrae Responsories Gesualdo, Benedictus primi toni Palestrina, Christus factus est Anerio


6pm Solemn Mass

Mass for Four Voices Tallis, Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes Garcia, Hoc Corpus Isaac, Ego sum panis vivus Byrd

Pange lingua Palestrina, Kyrie IV

9pm Tenebrae

Tenebrae Responsories Gesualdo, Benedictus primi toni à 3 Asola, Christus factus est Anerio


6pm Solemn Liturgy

Passio secundum Joannem Byrd, Improperia Victoria, Caligaverunt oculi mei Zoilo

9pm Tenebrae

Tenebrae Responseries Gesualdo, Benedictus primi toni Anerio, Christus factus est Anerio


6pm Solemn Vigil

Messe à deux voix égales Gounod, Panis angelicus Franck, O salutaris hostia Gounod, Kyrie I

For more information about the Latin Mass Society see:

Tags: Holy Week, Latin Mass Society, Matthew Schellhorn

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