The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John

Columba Kelly, OSB

The music is conveniently divided into scenes to assist the singers when practicing and proclaiming the Passion. Singing parts are for two narrators (medium voice), Christus (bass), and various individuals (tenor or soprano).
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John [CD]

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One of the world's most respected Gregorian chant experts, Benedictine Father Columba Kelly has set the current Lectionary text for St. John's Passion to the traditional, ancient tone for this proclamation. Perfected through years of use at St. Meinrad Archabbey, this solemn, accessible setting for Good Friday is now available for widespread use in parishes and other communities.

Combining ancient and modern styles, Father Kelly's setting stands out for its ingenious adaptation of the traditional chant to the inflections and rhythms of modern English. The music is conveniently divided into scenes to assist the singers when practicing and proclaiming the Passion. Singing parts are for two narrators (medium voice), Christus (bass), and various individuals (tenor or soprano).

Group parts, such as the crowd and the soldiers at the cross, may be sung in unison but have optional three-part choral settings, as featured on the CD. All parts are a cappella. An excellent rehearsal tool, the beautifully recorded CD makes inspiring devotional listening, especially during Lent.

"The words of the text should communicate the vitality and mystery of the Lord's Passion and Death," explains Benedictine Father Harry Hagan in the introduction. "An over-wrought presentation calls attention to itself instead of the text while a tepid approach belies the power of the words. The proclamation need only reveal the power of the words."

Simple, poignant and meticulously crafted, Father Kelly's setting does just that, showcasing the mystical power of St. John's Passion.