Holy Week § Good Friday and Miserere


In prior years, the polyphonic choir at our beloved oratory would sing this.

Since we all know EVERYTHING in the Internet is true…I thought this was an interesting piece of information on the Miserere:

Miserere, by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), is a setting of Psalm 51 composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. It was the last of twelve misereres composed and chanted at the service since 1514 and the most popular: at some point, it became forbidden to transcribe the music and it was only allowed to be performed at those particular services, adding to the mystery surrounding it. Writing it down or performing it elsewhere was punishable by excommunication.

Oh how things have changed to say the least!

Place yourself with our sorrowful mother and listen.



  1. It is incredibly beautiful and moving to hear at St. Francis de Sales on Good Friday. The choir does an amazing job. Perhaps it will return again next year.

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