Pascha Nostrum is a hymn sometimes used by Christians during Easter season. The title is Latin for "Our Passover ," and the text consists of the words of several verses of Scripture : 1 Corinthians —8, Romans —11, and 1 Corinthians — The Latin text is: Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus, alleluia: itaque epulemur in azymis sinceritatis et veritatis, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. In some churches it may be used in place of the Gloria in Excelsis during the Easter season, especially at the Easter Vigil. It has been put to many different musical settings. In some Anglican churches, the first verse of it is used as a Fraction Anthem.
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Through the penitential season of Lent, the Catholic church's liturgy precludes the saying of "Alleuia" Praise the Lord! The sections of the Mass Proper that would normally close with the phrase omit it, and the freestanding Alleluia chant normally sung during the Mass does not appear. At the jubilant arrival of Easter morning, however, the church celebrates the resurrection victory by reclaiming the "Alleluia" within the liturgy and re-inserting that chant into the Mass.
The Alleluia chant for the Easter Mass -- known as Alleluia Pascha nostrum for its added text -- thus becomes a climax of the entire season. Though its text is only six words, the chant culminates the liturgical expectation in a splendidly ornate melody, rife with long melismas of up to 50 notes on one syllable.
It adopts an aspirant seventh mode. In the earliest days of the Western church, the daily singing of "Alleluia" within the Mass became graced with longer and longer melodies on the last syllable: this was the jubilus, the melismatic and possibly at first improvised outpouring of the joyful spirit in song. Gradually, the liturgy for greater feasts added appropriate texts to these long melismas. In the case of this chant, after the conventional threefold singing of "Alleluia," the chant tropes in the text "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
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Alleluia: Pascha nostrum (Heinrich Isaac)
Alleluia. Pascha nostrum (Giovanni Bonaventura Matucci)
Pascha Nostrum, alleluia in mode 7 (Mass for Easter Sunday) (GR 197)