This chant has been part of Easter services since, apparently, the 7th century.
Terra tremuit (Latin for “The Earth trembled”) is an antiphon included in the Byzantine Roman liturgy for Maundy Thursday (that is, Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday, or Thursday of Mysteries) and the Offertory for Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday, in fact, the final Alleluia is added to the antiphon. When sung on Maundy Thursday, it foretells what will happen on Good Friday and Easter, as explained in this post originally published by Tradition In Action.
The chant narrates the earthquake that occurred, according to the Gospels, in the moment Christ died, understanding it as a typological prefiguration of the Final Judgment. Here, we wanted to share the rendition of the Ensemble Organum, directed by Marcel Peres, as it appears in their album Chants de l’ Eglise de Rome des VIIes et VIIIes siecles – Periode Byzantine.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?