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How to chant the Exsultet: Resources for the Easter Vigil

By Fr. Sean McDermott

One of the most beautiful liturgies of the Church calendar, the Easter Vigil, is approaching quickly, so I wanted to share a wonderful tutorial by my organist, Wallace Hornady. The first recording teaches the cantor the six different patterns that are found in the Exsultet with lots of examples and practice. Then there are recordings of the Exsultet straight through, broken up into the three different sections in order to practice. These specific recordings follow the American Missal.

These recordings have been so helpful for me to learn how to chant, and now it is time to share! If you have been daunted by this chant, please give it a try and learn it through these great lessons. Enjoy.

Download PDF • 290KB

Here are the first few pages of the Exsultet with the six different variations identified to help study.

One note on the second part of the Exsultet. Because we intended for the congregation to join on the Sursurm Corda, we decided to use the same Sursum Corda we use on Sunday, which can be found on the page of the Common Preface. As a result, you will notice a slight difference from the Sursum Corda noted here in the Exultet.


Fr. Sean McDermott is Editor in Chief of Earth & Altar and Curate at All Saints Anglican in Charlottesville, VA.


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