I used to think they were boring when I was younger, but now I love the use of repetitive chants during this week. These songs are not intended to be a performance (although I found a lot of those on YouTube); instead, almost all liturgical music this week is used as a backdrop to help draw you into reflection and prayer about the Passion of the Lord. And in many churches, Holy Thursday service ends in silence, the altar is stripped down, and everyone just stays in prayer as the priest makes a silent exit.
The song "Were You There?" is common during Holy Week in pretty much every Catholic church I've set foot in, and I think it's so beautiful. I was trying to find the best representation of just a cantor singing this with minimal instruments, the way it happens in the church setting. I found this version featuring only a singer and a trumpet that I think creates a gorgeous environment for contemplation on the mysteries of the Triduum. The note under the video says that the singer and trumpeter didn't even rehearse this before using it in the Good Friday service, making it truly improvised.
Now I can't wait to share our "buried" word in song next week :-) Do you have a favorite Holy Week (not Easter) song?