Sunday, January 7, 2018

Epiphany of the Lord

7 January 2018

Entrance Bethlehem! of noblest cities
Penitential Rite St Gabriel (mtgf)
Gloria Christmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 71 O Lord, all the earth (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts The three kings (Cornelius)
Eucharistic Acclamations Comfort & Joy (mtgf)
Lamb of God Christmas (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon We saw his star (mtgf)
Communion Jesus the Word has lived among us (French)
Final We three kings

Further reflection suggests that my 'ideal' celebration may be related to resources available. As a rule for Christmas and the Triduum there is a full range of voices available, whereas for the Epiphany while holidays and visits are still occurring it is less certain. So today we were just cantor and piano. I think there is also the feeling at Christmas that there is time to do all the carols and other music we hope t, whereas the Epiphany has one 'shot'.

Today we had the phenomenon, which have suspected for a number of weeks that our microphones are turned up quite high, this with the addition of a visiting priest who projected as though they were not there affected the delicate alchemy of congregational singing.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

31 December 2017

Entrance What child is this
Penitential Rite St Gabriel (mtgf)
Gloria Christmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 104 He, the Lord (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Carol of the Bethlehem Cave (arr. Walker)
Eucharistic Acclamations Comfort & Joy (mtgf)
Lamb of God Christmas (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon Our God has appeared (mtgf)
Communion Song of Simeon (mtgf)
Final Unto us is born a Son

The full set of Year B readings with the strong images of older people discovering new life.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Nativity of the Lord - Mass during the Day

25 December 2017

Entrance Once in royal David's city
Penitential Rite St Gabriel (mtgf)
Gloria Christmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 97 All the ends of the earth (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Peace child (Bernadette Farrell)
Eucharistic Acclamations Comfort & Joy (mtgf)
Lamb of God Christmas (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon All the ends of the earth (mtgf)
Communion Away in a manger
Final O little town

The comments about last night also apply here.

And to note one of the occasions where the last line of the first reading is the response of the psalm.

Nativity of the Lord - Mass during the Night

25 December 2017

Carol Once in royal David's city
Choir Long is our winter (German)
Carol While shepherds watched
Choir Sing we the Virgin (Anon/Niles)
Carol O little town of Bethlehem

Entrance O come all ye faithful
Penitential Rite St Gabriel (mtgf)
Gloria Christmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 95 Today a Saviour (Bernadette Farrell)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Profession of Faith Credo III (chant + Josquin)
Preparation of Gifts What shall we give (Catalan arr. Dean)
Eucharistic Acclamations Comfort & Joy (mtgf)
Lamb of God Christmas (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon The Word became flesh (mtgf)
Communion Night of Silence (Daniel Kantor)
Silent Night
Final Joy to the world

It had never struck me before that Baumstark's laws of historical liturgy play out in some ways at a micro level in musical choices. Firstly that at more solemn seasons the older elements have greater tenacity and secondly that change is organic (changes take place first along side then replace). At this Mass there are elements which have been the same for probably 20 years (the same would be true of the Triduum) but there are also developments - but in some ways nothing too radical. So the last carol has changed - it has usually been Hark the herald angels sing, though God rest you merry gentlemen has also been sung. Perhaps more radical is a change of Eucharistic Acclamations - but the intentions is that this not a one year change, it becomes part of the 'tradition'. Beforehand is a little more flexible and usually reflects something of the Advent Sundays but is also dependent on resources etc. This year I was very grateful to those, including visitors, who were inveigled to sing along. I have rehearsed before the advantages both to musicians and congregation of a certain familiarity - but one which always open to change

I am also aware of the possible antithesis which are those celebrations which do not seem to have settled into a familiar pattern. One example of this would be, for me, the Epiphany, where I never find the music chosen wholly right -it has not found its 'traditional' form yet. (It will be interesting seeing how the holydays move will further affect this.)

3rd Sunday of Advent

17 December 2017

Entrance Longing, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential Rite Kyrie Salve (mtgf)
Magnificat My soul rejoices (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Helmsley Alleluia (mtgf)
Preparation of Gifts Rorate caeli (chant)
Eucharistic Acclamations Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of God Advent (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon Say to the faint of heart (mtgf)
Communion Song of God among us (Huijbers)
Final Awake, awake fling off the night

It struck me that the juxtaposition of Isaiah and the Magnificat means that when Jesus repeats the Isaiah text in Luke 4 he has been brought up by his mother to know these things - he is, in some ways, carrying out his mother's business.

4th Sunday of Advent

24 December 2017

Entrance Longing, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential Rite Kyrie Salve (mtgf)
Psalm 88 I will sing for ever (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Helmsley Alleluia (mtgf)
Preparation of Gifts O child of promise (Andrew Maries)
Eucharistic Acclamations Comfort and Joy (mtgf)
Lamb of God Advent (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon Behold, a Virgin (mtgf)
Communion O holy Mary (Owen Alstott)
Final O come, O come Emmanuel

At the back of my mind for a number of years has been how can we further mark Christmas as a season musically, i.e. by having settings specific to it. We usually sing the Mass of Creation Eucharistic Acclamations from September until the beginning of January. As I have noted before this allows it to be 'embedded' as a common setting. However in the middle of December I saw how a carol we rarely sing God rest you merry gentlemen, but remains well known, could provide the basis for a set of Acclamations. I decide to introduce them on the 4th Sunday, given its proximity to Christmas this year, as they could be briefly introduced before Mass which I would be less inclined to do before Midnight - and it meant that those who came to both would have a head start. Though part of the reason for the setting is that people may feel they know them even if they have never sung them before. I do wonder about the tastefulness of such endeavours and I am sure that there are places where it would not work. However the setting is very much based on rather than the liturgical text adapted to the pre-exiting tune. The setting also received more than usual positive comments, it did enable participation and it puts a smile on people's faces

Carols by Candlelight

12 December 2017

Part 1 - Prepare a way for the Lord

EntranceYonder come day (Georgia Sea Islands Spiritual) 
Soon and very soon (Crouch) 
Opening Responses 
ReadingIsaiah 40:1–5 The prophet Isaiah tells the people of Israel to prepare a way for the Lord
Choir Zion hears the watchmen's voices (J S Bach)
HymnO come, O come Emmanuel

Part 2 - Behold the virgin will conceive

ReadingLuke 1: 26-38 St Luke tells of the Incarnation of Jesus
ChoirNo wind at the window (Irish/Bell)
CarolThe angel Gabriel

Part 2 - He shall speak peace

ReadingMicah 5:1-4 The prophet Micah looks forward to the coming reign of peace
ChoirDona nobis pacem (round)
CarolO little town of Bethlehem

Part 4 - Today is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord

ReadingLuke 2:1-14 St Luke tells of the birth of Jesus
ChoirGaudete (Piae Cantiones)
CarolSilent Night

Part 5 - The Word was made flesh and lived among us

Reading1 John 1:1–4 St John reflects on the Incarnation
ChoirVerbum caro (Rihards Dubra)
Reflection
Intercessions 
Lord's Prayer & Blessing 
CarolJoy to the world

Feedback from last year's Carol Service was that it could have been longer. So a fifth section was added to the service. Even my singers are aware, as readers of this blog must be, that I believe in recycling. So often pieces are chosen, particularly for the students which can be used used again. Not only does this make sense in terms of rehearsal but also means that thy can have a second go at it. So considering a new section the starting point was 'what have we got' - we had sung the traditional round of Dona nobis pacem on Remembrance Day and looking at the various Advent readings there was a connection between Bethlehem and peace in Micah. The one question was order. Instead of a scriptural order (OT before NT) I went for a musical order in that I think it would have been odd to have sung O little town before the Annunciation.