Sunday, September 27, 2009

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

27 September 2009

Entrance God whose almighty Word
Penitential Rite St Gabriels (mtgf)
Gloria St Gabriels (mtgf)
Psalm 18 The precepts of the Lord (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Beati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts The love of the Lord (Michael Joncas)
Eucharistic Acclamations Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of God Lamb of God 6 (mtgf)
Communion Let the word (Collegeville Composer's Group)
Final Forth in thy name

I have noticed before that the Sundays which occur at the beginning of the new Academic year for us are often full of 'hard sayings'. Not the easiest weeks to choose appropriate music for. I suspect that 'God who almighty word' may get quite a few outings over the year — it's the mixture of a strong melody and words with Trinitarian focus which are apposite to Sunday.

The starting point for choosing The Love of the Lord was the second reading but the idea of the refrain of having nothing more than Christ to offer was related to the Gospel.

Our adventure with Psallite continues. I suppose that I am looking for three things: a good melody for the refrain, the use of a text that illumines the moment of Communion, something of musical interest for the singers. Too often, even when looking beyond just the Song for the Table, there is little of musical interest and/or the refrain seems too short, or not particularly memorable. Is the desire for musical interest selfishness on the part of musicians? Not when I think the attractiveness of the piece is contributed to.

This week's Communion antiphon was a repeat from 22nd Sunday - chosen in the light of the comments above.

A different Lamb of God which begins in Fm with the last invocation in the major.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

20 September 2009

Entrance Brother, Sister, let me serve you (Gilliard)
Penitential Rite St Gabriels (mtgf)
Gloria St Gabriels (mtgf)
Psalm 52 The Lord upholds my life (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Beati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Like a child rests (Walker)
Eucharistic Acclamations Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of God St Gabriels (mtgf)
Communion I am your Saviour (Collegeville Composer's Group)
Final God his love, his the care (Dearmer)

The Gospel seems to run on and even echo last week's with the prophecy of the passion. However, in between in Mark's Gospel is the Transfiguration - this is the mountain Jesus and his disciples are leaving. The attractive end of the reading seems to be the latter half with its argument about who is the greatest and the invitation to welcome a little child.

I am not sure there are hymns, or at least nothing came to mind, that is linked to the prophecy of the passion — which is a significant turning point in each year of the lectionary. There is plenty about the passion: last week we used 'Praise to the holiest', this week there was reference in both opening and final hymns. Perhaps there is possibility with the canticle from 1 Peter Christ suffered for you?

This morning we had a Pastoral Letter so no homily on the scripture.

This week's Communion song was down as the 'Song for the Week' (i.e. Entrance Antiphon) in Psallite. The text is based on that of the Entrance Antiphon so does it matter that we transferred it? Part of the way that the Roman Rite uses scripture particularly the Psalms and the rest of the Old Testament, it seems to me, is that context is everything. I am your Saviour is given as Entrance Antiphon for all three years by choosing Psalm 55 (56) (the Graduale has Ps 77) the authors of Psallite preface and prepare for the first reading but can also be heard as a post-passion statement of Christ — I will be with you for ever. At Communion this phrase (in this context) comes to be about the Eucharist. To reflect this adjustment of meaning another psalm or other canticle may have been better for the verses.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

13 September 2009

Entrance All that is hidden (Bernadette Farrell)
Penitential Rite St Gabriels (mtgf)
Gloria St Gabriels (mtgf)
Psalm 114 I will walk in the presence (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Beati(Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts He became poor (John Bell)
Eucharistic Acclamations Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of God St Gabriels (mtgf)
Communion I am the way (Collegeville Composer's Group)
Final Praise to the Holiest (John Henry Newman)

We expected to be unaccompanied today - and were. This often means that the first hymn needs to be familiar so that people can sing with confidence and recognise that we can do this without accompaniment. All that is hidden seemed to work well. I have long thought that it is a piece that is not immediately attractive or easy. In part this is because it needs to be sung with conviction to actually work.

Alleluia Beati was new and will accompany us through to Advent. People picked it up without any rehearsal. As the music was on the leaflet perhaps we have a congregation of closet sight readers! The repetition of the same melody twice seemed to work and it was effective to diminuendo into the gospel.

We pair He became poor with verses from Philippians 2 sung to a simple French tone. This in part dates back to an uncomfortableness with simple ostinatos which some musicians have - not believing that the ostinato might be enough. As a reflection on the Paschal Mystery this picked up on the Gospel. The choice of music this Sunday more reflected the prophecy of the Passion rather than Peter's statement of faith.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

6 September 2009

Entrance O changeless Christ (Dudley Smith)
Penitential Rite
Gloria St Gabriels (mtgf)
Psalm 145 My soul give praise to the Lord (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation (A Gregory Murray)
Preparation of Gifts Song of the Man born blind (Bob Hurd)
Eucharistic Acclamations Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of God St Gabriels (mtgf)
Communion O praise the Lord (Collegeville Composer's Group)
Final Praise my soul ( )

The beginning of September is when change Mass parts for Ordinary Time=- Autumn. It is usually staggered over a few weeks. Today we moved back to Mass of Creation which usually sees us through until the Baptism of the Lord. The GLoria was new last year but seemed to be sung well. Space permitting it would be interesting to put the verses on the leaflet to see if all would join in — perhaps just the last verse.

O praise the Lord seemed neither one thing or the other - there was neither harmonic nor melodic tension to make the repetition of the short phrase rewarding. Though the sung repetition of the words after each phrase of the verse was interesting it did not blossom into a longer refrain which may have been needed.