Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints

1 November 2009

Entrance For all the Saints (Walsham How)
Penitential Rite Mass for 3 voices (William Byrd)
Gloria St Gabriels (mtgf)
Psalm 23 Blessed are they (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Beati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Good and Faithful servant (Andrew Everson)
Eucharistic Acclamations Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of God Lamb of God 6 (mtgf)
Communion Happy are those — Beatitudes (Russian Chant)
Final Holy God we praise thy name

Choosing which verses of a long hymn to sing is a delicate task. As our Entrance procession usually only consists of 1 person, the priest, not much music is needed. This week he was at the sanctuary by the end of the first verse. Now I guess that it is one of those liturgical-musical dichotomies whether you place greater weight on the liturgical action or on the narrative integrity of the hymn. One of the reasons that hymns are not generally at home in the Mass is that where hymns occurs there is usually liturgical action going on and the Roman Rite in the Eucharist is weighted towards the action. The exception would be a hymn after Communion. In choosing verses from 'For all the saints' I wanted to draw out the eschatological strain found in the readings. It strikes me that though this aspect may seem obvious that Saints are part of a heavenly reality our discourse is about lives of heroic virtues and saints as individuals rather than the communion of saints — a body of the blest.

Good and Faithful Servant was introduced to us by Christopher Walker at the SSG Summer School this year. It is a nicely honed piece, about heroic virtues; its apparent simplicity hiding some good craftmanship. Part of the skill is that it is easy to perform effectively and interestingly it brought a number of postive comments from members of the congregation.


  1. Which verses did you do? We had 1-5 and 8, but not for eschatological reasons! In the past I've cut 5 and 6 and done 1-4, 7 & 8, which leaves some kind of narrative intact; but 4,5 and 6 have choral harmonies in the version we sing (English Hymnal?), so it's nice to have two goes at the harmony rather than just the one.

  2. I announced 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 and we actually sang 1, 2, 4 and 7. There is a narrative leap to the 'yet more glorious day' as the golden evening has not happened! I would like to have had a Trinitarian ending but our organist was not aware of my theological thought processes!