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.