Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trinity Sunday

30 May 2010

EntranceHoly, Holy, Holy (Heber/Dykes)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaJeanne Jugan (Christopher Walker)
Psalm 8How great is your name (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation(A Gregory Murray)
Preparation of GiftsHymn of the Cherubim (Anonymous Russian?)
Eucharistic AcclamationsNo Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Lamb of GodO Lamb of God (Berthier)
CommunionGod beyond all names (Bernadette Farrell)
FinalHoly God, we praise thy name

This is an 'all change' Sunday where we out aside settings for the Easter Season and move into Summer Ordinary Time. These settings will last us until September. It is one way of differentiating this succession of Solemnities we now have from Ascension to Corpus Christi. It is always heartening to see the assembly remember and sing Mass parts. The Jeanne Jugan Gloria is sung by the whole congregation throughout — I have a view that the congregation should have the opportunity to sing the whole text of the Gloria in at least one setting. For one week only the cantor sings the refrain first repeated by all.

The last time I sang the opening hymn was in Finland a few weeks ago, Pyhä, Pyhä, Pyhä, it is always interesting to see what hymns have travelled. I did wonder this morning if the text was originally written for hymn singing as the line lengths are not consistent from verse to verse - but apparently it was. It is based on Revelation 4. The final hymn is based on the Te Deum and there are versions which paraphrase the whole text. I am not sure whether it is unfamiliarity of these verses or the nature of the text of the Te Deum but I never feel I miss these missing verses.

Hymn of the Cherubim uses the Orthodox text for the preparation is a hymn to the Trinity. I inherited the piece from my time in Chichester and never found a composer. It has always been a choir favourite and produces a rich sonorous sound from simple resources.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


23 May 2010

EntranceCome down, O love divine
GloriaGlory to God (Berthier)
Psalm 103Send forth your Spirit , O Lord (mtgf)
Sequence & Gospel AcclamationVeni Sancte Spiritus (Plainchant arr. mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsSpirit of God (Bernadette Farrell)
Eucharistic AcclamationsGathering (Paul Inwood)
Lamb of GodO Lamb of God (Berthier)
CommunionMay the mind of Christ (mtgf)
FinalChrist be our light (Bernadette Farrell)

Chant melodies were heard twice in the liturgy. The psalm uses the opening motif from Veni Creator Spiritus in the bridge between response and verse. In the version used at the Easter Vigil with 5 verses the last verse use the chant for the first verse of Veni Sancte Spiritus as a countermelody. As noted on Easter Sunday I have an unease about the Sequence. Is it meant to be everyone singing as a hymn Holy Spirit, Lord of light or people listening to (singing?) the chant in Latin or something else. I offer a similar solution to Easter Sunday — a refrain for all which acts also as a Gospel Acclamation and verses sung by the choir. For Pentecost we do use the plainchant melody but, as others have suggested, in triple time so it has a lilting rhythm. We also sing the verses in English. Does it work? I don't know, partly because I don't know how the Sequence is supposed to work. My solution would not satisfy the purist. People sang the refrain but had that slight look of 'what again?' The refrain was rewritten this year so that it better fitted the modality of the chant.

I have suspicion that much of what we might sing at Pentecost is not quite right. The Missal texts are not invocations or invitations nor are they theological reflections on the Holy Spirit. It is the Lectionary in Psalm and Sequence that offers a pair of invocations. It is more about the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church. One of the important aspects of the renewal of the liturgy was a better and more explicit understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy. The Holy Spirit as enabler of the liturgical action. I am expressing my unease but cannot offer solutions. My guess they lie in less seeing this as a Sunday when we celebrate the Holy Spirit (just once a year) and more in the context of the whole Easter Season with its emphasis on the nature of the Church.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ascension of the Lord

16 May 2010

EntranceWorthy are you, O Lord (mtgf)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaGlory to God (Berthier)
Psalm 46Our God goes up (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of GiftsChrist the Glory (Lalouette)
Eucharistic AcclamationsGathering (Paul Inwood)
Lamb of GodO Lamb of God (Berthier)
CommunionCall us to your table (Christopher Walker)
FinalAlleluia, sing to Jesus (Dix/Pritchard)

'when the forty days were o'er' &mdash I had not appreciated until reading a post on the PrayTell blog that Luke's Gospel account of the Ascension occurs on the Easter Sunday evening. It perhaps highlights one of the challenges of a Lectionary that jumps from place and not having a regard for the continuity of the gospel narrative.

The musical choices were less about narrative than about the risen, glorious, ascended Christ. The opening song is a setting of Revelation 4 - a canticle at Evening Prayer - I had meant to do it at some point this Easter Season so that we sung some revelation as well as heard it. Circumstances meant we used it on the one Sunday when we did not hear from Revelation but the refrain Worthy are you, O Lord, to receive wisdom and glory and blessings. I hope set the tone for the celebration. It is a piece that does not get out that much, though I am fond of it, it was written for a celebration of Evening Prayer in Oscott to mark the 150th anniversary of the Bishops' Conference in 2000.

Today's second reading was Ephesians and we used the verses from Ephesians for Call us to your table — all creation find fulfilment in the ascended Christ.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

6th Sunday of Easter

9 May 2010

EntranceChrist is alive (Stotter)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriels (mtgf)
GloriaGlory to God (Berthier)
Psalm 66Let the peoples praise you, O God (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of GiftsLive on in my love (Collegeville Composers Group)
Eucharistic AcclamationsGathering (Paul Inwood)
Lamb of GodO Lamb of God (Berthier)
CommunionTake and Eat (Quinn/Joncas)
FinalWe have a gospel

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5th Sunday of Easter

2 May 2010

Entrance Love is his word (Connaughton/Milner)
Gloria Glory to God (Berthier)
Psalm 144 I will bless your name (mtgf)
Gospel Acclamation Celtic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Love one another (mtgf)
Eucharistic Acclamations Gathering (Paul Inwood)
Lamb of God O Lamb of God (Berthier)
Communion A new commandment (Collegeville Composers Group)
Final God is love, his the care

There was a baptism during Mass this morning, so I hope that the hymns provided something familiar. In some ways it is hard to imagine that occasional Catholics would not have heard and sung the Celtic Alleluia and the Gathering Mass.

Love one another was written for the 150th Anniversary of the College, 10 years ago, and uses texts from John's Gospel which are heard through the Easter Season. A new commandment from Psallite has verses for Maundy Thursday where I feel it does not displace other pieces but it also has a set of verses for this Sunday - I saw the holy city. The refrain does have that quality of familiarity even on one hearing.