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.

No comments:

Post a Comment