Sunday, June 27, 2010

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

27 June 2010

EntranceBrother, sister let me serve you (Gilliard)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaJeanne Jugan Gloria (Christopher Walker)
Psalm 15O Lord, you are my portion (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia (Murray)
Preparation of GiftsTravelling the road to freedom (John Bell)
Eucharistic AcclamationsNo Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Lamb of GodSt Gabriel (mtgf)
CommunionCentre of my life (Paul Inwood)
FinalHe who would valiant (Dearmer after Bunyan)

When we first used Brother, sister let me serve you, apart from the first line being different, it was a choir piece. Now it is sung by all and proved a fitting hymn to begin this morning. In a similar way I am sure that 3 years ago we used Centre of my life for the responsorial psalm. This year I provided a setting and so we used Inwood's setting at Communion. I do find the response slightly opaque. Is the Lord all that I need or my future? The immediate though I am afraid is fish and chips. Partly because of this I included the rest of the line in the psalm and the next line as well.

Travelling the road to freedom picked up the gospel — Jesus resolutely taking the road for Jerusalem. It is often understood as the turning point in the narrative of synoptic gospels — Jesus moves towards his passion and death. In Luke others want to follow but do not have the courage. The song by John Bell picks up the motif of travelling the road, of the coming passion and the challenge of the invitation to follow. I was surprised that the strong harmony with its succession of dissonances would work with a reduction to our usual 3 parts but I think it did.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

20 June 2010

EntranceLord Jesus Christ (Appleford)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaJeanne Jugan Gloria (Christopher Walker)
Psalm 62For you my soul is thirsting (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia (Murray)
Preparation of GiftsOurs were the griefs (Stephen Dean)
Eucharistic AcclamationsNo Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Lamb of GodSt Gabriel (mtgf)
CommunionChrist our peace (Marty Haugen)
FinalAt the name of Jesus (Noel/Brierley)
A little hommage to the 20th Century Light Music Group this morning. Their 'manifesto' was:

These hymn tunes have been written for congregational worship by 20th century congregations. The styles vary, but they all seek to express in the musical idion of light music - music which is common to almost everyone - the common worship of the People of God. They offered in the belief that not only the great and lasting music of the past but also the ordinary and transient music of today - which is the background to the lives of so many - has a rightful place in our worship.
I appreciate that they recognised that much Church music is transient, and of its time. Like any such collection, and like much today, a few things have lasted. The opening and closing hymns were chosen not just for their appropriateness but also because they have strong melodies which would work unaccompanied and I would expect visitors to know. Both hymns make the connection between recognising Jesus as Christ, the Son of God and that he is destined to suffer. Lord Jesus Christ occasioned a primary school memory — we always omitted verse 3 something I never understood. Hymns were written out in best primary school teacher calligraphy on flip chart sheets. As a 3rd verse would have gone onto a second sheet it cannot have been a question of space.
As noted there are two aspects to today's Gospel - Peter's acclamation of faith and the prophecy of the passion. The first reading emphasised the latter — and so at the Preparation of Gifts we sang Stephen Dean's setting of the canticle from 1 Peter — I am not wholly sure how the psalm was supposed to be understood in this context.
Christ our peace is one of Marty Haugen's 'simpler' songs and I suspect better for it. It was chosen to pick up the idea of equality in Christ as found in Galatians.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

13 June 2010

EntranceThere's wideness in God's mercy (Faber/Blaenwern)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaJeanne Jugan Gloria (Christopher Walker)
Psalm 31Forgive, Lord (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia (Murray)
Preparation of GiftsRemember not the things of the past (Bob Hurd)
Eucharistic AcclamationsNo Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Lamb of GodSt Gabriel (mtgf)
CommunionAll your sins have been for given (Collegeville Composers Group)
FinalPraise we our God with joy
After so long we are back in the pastures of (real) Ordinary Time. What I particularly mean is since the beginning of Lent I have known what the readings will be, or at least a good guess, without having to check. I have been on a clear path now, though there is a shape in the readings from Luke's Gospel, it is needs some orientation.
There's a richness in the opening hymn; I think it is a successful lyrical expression of theology one might almost say Wesleyian - though the author may not have been grateful for the comparison. This begs the question what other Catholic hymns manage this? In recent years there have been many scripturally based hymns. The variety of versions of the text led me to check - it was originally 13 4-line stanzas.
Remember, not things of the past is a favourite from Bob Hurd's collection A Lenten Journey. Even if scripture scholars caution against equating the woman caught in adultery with the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus I think the text, though written for the former, fitted today's celebration. The Communion refrain from Psallite showed the insight of the authors. There is a clear theme of sinfulness and forgiveness in the readings and the refrain both reflected this but also allowed redemption/communion:

All your sins have been forgiven;
love has swept your guilt away.
Go in peace: your faith has saved you;
love has come to you today.

I am less sure whether Psalm 84 was the best choice of accompanying psalm.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Body and Blood of the Lord

6 June 2010

EntranceOf the glorious body telling
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaJeanne Jugan Gloria (Christopher Walker)
Psalm 109You are a priest for ever (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia (A G Murray)
Preparation of GiftsYou have fed your people (mtgf)
Eucharistic AcclamationsNo Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Lamb of GodO Lamb of God (Berthier)
CommunionPange Lingua (Ricky Manalo CSP)
FinalMy God, and is thy table spread (Dodderidge)

Like last week there are 3 distinct sources for choosing music: the Lectionary; the Missal and the concept of the feast. Part of the concept is a connection with Maundy Thursday - something borne out by the 2nd reading. We used again, therefore, the chant Pange Lingua at Communion and at the beginning of Mass sang the text as a hymn. The final hymn I chose for its echos of O Sacrum Convivium (Magnificat Antiphon at Evening Prayer). I doubt this was something the author was conscious of as an 18th century Nonconformist minister. Both hymns speak of Body and Blood - if I remember correctly many years ago someone asked at a Conference I attended whether when St Thomas Aquinas wrote his texts for then new feast of Corpus Christi people were still receiving under both kinds, when they did receive - it was thought that they did.

At the Preparation of the Gifts we sang a setting of the Offertory Antiphon from the Simple Gradual

You have fed your people with the food of angels,
you have given them bread from heaven, alleluia.

One reason for singing this text was to get beyond the error of particularity — can you sing about partaking in the Body and Blood of Christ at the Preparation of Gifts? Yes, as this antiphon suggests because when we celebrate it is not a unique occasions but stretches back to the Last Supper and forward to the pledge of future glory.