Saturday, September 18, 2010

Papal Visit - Prayer with Religious

Friday 17 September

Morning Prayer
HymnWord of God (Quinn/Bach)
Psalm 50(Bévenot)
Tobit 13 (James Walsh)
Psalm 148(Bévenot)
ReadingEphesians 4:1-7, 11-13
ResponseYour words are spirit and life (Bernadette Farrell)
MotetMay the mind of Christ our Saviour (mtgf)
Lord's Prayer (Rimsky Korsakov)
InstrumentalLiebster Jesu (Bach)
Papal Prayer
EntranceVeni Sancte Spiritus (Christopher Walker
ReadingWisdom 7:7-10. 15-16
ResponseYour words are spirit and life (Bernadette Farrell)
Prayer & Blessing
Final HymnLord, you give the great commission (Jeffrey Rowthorn/CV Taylor)

 It is an astonishing honour to be invited to participate in a papal liturgy. Even more so if he comes to church and you are involved in the preparation of the liturgy and provision of music. This was the Prayer with the religious, the first of three events at Strawberry Hill and the first event in England.

The Holy See provides an excellent document giving guidelines for papal liturgy and so the format of the prayer was given. There was a subtitle to the prayer with religious — with a charism in education. The reading, from Wisdom, was taken from first reading for St Robert Bellarmine and gave a focus to the liturgy. It was followed by just the response of Bernadette Farrell's Your words are spirit and life which is based on the psalm chosen in response to the reading in the Lectionary. It began with a playthrough on a solo violin — though the liturgy was short there were moments of repose and prayer.

Veni Sancte Spiritus was chosen for a number of reasons: the link between wisdom and calling on the Holy Spirit; the hymn text was written by an English man — Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury; it needed to be flexible in length (there was quite a bit of pressure to keep the prayer as short as possible); it could begin before the Holy Father arrived sothat he would join us in prayer; it was a connection with the previous Papal Visit being written for the Mass on Pentecost Sunday at Coventry in 1982. In the event the Pope was delayed by about 30 mins so it had to be flexible and so was sung for about 35 minutes.

As the religious were asked to be in the chapel at least 90 mins before 10am it was thought appropriate to celebrate Morning Prayer. One aspect of it musically was to represent the contribution of English, Welsh and Scottish religious to the liturgy of the Church through psalm tones and hymn texts. The hymn tune used for the hymn tune was the basis of the instrumental at the end of the morning prayer arranged for 2 violins and organ. After the reading there was a reflection from 3 religious on the contribution of religious to education: in formal eduction, parish settings and with the marginalised. After each reflection the response was sung and so made a link with the papal prayer.

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