Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Sunday of Advent

28 November 2010

EntranceLonging, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential RiteOrbis Factor
Psalm 121I rejoiced when I heard them say (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsIn the day of the Lord (M D Ridge)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodAdvent (mtgf)
CommunionBread of Life (Bernadette Farrell)
FinalHark a herald voice is calling
Back to the beginning of the Lectionary and Year A. The psalm provides a bridge from one year to the next but now in response to the first reading its focus is eschatological. The song by M D Ridge is a paraphrase of Isaiah reading and is a reminder that we wait in joyful hope for the day of the Lord.
Last year we sang the Orbis Factor Kyrie and just repeated the third Kyrie; this year the congregation were invited to sing the final Kyrie as given. One of the assumptions we may have fallen into is that congregations are only capable of repeating what is sung to them rather respond with an answering phrase. I did consider what I think of as the 'Ainslie' solution which is for the congregation to repeat the cantor's Kyrie and then for the choir to sing the last Kyrie as a coda. As we usually have the 3rd form of Penitential Rite my guess is that would seem an intrusion before the absolution.
A new 'Advent Lamb of God' — as we look towards the new translation of the Missal it seems an opportunity to review what we sing. So a recognition that John Bell's charming Behold the Lamb of God is not a Lamb of God however nicely it bridges the seasons until the beginning of Ordinary Time in the new year. The new setting may not be perfect either. It echoes (read 'copies') Rorate caeli and O come, O come Emmanuel and alternative invocations are offered taken from the O Antiphons.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christ the King

21 November 2010

EntranceLord Jesus Christ, you have come to us
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaSt Gabriel (mtgf)
Psalm 121I rejoiced when I heard them say (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia Beati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsChrist the Glory (J F Lalouette)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodLamb of God 6 (mtgf)
CommunionCall us to your table (Christopher Walker)
FinalHail Redeemer

Th end of liturgical year is a time of culminations. David is crowned king and we rejoice; Jesus is raised up. We have reached Jerusalem. A journey we began in the Summer when Jesus took the road to Jerusalem - Let us go to God's house. But I realised listening to the Gospel today that the psalm response is also that of the repentant thief. This eschatological dimension reminds us that this ending is also a beginning. We shall sing the same response at next week's Mass and so the response is ours to God's invitation to eternal life.

Lord Jesus Christ was chosen for its reference to Calvary — something shared with the final hymn. The verses of Call us to your table based on Ephesians are similar to the letter to the Colossians — Christ the first born of creation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Remembrance

14 November 2010

EntranceEternal Rest (mtgf)
Roll of Honour
GloriaSt Gabriel (mtgf)
Psalm 97The Lord has come (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia Beati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsGaudent in caelis (Dering)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodLamb of God 6 (mtgf)
CommunionChrist our Peace (Marty Haugen)
FinalAt the name of Jesus

Our roll of honour this morning commemorated those students who had died in the First World War. I was struck by the familiarity of the names which we recall each year and that we do not remember those who survived. This year we began with the 2 minutes silence and then the Entrance Procession followed by the reading of names.

The readings were of the Sunday and were fitting. At the name of Jesus was chosen for its strong eschatological verses - Christ shall return again.

Gaudent in caelis was probably sung for primarily musical reasons over liturgical ones. We had intended to sing it for All Saints but were unable so there was an opportunity here. It wasn't wholly inappropriate and if there was a fear that we were canonising the departed we had sought God's mercy in the opening chant.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

7 November 2010

EntranceChrist is alive with joy we sing
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaSt Gabriel (mtgf)
Psalm 16I shall be filled (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationAlleluia Beati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsI know my Redeemer (Stephen Dean)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodSt Gabriel (mtgf)
CommunionCentre of my life (Paul Inwood)
FinalLove divine

In previous years this Sunday has been Remembrance Sunday and this has, in the past, led to the question about the suitability of the Gospel. I wonder if sometimes, that like the Saducees, our contemporary preoccupations can lead us to miss the point. It is not about marriage, or diet come to that, but eternal life. I hope the opening hymn set this scene and was a reminder that every Sunday is Easter.

I know my Redeemer was a further reflection on this as well as being good 'November fare'. I like the uncomplicated harmony of the refrain and way it expresses an uncomplicated belief in the resurrection. The verse comes in rather quickly after the refrain, too quickly perhaps — a extra 2 beats seems necessary. Otherwise to continue the above it as though the cantor bursts in on simplicity of the assembly with their personal sentiments rather than being seen as extension of the same text.

Centre of my life was a late choice for communion. That God would not leave our souls among the dead seemed to fit in with whole. I did consider a setting of the Emmaus story, based on the Communion antiphon The disciples recognised the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread. But this seems to me to be at too many removes. I suspect that this is part of my ongoing reflection on the antiphons, what they offer and how they 'work'. I can understand the antiphon at this point: as a reflection on Communion, that we are as the disciples recognising Jesus, even that the context of this Sunday pushes that further that this Jesus is the Christ, risen and living, who speaks of the Lord God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob and all the scriptures. It is about this phrase which has a context (Emmaus) speaking at this moment (Communion) in this context (32nd Sunday) which I'm not sure is the same as adding a further story to the mix.