Sunday, March 27, 2011

3rd Sunday of Lent

27 March 2011

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Psalm 94O that today (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsYou know me, Lord (James Walsh)
Eucharistic AcclamationsUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionAs the deer longs (Bob Hurd)
FinalI heard the voice of Jesus say

When looking at the Sundays of Lent in year A I seem always to be surprised by the psalm for this Sunday and the next - in a 'couldn't they do better' way. This is because the link to the Gospel is through the first reading rather than providing a bridge between them.

I like how the hymn 'I heard the voice of Jesus say' reflects this and next Sunday through reference to the gospel. Given the importance of these Sundays and the fifth Sunday as well in the Initiation of Adults I once wrote a Lazarus verse as well.

Psalm 41 at Communion picked up on the thirst of the Samaritan for Jesus' gift of living water and then added baptismal imagery. As I noted a couple of weeks ago this of a type of music where beyond melody and accompaniment nothing is essential but the musicians can add and subtract to bring variation. One of the advantages of being a small group is that this process does not need to be meticulously planned. Another psalm (138) at the Preparation of Gifts - which picked up on the Samaritan woman's statement that Jesus knew all about her. Considering that Psalm 138 is on the edge of the Sunday Lectionary (Birth of St John the Baptist - so sung at the most once every 6 years) it is interesting how many settings there are. I guess that is linked to a contemporary to be known. I chose the James Walsh setting because it is in the form of dialogue which reflected the dialogue of the Gospel. The idea of the setting is simple - contrasting minor and major verses but it is beautifully worked out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2nd Sunday of Lent

20 March 2011

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Psalm 32May your love (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsEye has not seen (Marty Haugen)
Eucharistic AcclamationsUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionTransfigure us, O Lord (Bob Hurd)
FinalChrist be our light (Bernadette Farrell)

Reduced singers and no accompaniment - so again nought fancy. As ever one of the advantages of being unaccompanied is that you can hear people singing. Last week I was a little concerned that people had not remembered or even warmed to Bob Hurd's Ubi Caritas acclamations; this week it was not just a couple of solos at the front. It may be an idea, as we have previously, to sing always this unaccompanied. The other difference was that this week we were in unison; last week I sang tenor. One of my many theories of leading music is that the congregation attune themselves to certain voices - this maybe pure self-aggrandisement!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1st Sunday of Lent

13 March 2011

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Psalm 50Have mercy on us (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsBe with me, Lord (Marty Haugen)
Eucharistic AcclamationsUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionOut into the wilderness (Bob Hurd)
FinalGuide me, O thou great Redeemer ( )

From September until now the changes in Mass parts have been gradual, some constants, other parts changing with the seasons. With Lent, and with Easter, the changes are more abrupt. A practical reason is that as we have new people each September it allows time to learn the music and gain a foundation. For those who have been around a little longer one hopes that the return of familiar settings is a welcome memory.

One of our singers could not be with us today and as this meant a whole part in a couple of pieces I had planned we had to turn to familiar settings. Psalm 90 (91) is sung as the psalm in other years and though it is quoted in the gospel it is by the tempter! Marty Haugen's setting has an easy flow. I was struck by how this genre is intended to work whatever the resources — you can add and take away parts, beyond melody and chords everything might be seen as ornamentation; whereas Morales needs all parts present and correct.

Sometimes there is a difference in the text between the psalm setting and the Mass sheet. Obviously one goes with the Mass sheet to save confusion. This morning I noted that the psalm response is plural whereas the text of the psalm is singular, including the equivalent text of the response.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

9th Sunday in Ordinary Time

6 March 2011

EntranceChrist is made the sure foundation
GloriaSt Augustines (Christopher Walker)
Psalm 30O Lord, be a rock (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsThese words (Tom Lowenthal)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionExultate iusti (Viadana)
FinalAll creatures of our God and king

A Sunday to say farewell to the Alleluia hence the final hymn. The praise of water was appropriate as we had a baptism this morning as well. It was Sunday of leave taking of a number of texts and music. I think it will be the last time we sing 'Christ has died'. The Mass setting we sing before September and the new translation offer a choice of acclamations. It will be the last time we sing the Mass of Creation in its current guise. It is also farewell, I think, to St Augustine's Gloria. I am not aware that a rewrite with the new translation is planned. I have always enjoyed its sprightliness and forward drive. I was once in a parish where the parish priest did not like it because the refrains are in Latin.

Our organist he did not know the tune of Westminster Abbey, though we have sung Christ is made the sure foundation before, perhaps we did it unaccompanied. I am not sure it's a tune I would introduce unaccompanied. Anyway it linked to the gospel and also with the baptism. These words can sound like an off-cut from Fiddler on the Roof but it is a good memorable tune and arrangement and as well as being based on the first reading it spoke of baptism and the handing on of faith.