Sunday, January 29, 2012

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

29 January 2012

EntranceGod whose almighty word
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 94O that today (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsSong of God among us (Huijbers)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionBlessed are they (Russian)
FinalAt the name of Jesus

I don't know when was the last time I used a whole Mass setting. Sometimes this is because there is just a Gloria or, perhaps more often, one movement or section is good and the rest less so. This morning we introduced the Eucharistic Acclamations and Lamb of God. I find the Lamb of God the weakest or least interesting section I think this is both intrinsic but also a complete setting can have a sameness which is static rather than a dynamic unity. As the reason for using this setting now is so that it will be our regular Easter setting - the Lamb of God may be on probation.

We had one of our usual supply priests this morning. In the past he has commented that one of the reasons he enjoys coming to us is that we sing proper hymns - though we only sang the first 3 verses of the last hymn rather than all 7. I do try when shortening a hymn to both pick out the verses which were the reason it was chosen and so that it makes some sort of narrative sense.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

22 January 2012

EntranceDear Lord and Father
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steve Janco)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steve Janco)
Psalm 24Lord, make me know your ways (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsLord, you have come to the seashore
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionIn love you summon (John Bell)
FinalWill you come and follow me (John Bell)

I forgotten to prepare a Mass sheet so that it meant people had a chance to listen to the new Gloria and it will be another week before we introduce the Eucharistic Acclamations.

We had a new visiting priest before Mass who demanded that all hymns be short as they were usually irrelevant and people did not sing them. I hope our choices this morning were relevant. The predominant theme was the invitation to follow Christ but the idea of repentance was also present both in the Entrance Hymn and at Communion. The Iona chant I paired with some verses from Psalm 26.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

15 January 2012

EntranceHere I am, Lord
GloriaWisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 39Here I am, Lord (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsAs the deer longs (Bob Hurd)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionAgnus Dei - Mass for 3 voices (Byrd)
FinalForth in the peace of Christ

Today we began a new Mass setting. One of the effects of using a Christmas Gloria is that it cannot out stay its welcome. So today we needed to change though we were unaccompanied and we had a baptism. The Gloria from the Mass of Wisdom by Steven Janco is I think the first through setting we have used (or at least one not using a tone). In my overall plan it will be our Easter setting but I decided to start it now so that it will be familiar at Easter. We begin the Eucharistic Acclamations - I also can't think when we have used as much of a Mass setting. I do think that the Gloria is one of the best written of the new settings.The composer seems to looked at the words and thought about what a melody needs to do to bring out the shape and meaning. To give just one example. Many other settings shaped by the previous text seem to see that 'we give you thanks for your glory' is the climax of the first section and then discover there is another phrase to sing. The Mass of Wisdom is shaped so that 'Lord God, heavenly King…' is where the melody is leading.

There was a baptism today, discovered after the leaflet was prepared. This affected a number of the choices. The first and last hymn though connected to the Liturgy of the Word were also chosen because they would be familiar and the explicit reference to 'priest, prophet and king' in James Quinn's text. As the deer for baptism though I realised that I mentally connect lambs and deer. Byrd as a celebration of 'behold the Lamb of God'.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Epiphany of the Lord

8 January 2012

EntranceBethlehem! of noblest cities
Penitential RiteSt Gabriels (mtgf)
GloriaChristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 71O Lord, all the earth (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsWhat shall we give (Catalan/Dean)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodChristmas (Ebeling/mtgf)
CommunionBethlehem Down (Warlock)
FinalWe three kings

After many years doing so today we did not sing The First Nowell. Despite my protestations last week about singing carols I find the First Nowell not a particularly interesting tune which does not merit that much repetition. This is a matter of taste as some people have similar feelings for, say, O little town. I was also aware that Epiphany hymnody could add a richness which a simple retelling of the story would lack.

As a new translation record today was the first time we used the first form of the Penitential Act - but I am not sure how aware people were.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mary, Mother of God

1 January 2011

EntranceSee amid the winter's snow
Penitential RiteSt Gabriels (mtgf)
GloriaCHristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 66O God, be gracious (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
ReflectionPeace Child (Bernadette Farrell)
CommunionI saw a maiden (Pettman)
FinalUnto is born a son

As had happened on the Sunday following Christmas before the supply Priest was a no-show so at 11.05 we started a service of Word and Communion. It was an interesting confection. One appreciates the skills of those who normally preside the more perhaps for holding the liturgy together and giving it a sense of direction. From a new translation point of view it was interesting as though our presider was using the new Missal as his source I suspect he was not familiar with its layout. By the Communion Rite he had gone into the 1973 text by heart - with people responding with the new translation. O to be a participant observer.

As i was asked a couple of times beforehand. Mary, Mother of God is the octave of Christmas and as a solemnity it takes precedence over the Holy Family which normally falls on the Sunday after Christmas. When this occurs (i.e. when Christmas Day is on a Sunday) the Holy Family is celebrated on 30 December.

Peace Child was chosen to reflect that the 1 January is when the Holy Father gives is address for peace. I wrote more about the song a couple of years ago.

I am wondering how much attention one might give to the content and place of Christmas Carols — should they follow through the narrative of the season or just be used as a generic sprinkling. They are for this country genuinely popular religious music. I know some one would argue them away and want propers and the like. Would that leave them to services or invented occasions imagined by Vaughan Williams and Percy Dearmer over a cup of hot chocolate… that last statement is a little unfair as at least those two had image of the genuinely popular and not exercises in kitsch and ingenuity. So today's liturgy began and ended with carols rather than as some might have done more specific Marian hymns (both our choices acknowledged Mary - she was at least name checked. I wonder if i use the days of the CHristmas season from Nativity to Epiphany as a working through a repertoire of carols - with only some thought as to place and content. And may be that is OK.