Saturday, April 21, 2012

4th Sunday of Easter

29 April 2012

Entrance All people that on earth
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 117The stone which the builders rejected (Bernadette Farrell)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of GiftsEye has not seen (Marty Haugen)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionShepherd me, O God (Marty Haugen)
FinalHail Redeemer

I was away this Sunday. The parish I went to had a good liturgy with music sung by all, quite large group of singers including many children. Though the primary accompaniment was piano at the front the organ at the back was used to sustain and enrich - it did give the feeling of being surround by the music and so the singing of the congregation was supported. All the music was well-chosen for the day and the season but none of it the same as the list above. One of the starting points for this blog was not this the right music to choose but see the richness and variety which is possible in the liturgy.

3rd Sunday of Easter

22 April 2012

EntranceWe walk by faith
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 4Lift up the light (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of GiftsOn the journey to Emmaus (Marty Haugen)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionI received the living God (Anonymous/Proulx)
FinalThine be the glory ( )

I started writing this on a train for Leeds almost 2 weeks ago, not only did the wifi fail but the train never left the station.

I still find it hard to discern or understand the structure of the Easter Lectionary. Today's Gospel is a continuation of the previous passage in Luke (Emmaus) which we heard a year ago. How important is it to know that connection? Can music act as an aide-memoire. I don't think we had used the Haugen On the journey to Emmaus though we had used the arrangement of the melody. I am not sure whether I found it focussed or restricted in its emphasis on welcoming the stranger.

We have used I received the living God for a long time but I can see us using it again when we have John 6 in the summer.

2nd Sunday of Easter

15 April 2012

EntranceO sons and daughters
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 117Give thanks to the Lord (Collegeville Composers Group)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of GiftsNow we remain (David Haas)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionPut your hand here, Thomas (Collegeville Composers Group)
FinalThis joyful Eastertide

The plan is that the Mass of Wisdom will be our Mass setting for the Easter Season. We introduced it earlier this year so that people would begin to know, in particular when sung at the Easter Vigil. This is not instant music. I do think one of the gifts of the last 30-40 years was the idea that because the parts of the Mass should be sung by all we need music which could be sung by all - instantly. However the large danger is that it becomes the only model when actually those who come to Mass are pretty constant. I remember in another parish using a responsorial Mass for a time and realising that the congregation were bored of it, and perhaps they were even saying we are better than this. (Responsorial Masses have their place when the congregation has no common repertoire or when you are introducing singing at Mass). I am sure I have said before that one the things I like about the Mass of Wisdom is that it is written with an eye to how the congregation will pick it up - there is plenty of melodic repetition. In the Gloria the first and last section (as is often the case) use the same melodic material - the middle section is being sung by the choir alone - possibly next year everyone will sing everything. I am not sure though I am keen that the congregation should during the year sing the whole text of the Gloria, not just have only a series of refrains, but I also like the musical/ministerial contrast.

I wondered with *Put your hand here, Thomas* whether the world of medical soaps have transformed how we view this moment - from a discrete wound to real flesh.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday

8 April 2012

EntranceJesus Christ is risen today
GloriaWisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 117This is the day (Marty Haugen)
SequencePraise to the Paschal Victim (mtgf)
SprinklingAcclamation (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsChristo resurgenti (Couperin)
Eucharistic AcclamationsWisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodWisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionSicut cervus (Palestrina)
I have seen the Lord (Bob Hurd)
FinalThine be the glory

On Easter Sunday the chapel is always packed and today we had two infant baptisms which always added to the numbers. Because we only have one Mass on the Sunday day I read the numbers as a shift away from Good Friday (which was full but not this full) to Easter Sunday. I suspect the reasons of are sociological and even commercial rather than theological. How it does present a challenge to participation. I am aware that with the Mass setting we are in for the long haul - though I think it is accessible, singable and can be easily picked up - it is not instant. My concern is however with the ordinary regular parishioner. Though we used this setting from January to the beginning of Lent I suspect that though it is becoming familiar they may not yet sing it with confidence. One of my tenets is that it is primarily the role of the congregation to lead the singing of those parts which belong to them and so invite and engage the visitor.

One of the decisions we took when preparing the liturgies of the Triduum was not to include the 'new responses' in the booklet (we have one booklet for Thursday, Friday and Vigil). The Order of Mass card was available for those who wished. Our expectation, and experience seemed to bear this out, was that as we do not recite the Creed nor were we going to use the first form of Penitential Act on Thursday people would know by now the remainder of the responses, which are much shorter.

Christo resurgenti is a delightful two part piece by Couperin which is part of a longer motet for Easter day. WIth its inegales (dotted rhythms) and syncopations it suggests the joy of Easter. I was struck that the melodies of both opening and closing hymn were about the same date. it would not be difficult to transform Jesus Christ is risen today to similar piece of French gracieusement.

Easter Vigil

7 April 2011

ProcessionThe Lord is my light (Taizé)
Psalm 103Send forth your spirit (mtgf)
Psalm 15Preserve me, God (Christopher Walker)
Exodus 15I will sing to the Lord (mtgf)
Psalm 29I will praise you, Lord (Paul Inwood)
Psalm 41-42As the deer longs (Palestrina/Bridge)
GloriaWisdom (Steven Janco)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Liturgy of the BaptismLitany of the Saints (Missal)
Acclamation after Blessing of Water (mtgf)
Sprinkling: Amen, Amen (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsFor peace (Antoine Oomen)
Eucharistic AcclamationsWisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodWisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionSicut Cervus (Palestrina)
FinalChrist be our light (Bernadette Farrell)

When doing some sessions on the Triduum earlier this year I was interested that there was, it seemed, universal reaction of surprise to the rubric that the lights go on in the church before the Exsultet. A rubric which was unchanged since the previous edition. There was a general feeling that the Exsultet made best sense when the light of the Paschal Candle was seen to effective. Perhaps a gentler understanding of this rubric would be that the light increases (it doesn't say all the lights). I have much sympathy with this - that we may appreciate the light better if we stand back from our electrical ability to flood the place with light. The only disadvantage was that if you are singing the Exsultet and you manage to blow your own candle out and there is not enough ambient light to actually see the text. I was aware that the previous text was one which I had heard over the years before I sang it and so it had a familiarity which of course the new translation did not. On the whole I enjoyed the new translation, as a rule it sings better than it looks. I also enjoyed the workout of the Missal tone - I sang it to what my mind now is 'Glenstal style', that is a fair pace and seeing melismas more as decorations. I used the Easter Proclamation to proclaim from. As should be the case my views about the publication were influenced by using it in practice. First of all it is a beautiful ritual edition with sumptuous icons throughout. I think it be a great resource for mystagogy. Yes, there are a fair number of page turns but the majority of the chant being a few lines at the bottom of the page was less a problem than I thought as that is where it was easiest to read it. Indeed I would happily use it again which I did not expect to be the case. It uses ICEL's setting of the chant. I do wish that this was broken up into paragraphs with the text (i.e. a line break and shorter line before each new paragraph) it would make reading the text and therefore singing considerably easier. I can remember at one stage there was a proposal that the music should follow the sense lines of the text - for the setter a complicated task but I do wonder if it would help the singer or does the eye work differently when a text is read?

Many years ago I had a parish priest who said at the end of every Easter Vigil this will only really make sense when we have a baptism let us hope next year we will. This year we had an adult baptism at St Mary's and it was that difference between what you know and experiencing anew what you know. To give one example I was struck how the psalm responses can be seen as forming a dialogue between the Church and the Elect preparing for baptism.

For communio we sang Palestrina's Sicut Cervus I wonder how many of the congregation recognised the link with psalm response sung earlier.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good Friday

6 April 2011

Psalm 31Father, into your hands (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Adoration of the CrossInvitation (A Gregory Murray)
Vexilla Regis (Anton Bruckner)
Reproaches (Peter Jones)
O vos omnes (Victoria)
Jesus, remember me (Taizé)
CommunionO Crux ave (Rihards Dubra)
When I survey the wondrous cross

It was noticeable both this afternoon and the previous evening is that the congregation likes to have some something to get it vocal teeth into (if that isn't a mixed metaphor!). One of my concerns about current movements in liturgical music is that they seem to have a premise of "Catholics don't sing' so if we just give them some short phrases they might manage that. One of my basic premises is that people will sing melodies which express the words which make sense in the liturgical context.

Again not many changes this year (that will also be a factor in people singing - this is the piece we sing on Good Friday). A little more Bruckner. When doing some preparation work on the Triduum I was reminded that for Adoration of the Cross there is a balance between texts of praise and those of lament (actually the weight is towards praise). Our devotional instinct rather than our liturgical one - edges us towards lament, indeed the new rubric about the Stabat Mater being a custom in some places reinforces this. It seems to me it does need to be both and Bruckner setting was a way of redressing the balance.

Maundy Thursday

5 April 2012

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 115The blessing cup (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Washing of the FeetFaith, hope and love (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Eucharistic AcclamationsUbi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodRemembrance (Marty Haugen)
CommunionTake and eat (Michael Joncas)
Ave verum Corpus (Byrd)
ProcessionPange lingua (Ricky Manalo)
Tantum ergo (chant)
WatchingPange Lingua (Anton Bruckner)
Jesus remember me (Taizé)

The main aim this was to change where needed for the new translation but otherwise keep most things the same. I had wondered about doing another Gloria. One of the main reasons for doing this would have been if more members of the music group were with us so that they might learn some new settings. However it made more sense, this year at least, to use the same setting as we will use at the Vigil. As a through setting it is not instant music but one of the reasons we introduced it in January was so that we could use it now.

Manalo's Pange lingua seems to have bedded down and once we got to the crypt was well sung. For singing the crypt is an awkward space - not that resonant and packed with people making it hard for the singers to find a palace where it is possible to make a cohort. (Note to self - try opposite piano by other door next year.) Looking at the wrong piece of paper meant that we ended with Jesus, remember me rather than the planned Stay with me — it did not not work.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

1 April 2012

EntranceHosanna from Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Psalm 21 My God, my God (Christopher Walker)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsChristus factus est (Anerio)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
CommunionOurs were the griefs (Stephen Dean)
FinalMy song is love unknown

It is strange that after many years use the vestige of the Gathering Mass will be the entrance chant on Palm Sunday. Possibly in years to come a student will look at this at wonder at the time when this different translation was used - as I once did with for example Bevenot Masses of 1960s.

More than the liturgies of the Triduum today is a day of contrasts which is well expressed in My song is love unknown. It also found in the psalm in the contrast in the between the last verse and the rest. The text of the refrain is one of the most powerful in the liturgy (and when we sing unmediated the words of Christ) which is heard again in the Passion reading again. The Walker setting gives you a refrain to get space to express this. As it was being sung I reflected on the pros and cons of different types of settings. This which tries to express the word through melody, harmony and tessitura or perhaps a simple unaccompanied setting - which offers a starkness. The contrast between glory and sorrow, which will return on Good Friday, can also be found in the text common to both days - Philippians 2 - Anerio's seting with its quicker middle section - and raised above al.l