Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Ascension of the Lord

20 May 2012

EntrancePraise him as he mounts the skies
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 46Our God goes up (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of GiftsOne is the Body (John Bell)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionChrist the Glory (Lalouette)
Alleluia hymn (Orthodox/mtgf)
FinalLord, you give the great commission

There was a large congregation at Mass this morning - partly baptism party, partly because the evening Mass has finished. A direct effect of this was that we need a second piece at Communion. I had considered the Alleluia Hymn as alternative item this morning so I could reach across the piano top for the music - even so we managed 8 verses.

Praise him as he mounts the skies is James Quinn's alternative text to Hail the day that sees him rise. As an aside I always think that Llanfair, the hymn tune is a little bit 'could do better'. The Quinn text brings out the eschatological dimension of the feast and that together with the reference to Christ the head and the body in the collect made me wonder how theologically sophisticated we expect congregations to be? Is today just about celebrating Jesus ascending to heaven after Easter as an event or more than that. (It seems to me that if it is primarily about event you would be less than happy about the transference to a Sunday.)

THe last hymn was the same as last year and once again we sang it to Ode to Joy (another weak hymn tune?) for the same reasons.

One thing where I think we currently weak is how does this Sunday (and next etc.) stand out as a 'full solemnity'. To be worked upon I suspect.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

6th Sunday of Easter

13 May 2012

EntranceLove is his word
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 96 (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionLive on in my love (Collegeville Composers Group)
FinalGod is love

I am not sure if it is because at this time of year it seems harder to sustain or as I have mentioned before that the Easter Season is more diffuse but even when more fully planned it seems less imaginative than Lent - that is the right word. We were unaccompanied today so that meant some of the planning had to be adjusted. Live on in my love I thinks sounds best a cappella.

It was a test of the Mass setting to see how it worked unaccompanied. It was the same last week and then you could hear the congregation joining. This week the disposition of voices was different so it was a question of was the harmony sustainable without accompaniment - it seemed to work.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

5th Sunday of Easter

6 May 2012

EntranceChrist is alive
Penitential RiteMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Psalm 21 I will praise your name (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationCeltic (O'Carroll/Walker)
Preparation of Gifts Many are the lightbeams (Widestrand arr. Haugen)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Lamb of GodMass of Wisdom (Steven Janco)
CommunionWe have been told (David Haas)
FinalO praise ye the Lord

Today's Responsorial Psalm is a good example of the selectiveness of the Lectioney. It is from the same psalm that is used on Palm Sunday, probably the least hopeful response in the liturgical year, My God, why have you forsaken me? and here it is in the Easter Season - perhaps we are singing the words of Paul: You, Lord are my praise in the great assembly. I notice writing this that I changed the text of the response (probably 9 years ago) to I will praise your name, O Lord, in the assembly of the faithful.

The opening hymn tune Vulpius seems to have different underlay for the Alleluias at the end of each verse in different hymnbooks. I prefer the crotchets (as opposed to minim-crotchet) as it has more rhythmic drive. The division seems to be denominational and reminds me of being in Germany and discovering that for chorales such as Wie schön leuchtet die morgenstern Lutherans and Catholics sang different rhythms (the Lutheran was I think an attempt to restore the original rhythms - neither was that regular) and so were not able to sing together. One in Christ is the refrain of Many are the lightbeams which comes to us via Carthage in North Africa in the 3rd century, Lutheran Sweden, Lutheran US Midwest working in a Catholic context to an English hymnbook.