Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph


EntranceSee amid the winter's now
Penitential RiteSt Gabriels (mtgf)
GloriaChristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 83They are happy (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsWhat can we give (Catalan arr. Dean)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodChristmas Lamb of God (Ebeling arr. mtgf)
Communion AntiphonOur God has appeared (mtgf)
CommunionI saw a maiden (Basque arr. Pettman)
FinalUnto us is born a son

In the homily Fr Michael noted in trying to answer 'what this story was doing there' that the Gospel of Luke begins and ends in the temple and so this placing of Jesus in the Temple prepares for the transition into to his Baptism and adult ministry. This of course links with the First reading and the psalm - they are happy who dwell in your house. I resisted the idea of repeating Brahms' 'How lovely is thy dwelling place'.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nativity of the Lord - Day Mass

25 December 2012

EntranceOnce in royal David's city
Penitential RiteSt Gabriels (mtgf)
GloriaChristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 97All the ends of the earth (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsCarol at Bethlehem Cave (Spanish arr. Walker)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodChristmas (Ebeling arr. mtgf)
Communion AntiphonAll the ends of the earth (mtgf)
CommunionInfant lowly (Polish arr. Willcocks)
Away in a manger
FinalO little town of Bethlehem

Nativity of the Lord - Mass during the Night

25 December 2012

CarolOnce in royal David's city
ChoirO radiant dawn (James MacMillan)
CarolWhile Shepherds watched
ChoirSing we the Virgin Mary (Appalachian)
CarolO little town of Bethlehem
ChoirAlma redemptoris mater (Palestrina)

EntranceO come all ye faithful
Penitential RiteSt Gabriels (mtgf)
GloriaChristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 95Today a Saviour (Bernadette Farrell)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Profession of FaithCredo III (with Et incarnatus est by Josquin)
Preparation of GiftsShepherd's Cradle Hymn (Bavarian arr. MacPherson)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodChristmas (Ebeling arr. mtgf)
Communion AntiphonThe Word became flesh (mtgf)
CommunionNight of Silence (Daniel Kantor)
Silent Night
FinalHark the herald angels
VoluntaryDieu parmi nous (Messiaen)

I miscalculated the order of items in the pre-Mass section - and so we swapped around Sing we the Virgin and Alma redemptoris to allow time to move from piano to choir. In the event our mature thurifer decided to start the Entrance procession before we have even started the Palestrina at about 11.55. This meant the ministers heard it as they stood by the crib and before we sang the entrance hymn. On second performance I appreciated the Macmillan more - it certainly sings well.

The major innovation this year was Credo III. This was in part to mark the Year of Faith. It is, also with the interpolation from Josquin (it is only recently I discovered it comes from Missa Pange Lingua), a manageable way to allow time for the genuflection at Et incarnatus est.

The Lamb of God is based on All my heart this night rejoices, this year I decided to omit the repeat by all of 'have mercy…' and just bring the congregation in at that point - having done the setting for a couple of years it seemed to work.

4th Sunday of Advent

23 December 2012

EntranceLonging, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential RiteKyrie - Orbis factor
Psalm 79God of hosts (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsO child of promise (Andrew Maries)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodAdvent Lamb of God (mtgf)
Communion AntiphonBehold a virgin shall conceive (mtgf)
CommunionOn the lips of an angel (Bach/Gounod/Soper)
FinalO come, O come Emmanuel

Some choir members could not be with us and so this meant a couple of changes. Whether the congregation thought they were getting Monteverdi when they were getting the Bach/Gounod/Soper mash-up I am not sure.

The reference in the Collect to Christ's Passion and Cross made a connection with Andrew Maries setting of James Quinn's O child of promise - the promise is salvation and it is won through his Passion, Death and Resurrection - this is what we invoke.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

3rd Sunday of Advent

16 December 2012

EntranceLonging, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential RiteKyrie - Orbis factor
Isaiah 12Sing and shout for joy (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsSong of God among us (Huijbers)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodAdvent Lamb of God (mtgf)
Communion AntiphonSay to the faint of heart (mtgf)
CommunionO radiant dawn (James MacMillan)
FinalBlest be the Lord (Alstott/Farrell)

The liturgical year is strange thing. Conceptually we thing of seasons as historical periods of time - Advent is the time before the birth of the Lord, just as Lent is this time before the death of the Lord, and Easter the fifty days following the resurrection. Perhaps a sign that they are later developments is that the gospels don't give us enough information to sustain such ideas over the relevant weeks and days. So in Advent the gospel is actually about the prelude to Jesus's adult ministry - it is an adult Christ we are preparing the way for. SInging the Benedictus at the end might be said to confuse the issue - John the Baptist of the gospel is no longer a little child. I would prefer to see it as enriching and making a link forward to next week.

It is interesting how Church music can seem to become ubiquitous. I am aware of 3 recordings of James MacMillan's O radiant dawn and it has been anthologised. I think deservedly so - it is satisfying to sing and arresting to listen to. It does confirm my ambivalence about MacMillan - or perhaps better my jury is still out - I am undecided whether his ideas are simply inspired or in other hands might seem just simple - perhaps the inspiration is doing it. As a setting of the 'O antiphon' for 21 Deecember we were a little early but it fitted and it was last Sunday we are a complete choir this term - so we ended with a bang.

Monday, December 10, 2012

2nd Sunday of Advent

9 December 2012

EntranceLonging, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential RiteKyrie - Orbis factor
Psalm 125What marvels the Lord worked (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsO comfort my people (Irish arr. mtgf)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodAdvent Lamb of God (mtgf)
Communion AntiphonJerusalem, arise (mtgf)
CommunionThere is a longing (Anne Quigley)
FinalThe voice of God

A straightforward Sunday I think. The arrangement of 'O comfort my people' (or 'Hymn Concertato" as they say in US) I wrote about 20 years ago for the Challoner Choir in Westminster Cathedral.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

7 December 2012

EntranceThe Angel Gabriel
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaAngels and Saints (Steven Janco)
Psalm 97Alleluia - Sing a a new song (John Bell)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsNo wind at the window (Irish trad.)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodAngels and Saints (Steven Janco)
CommunionI saw a maiden (Pettman)
FinalTell out my soul ( )

We celebrated on the vigil of our Patronal Feast. The music was led by the College Choir which had already done the Carol Service on Monday and Carol Singing in Twickenham the previous evening. Items were repeated from the Carol Service - though we had our versions of Monteverdi's Ave maris stella ready if needed at Communion - but one piece was enough and some silence.

Carol Service

3 December 2011

Part 1 - Prepare a way for the Lord

EntranceYonder come day (Georgia Sea Islands Spiritual)
Soon and very soon (Crouch)
Opening Responses
Reading Isaiah 40:1–5 The prophet Isaiah tells the people of Israel to prepare a way for the Lord
Song Did you not know (Bill Tamblyn)
ReadingMark 1: 1-8 St Mark writes of John the Baptist who prepares a way for the Lord
HymnO come, O come Emmanuel

Part 2 - Behold the virgin will conceive

ReadingIsaiah 7: 10-14 The prophet Isaiah tells of the coming of Emmanuel — God is with us
CarolTomorrow shall be my dancing day (English traditional)
ReadingLuke 1: 26-38 St Luke tells of the Incarnation of Jesus
CarolNo wind at the window (Irish/Bell/Haugen)
CarolO little town of Bethlehem

Part 3 - Today is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord

ReadingLuke 2:1-14 St Luke tells of the birth of Jesus
SongWhile shepherds watched (John Foster)
ReadingLuke 2:15-20 St Luke tells of Mary who treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.
SongI saw a maiden (Pettman)
CarolSilent Night

Part 4 - The Word was made flesh and lived among us

Reading1 John 1:1–4 St John reflects on the Incarnation
MotetLove came down at Christmas (mtgf)
IntercessionsHolden Evening Prayer Marty Haugen
Lord's Prayer & Blessing
CarolO come all ye faithful

The idea last year was to set up a pattern for this service which could be repeated - to form a tradition. So this year the structure remained the same with some of the musical items changed. The second reason given then for the liturgy and its celebration of Christmas in these the earliest days of Advent is one of new evangelisation. We have also been carol singing this week and I have interested in the requests for particular carols (more so that secular songs). So this is a service of proclamation.

The musical changes were from the beginning. We have discovered that the back of chapel is a resonant place to sing and a dramatic way to begin the service. We sang two african-american pieces the first static, the second in procession. Musically I think with these pieces we have found a way to begin - I suspect that come next November when we prepare them again there will be looks of expectation.

Bill Tamblyn's joyous piece provided a good contrast to the other pieces with its ringing accompaniment and was actually connected with the last reading and so was a framing device.

'While shepherds watched' was once one of the very few permitted hymns in the Church of England. This scarify of texts led to a range of tunes including this Handelian setting knowing as Old Foster - which definitely has some sparkle. As John Foster was Yorkshireman it is unlikely we are related - my antecedents are the other side of the Pennines.

The second part of our tradition is that we offered some lighter fare afterwards with the mulled wine and mince pies.

1st Sunday of Advent

2 December 2012

EntranceLonging, trusting (mtgf)
Penitential RiteKyrie - Orbis factor
Psalm 24To you, O Lord (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsO thou the central orb (Charles Wood)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodAdvent Lamb of God (mtgf)
Communion AntiphonThe Lord will bestow his bounty (mtgf)
CommunionTurn my heart (Marty Haugen)
FinalHark a herald voice

And so we begin again and at the same time carry on. Nothing new in the core settings this season - but then it was the first anniversary of the full use of the new translation. I am not sure if today's texts are particularly memorable - or perhaps have strong images - but there was a familiarity about the collect and other prayers which seas interesting. We use the Eucharistic Acclamations of the Mass of Creation each year from September until the end of the Christmas and so encompass 3 seasons. This fundamentally practical. One of the benefits of this is that rehearsal time can be used for other things. It also allows the congregation to have confidence. The Mass of Creation is also our default setting which we use for any college Mass - such as later this week for the Immaculate Conception. It is also used at the term time Sunday evening Mass. So we need a setting which provides a common song to a number of sectors of community: the core Sunday morning community, those who are new each September, people from the evening Mass who come outside tern time, staff and students who come to major celebrations outside Sunday and those who visit over Christmas. Inherent in this is my belief that it is fundamentally the role of the core community to lead and encourage participation in the acclamations. And there was one change - we sang the 3rd Memorial Acclamation, Save us, Saviour, as suitable for Advent. I am keen that we use all three acclamations and not get stuck in the rut of only using the first, for example. However I do find this setting slightly awkward with a ¾ bar which feels rushed as though it should be 4/4 - and the first bar exhibits one of my bĂȘte-noires 6/4 when it should be 3/2.

Marty Haugen also appeared at Communion this was partly intendd as contrast to the Charles Wood anthem earlier which is a bit of a blast but fitted Advent with its please to 'Come, quickly, come'. We followed the view that the text at the end is a misreading or misprint: 'transforming clay' rather than 'day' - which makes more sense but is a little harder to sing to the music with the two consonants.

We moved to another stage in my antiphon project. The idea is to set the Missal antiphons to a formula which is used and adapted over a season. The Advent settings are musically related to those of Christmas - but with a change of modality.