Saturday, January 26, 2013

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

20 January 2012

EntranceWe come as guests invited
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaNewman (James MacMillan)
Psalm 95Proclaim the wonders (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationBeati (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsCantate Domino (Pitoni)
Eucharistic AcclamationsSt Annes (James MacMillan)
Lamb of GodNewman (James MacMillan)
Communion AntiphonYou have prepared (mtgf)
CommunionJesus, you are the bread (Bernadette Farrell)
FinalLord you give the great commission

The weight of the musical choices felt as though it went towards the second reading - many the gifts. There are hymns about Cana but they focus on marriage rather than sign - and sign seems to be why it's in the Lectionary. The opening hymn was perhaps at a slight tangent - guests invited to a feast - but part of the understanding of the story is eucharistic. Cantate Domino relates to the psalm and the new song of Jesus' first sign.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Baptism of the Lord

13 January 2013

EntranceWe shall draw water (Paul Inwood)
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaNewman (James MacMillan)
Psalm 103Bless the Lord (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsThere is one Lord (Owen Alstott)
Eucharistic AcclamationsSt Annes (James MacMillan)
Lamb of GodChristmas (Ebeling/mtgf)
Communion AntiphonBehold the one (mtgf)
CommunionSicut cervus (Palestrina)
FinalO praise ye the Lord

This morning we introduced what I am least at the moment expecting to be our last two new Mass settings for a while. We have used the St Anne's Mass before so I am hoping it has lodged somewhere in some the congregation's grey matter. I see both settings, and particularly the Gloria, as ones which need at least a 3-year commitment. The main reason we are using the St Anne's Mass is that it has been chosen as a diocesan setting - with the idea that it will be used at the Cathedral for diocesan occasions. This seems to me to be a 'good thing' which outweigh my reservations about the setting and whether it would be what I would choose as a diocesan setting (this does depend on your criteria). I do have reservations about how the new translation has been applied to the melody - but we shall see if the experience of using modifies my views.

Since hearing it at the time of the Papal Visit I have liked the Gloria from MacMillan's Blessed John Henry Newman Mass. At training events people have enjoyed it as a good sing. In introducing it I suggested to the congregation that they may wish to listen for the next couple of weeks and, though I think it will take a while for them to get familiar, and even a couple of years before they enjoy it as a good sing, it is well constructed from just a couple of motifs which will make learning easier.

What I suspect will be a recurrent theme over the next few weeks is the lack of good hymns (and other pieces) on key gospel narratives. What I wanted here was a good final hymn that picked Jesus' baptism, the beginning of his public ministry and our baptismal calling. I would note that some of the obvious 'Baptism' hymns seem to just to deal with the first and use tunes (metres) which I suspect would be unfamiliar to many. I could have used 'Forth in the peace of Christ' but I am not sure people would have got the baptismal imagery...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Epiphany of the Lord

6 January 2013

EntranceWe three kings
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaChristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 71O Lord, all the earth (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsIn the bleak midwinter (Darke)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodChristmas Lamb of God (Ebeling/mtgf)
Communion AntiphonWe have seen his star (mtgf)
CommunionBethlehem Down (Warlock)
FinalThe First Nowell

The Christmas Gloria is a rewritten setting - it is based on the melody of Angels we have heard with Gloria in excelsis Deo as a congregational refrain. It has always use the correct text - so is not a paraphrase. To solve the longer new translation the composer inserts an extra 4 bar phrase into each verse - a surprise the first time as it is not what you are expecting but you get accustomed. I highlight the setting because first of all it shouts (or perhaps sings) that we are still in the Christmas season. It is one of a number attempts to use this melody and is on the good side of 'naff' - an indigence perhaps but it works. (A side effects is that we never therefore use Angels we have heard or Ding, dong merrily on high). The other reason for mentioning it - and I haven't done a detailed analysis - but it does manage to set the text as a regular 6 phrases/3 verses. I wonder if there is a model or inspiration for looking to write a popular, family Gloria (you know what I mean). I confess that I am not on the lookout for one but I suspect many parishes are - and it seems to me this is a lacunae which composers have not yet filled.