Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

31 March 2013

EntranceJesus Christ is risen today
Penitential RiteLux et origo (mtgf)
GloriaMass of Wisdom (Stephen Janco)
Psalm 117This is the day (Marty Haugen)
Gospel AcclamationSequence (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsChristo resurgenti (Couperin)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMass of Wisdom (Stephen Janco)
Lamb of GodLux et origo (mtgf)
Communion AntiphonChrist our passover (mtgf)
CommunionExsultate iusti (Viadana)
FinalThine be the glory
VoluntaryVictimae Paschali Laudes (Ropek)

Easter Sunday morning always attracts a number of people - but it was good to see many of the regulars from both morning and evening Masses ready to sing their parts.

This year I have resurrected my adaptation of or settings based on Lux et Origo Mass chants for the Penitential Act and Lamb of God instead of using the Mass of Wisdom all the way through. This is less a reflection of the quality of those parts of the Wisdom settings (which is fine) rather there is a unity of smooth sameness that to me needs a little more grit - or at last a difference of texture.

Easter Vigil

30 March 2013

The Lord is my light (Taizé)


Psalm 103
Send forth your spirit (mtgf)

Psalm 15
Preserve me, God (Christopher Walker)

Exodus 15
I will sing to the Lord (mtgf)

Psalm 29
I will praise you, Lord (Paul Inwood)

Psalm 41-42
As the deer longs (Palestrina/Bridge)

Wisdom (Steven Janco)

Gospel Acclamation
Celtic (O'Carroll/Walker)

Baptismal Liturgy
Sprinkling: Amen, Amen (mtgf)

Preparation of Gifts
For peace (Antoine Oomen)

Eucharistic Acclamations
Wisdom (Steven Janco)

Lamb of God
Wisdom (Steven Janco)
Communion AntiphonChrist our Passover

Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)

Christ be our light (Bernadette Farrell)
VoluntaryAcclamations sur Christus Vincit (Suite Medievale) (Langlais)

Once again little change. In addition to the congregation being familiar to the music it also means that the regular singers are also confident and are not only familiar with the music but also the pattern of the liturgy. I have been in parishes where the Vigil is seen as immensely complicated - a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is definitely long and requires quite a lot of music but there is a pattern. One of the advantages of singers' familiarity is that you can bring in new people - a couple of College Choir joined us. I promised that it would be good or their sight-reading. In preparing it meant we could focus on their contribution and familiarity.

I reflected in the Vigil as drama. In part is the way that we celebrate it in some ways a compensation for the lack of baptisms. (This is about candles and movement rather than production numbers.) I think this compensation is also implicit in the revision/restoration of the Vigil - what might you do if you are not going to baptise people. There is also a Brechtian alienation effect as well. People always gather in the chapel - last night you would not have hung around outside for too long - and the lights are on. This place which will in a short while glow in candlelight is plain for all to see. The effect it seems to me is not we are pretending but this is real because it acknowledges both states.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good Friday

6 April 2013

Psalm 31Father, into your hands (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Adoration of the CrossReproaches (Peter Jones)
Vexilla Regis (Anton Bruckner)
O vos omnes (Victoria)
CommunionChristus factus est (Anton Bruckner)
O Crux ave (Rihards Dubra)
When I survey the wondrous cross
Again the principle 'change little' applied. The only significant difference was a second Bruckner motet - Christus factus est. A small masterpiece, not easy but we are a good first impression. We may be small in number but individual members are very conscientious about learning new pieces and rising to new challenges.
Following on from last night much of the liturgy was unaccompanied - a possible change for the future would be to be completely unaccompanied. The only setting which would be less effective would be the Reproaches - but there are other settings… The question with music for the Good Friday liturgy does it achieve a balance between lament and glory?

Maundy Thursday

28 March 2013

For God so loved the world

Penitential Rite
Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)

Mass of Wisdom (Steven

Psalm 115
The blessing cup (mtgf)

Gospel Acclamation
Lenten (mtgf)

Washing of the Feet
Faith, hope and love
(Christopher Walker)

Preparation of Gifts
Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)

Eucharistic Acclamations
Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)

Lamb of God
Remembrance (Marty Haugen)

Communion Antiphon
This is the Body (mtgf)
CommunionAve verum Corpus (Byrd)

Pange lingua (Ricky
Tantum ergo (chant)

Lay down your head (John Bell)
Stay with me (Taizé)
One of Baumstarck's rules of Comparative Liturgy was roughly - the older and more solemn the liturgy the less that is changed over time - hence the retention of the Solemn Intercessions on Good Friday when, until they were restored Post Council, they were not otherwise part of the ordinary liturgy. I am aware that it is possible to see a version of this law in action when it comes to choosing music for the Triduum. Tonight there are only two changes from last year - the Communion Antiphon follows our recent practice and in the crypt we reverted to John Bell's Easter Carol. There is, I believe, another aspect of the rule which is that there is a link between solemnity and memorability. The congregation really sang tonight and for some of them who may not have been regulars at either Sunday Masses they would not have sung these settings since last year. The uniqueness of the occasion may be better description than solemnity - in terms of what it is that engages people.
Look at my comments last year I see by some Freudian slip - or more likely over enthusiastic autocorrect:
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.)
Well this year we did try another place - as suggested. Actually we were also unaccompanied which was satisfying. We just two verses of Lay down your head - I always have a concern that we might have too much music and be overindulgent.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

24 March

EntranceHosanna (Paul Inwood)
Psalm 21My God, my God (Christopher Walker)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsOurs were the griefs (Stephen Dean)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Communion AntiphonFather, if this chalice (mtgf)
CommunionChristus factus est (Anerio)
FinalMy song is love unknown

I think this was much the same as last year - obviously too lazy to check. People were new though so there benefit in the familiarity of items to the core so that there could fit in. We don't process - we just have the Solemn Entrance. We actually have an ideal place to begin the procession from - the Chapel in the Woods, which is part of the Walpole architectural legacy and these does just has a few trees around it. However this morning the weather meant that being in doors was preferable - it was cold enough that for once all the main doors were not opened - though it was still cold in the Chapel.

The Communion Antiphon was new - whatever the merits as translation 'chalice' is a very clunky word to sing - I will probably have the same thought on Thursday evening.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

5th Sunday of Lent

17 March 2-13

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteLenten (Bob Hurd)
Psalm 125What marvels the Lord (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsVerleih uns frieden (Mendelssohn)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Communion AntiphonHas no one condemned you (mtgf)
CommunionOne in Body, Heart and Mind (Christopher Walker)
FinalThere's a wideness in God's mercy

In the evening Masses we have been using one of the Common Psalms (90) - this has been our practice through the year. Tonight using it it struck me more forcibly that don't fully understand the Lenten choices of psalms. I was struck because I thought that the psalm response (the 'I') could be sing by the woman caught in adultery - 'Be with me, Lord' whereas it is less easy to apply "What marvels the Lord worked'. I suspect that the Lenten Psalm choices are more paired with the first reading rather than being a bridge with the Gospel - or more because all the readings are a piece they are expected to be heard sequentially - stage by stage, text by text. An implication of this is that we are hearing the gospel for the first time - i.e. we do not know the ending. In general I think the Lectionary is based on knowing the gospel in some way - not just the individual story but whole story - how it is understood in the light of the Paschal Mystery.

One in Body was chosen as something Celtic in inspiration for those who might have been expecting St Patrick today.

What is a good tune for There's a wideness? We used Hyfrydol - but that was for familiarity

Saturday, March 16, 2013

4th Sunday of Lent

10 March 2013

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteLenten (Bob Hurd)
Psalm 33Taste and see (Stephen Dean)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of Gifts
Eucharistic AcclamationsMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Communion AntiphonYou must rejoice my Son (mtgf)
FinalBe thou my vision

This Sunday the choir were away in Birmingham with the College Choir at the 5th Church Colleges' Choirs Festival. On Sunday morning we had the privilege and pleasure singing St Chad's Cathedral with some of the other choirs and the Cathedral Choir.

Back at St Mary's our organist became cantor for the morning and ably led the congregation in a slightly simplified version of our Lenten fare.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

3rd Sunday of Lent

3 March 2013

EntranceFor God so loved the world (mtgf)
Penitential RiteLenten (Bob Hurd)
Psalm 102The Lord is compassion (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationLenten (mtgf)
Preparation of GiftsLord, for thy tender mercies' sake (Farrant)
Eucharistic AcclamationsMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Lamb of GodMissa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Communion AntiphonThe sparrow finds a home (mtgf)
CommunionHoly Ground (mtgf)
FinalPraise my soul the king of heaven

Broad themes of repentance and forgiveness and the image of the burning bush meant an opportunity to repeat that was written for this Sunday three year's ago - Holy Ground. In a similar way to the other couple of times we have used since then we sang the verses consecutively with the refrain at beginning and end

A novelty today was that we sang the Entrance Antiphon before Mass - it was from the same project as the Communion Antiphons

At the evening Mass one thing I have done both as aid to planning but also to add to their repertoire is use a different psalm each week at Communion. This week it was Psalm 129 - Out of the Depths by Scott Soper, in previous weeks it has been 41, 26 and in the coming weeks 33 and 62.