4 January 2015
|Entrance||Bethlehem of noblest cities|
|Penitential Rite||St Gabriel (mtgf)|
|Gloria||Christmas (Paul Gibson)|
|Psalm 71||O Lord, all the earth (mtgf)|
|Gospel Acclamation||Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)|
|Preparation of Gifts||What shall we give (Catalan arr. Dean)|
|Eucharistic Acclamations||Creation (Marty Haugen)|
|Lamb of God||Christmas (mtgf)|
|Communion Antiphon||We have seen his star (mtgf)|
|Communion||The Three Kings (Cornelius)|
|Final||We three Kings|
In previous years, and you can check, we have begun the Epiphany with 'We 3 kings' and ended with 'The first Nowell'. This year we made a change and began with Bethlehem of noblest cities'. For me, at least, there is a tension between wanting to have our fill of carols and awareness a number of the Epiphany hymns giving perhaps a more theological view of the feast. Though I know some don't like 'We three kings' I think it is a good original carol and suspect that its verse have informed people of an interpretation of the Epiphany story. [I was intrigued to hear of some US parishes omitting the 4th verse as it is too sad - this may be an urban myth.]
In the event the opening hymn was just that - and I think what I am partly looking for is the character brings - and gives to the season - this is not Ordinary Time. We three kings did not feel right at the end either - a case of 'we already know this why are you telling us again?'? My thought for next year is the kings at the beginning and a hymn at the end but something uplifting. As Wie schön leeches die Morgenstern is not in the hymnbook 'Songs of thankfulness and praise' but as I suspect the tune is not known perhaps to King Divine?
I have been working on the Common Psalms recently. A Common Psalm is provided for Epiphany in addition to Christmas, presumably to show a shift in the season. (Though the Christmas response All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. would also be appropriate.) What I found interesting, and I suspect is no more than different working groups on the Lectionary, is that for the Epiphany the psalm verses are the same but the response is longer and I think is slightly better — Before you all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve you.