Friday, December 29, 2017

Nativity of the Lord - Mass during the Night

25 December 2017

Carol Once in royal David's city
Choir Long is our winter (German)
Carol While shepherds watched
Choir Sing we the Virgin (Anon/Niles)
Carol O little town of Bethlehem

Entrance O come all ye faithful
Penitential Rite St Gabriel (mtgf)
Gloria Christmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 95 Today a Saviour (Bernadette Farrell)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Profession of Faith Credo III (chant + Josquin)
Preparation of Gifts What shall we give (Catalan arr. Dean)
Eucharistic Acclamations Comfort & Joy (mtgf)
Lamb of God Christmas (mtgf)
Communion Antiphon The Word became flesh (mtgf)
Communion Night of Silence (Daniel Kantor)
Silent Night
Final Joy to the world

It had never struck me before that Baumstark's laws of historical liturgy play out in some ways at a micro level in musical choices. Firstly that at more solemn seasons the older elements have greater tenacity and secondly that change is organic (changes take place first along side then replace). At this Mass there are elements which have been the same for probably 20 years (the same would be true of the Triduum) but there are also developments - but in some ways nothing too radical. So the last carol has changed - it has usually been Hark the herald angels sing, though God rest you merry gentlemen has also been sung. Perhaps more radical is a change of Eucharistic Acclamations - but the intentions is that this not a one year change, it becomes part of the 'tradition'. Beforehand is a little more flexible and usually reflects something of the Advent Sundays but is also dependent on resources etc. This year I was very grateful to those, including visitors, who were inveigled to sing along. I have rehearsed before the advantages both to musicians and congregation of a certain familiarity - but one which always open to change

I am also aware of the possible antithesis which are those celebrations which do not seem to have settled into a familiar pattern. One example of this would be, for me, the Epiphany, where I never find the music chosen wholly right -it has not found its 'traditional' form yet. (It will be interesting seeing how the holydays move will further affect this.)

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