What we did: Maundy Thursday 2009

Opening Hymn When I survey the wondrous cross
Gloria Mass of the Creator Spirit (Nowak)
Responsorial Psalm The Blessing Cup (Walker)
Gospel Acclamation A New Commandment
Washing of Feet If there is this love among you (Barry/Murden)
Preparation of the Gifts Ubi Caritas (Duruflé)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missa Orbis Factor, Missal Tone: Christ has Died, Missal Tone
Agnus Dei Mass XVIII
Communion (i) O Sacrum Convivium (mcb), (ii) Ubi Caritas (Hurd)
Procession (i) Pange Lingua (plainchant), (ii) Stay with me (Taizé)

To my mind the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the evening of Maundy Thursday has a subdued and thoughtful feel to it. Partly this is because in Salford we have the Mass of Chrism on the morning of the same day, and that's always a joyful and colourful occasion. The evening celebration inevitably has a more contemplative mood by comparison. In Bishop Kelly's time (until 1996) it also had a "family" feel to it - he liked to point up the similarities with the Passover Seder, and had children come up to ask the ritual questions as to why we had gathered, and so on. The music was tailored to match, and to some extent you can still see the traces. A New Commandment, for instance, is a very down-to-earth setting of the Gospel Acclamation, though just right as far as the text is concerned. Chris Walker's psalm setting, Bob Hurd's Ubi Caritas and my own and Diane Murden's If there is this love (just published by GIA :-)) all add a similar gentle and accessible feel.

The chant items, on the other hand, connect us with tradition, as is fitting for such an important celebration. We've used the Sanctus from Missa Orbis Factor during Lent for the past three or four years. It's a beautiful setting - to my ear far more elegant and moving than the more familiar chant setting of the Missa de Angelis, for instance. And Pange Lingua more or less chooses itself as the piece of music for the procession to the altar of repose.

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