The Ascension, 2009

Entrance Christ Triumphant
Gloria Mass of the Celtic Saints (Liam Lawton)
Psalm Ps 46 (Shaun MacCarthy)
Gospel Acclamation Eastertide Gospel Acclamation (Bernadatte Farrell)
Prayer of the Faithful Regina Caeli (chant)
Preparation of the Gifts Hail the day that sees him rise
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of the Celtic Saints (Liam Lawton)
Agnus Dei from Beneath the Tree of Life (Marty Haugen)
Communion My Peace (Taizé) & Ascendit Deus (chant)
Postcommunion God is gone up with a merry noise (William Croft, 1678-1727)
Recessional Alleluia, Sing to Jesus

For the Communion procession we’re singing Jacques Berthier’s My Peace interspersed with chant verses from the short responsory for the office of Terce: Ascendit Deus in Jubilatione. This means that on Sunday we’re singing the same text in three different guises: as well as this Latin version, we’re singing Shaun MacCarthy’s exhilarating setting of the Responsorial Psalm, which sets the Grail text God goes up with shouts of joy to verses that flash past in a flurry of alternating 7/8, 8/8 and 3/4, and William Croft’s God is gone up with a merry noise.

Croft succeeded his teacher John Blow as organist of Westminster Abbey in 1708 (it says in Wikipedia). His verse anthem is in a different style from our usual choral fare, with two majestic choruses flanking a perkier verse for six-part semichorus. In recent years we've sung Palestrina’s Ascendo ad Patrem. The Croft piece makes for a sparkling alternative to Palestrina's more sedate and stately vision of our Lord ascending.

A sung Marian antiphon in place of reciting the Hail Mary after the prayer of the faithful. It's May, after all.


  1. Just to let you know that I've found this blog. Bravo on setting it up!

    Mildly surprised to find such a restrained setting as Liam's Celtic Saints being used during the joyful season of Eastertide...

  2. Welcome, your Eminence! Part of the reason for choosing Mass of the Celtic Saints for Eastertide was for the contrast it makes with the plainchant Missa Orbis Factor, which we sang throughout Lent - I suppose the salient characteristics are its cheerfulness and friendliness rather than an unrestrained exuberance. I'd welcome suggestions for settings that fit the latter bill!

    There's a discussion you may have already seen going on in the SSG Forum, in which I've mentioned that I find the repertoire of settings of the Eucharistic Acclamations particularly lean when it comes to settings that exploit the musical resources of a cathedral without taking away the people's voice. Suggestions welcome!