Pentecost, 2009

Entrance O Spirit All-embracing
Gloria Mass of the Celtic Saints (Liam Lawton)
Psalm Send forth your Spirit (Paul Wellicome)
Sequence Holy Spirit, Lord of Light (Edward Caswall) – chant
Gospel Acclamation Eastertide Gospel Acclamation (Bernadatte Farrell)
Rite of Confirmation (i) Come Holy Spirit (Loh I-to, 1936-)
(ii) Veni Creator Spiritus (Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611)
(iii) Come Holy Spirit 2 (Stephen Dean)
Preparation of the Gifts Wisdom, Come Softly (Martin Barry and Diane Murden)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of the Celtic Saints (Liam Lawton)
Agnus Dei from Beneath the Tree of Life (Marty Haugen)
Communion Spirit of the living God & Psalm 103 (John Ainslie)
Recessional Come Holy Ghost, creator, come

For a special occasion, our usual rich and varied musical banquet. Victoria’s Veni Creator alternates polyphonic verses with verses from the familiar chant setting. We had chant for the Sequence too, though in previous years we’ve also sung the arrangement by Richard Proulx, which clothes the chant melody in a jaunty 6/8 with parallel fifths between the voices.

Come, Holy Spirit, which we sang during the Rite of Confirmation, is a haunting short piece by the Taiwanese ethnomusicologist Loh I-to, consisting of simple ostinato lines for three voices in what in Western music would be called the phrygian mode. The voices enter one by one and the piece’s sense of brooding mystery rises and then ebbs away, conjuring a vivid sense of the Spirit hovering over the chaos. The piece comes from the GIA collection Sound the Bamboo, a compilation of hymns and other sacred music from Asia, of which Loh was also the general editor.

For the Communion procession we alternated repetitions of Spirit of the Living God with verses from psalm 103. The same psalm verses appear in Paul Wellicome’s Send forth your Spirit. This is an unusually lusty sing for a responsorial psalm setting! But no less effective for all that. The rafters shook.

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