Saints Peter and Paul, 2009

Entrance The Church’s One Foundation
Kyrie Kyrie I (Jacques Berthier)
Gloria Coventry Gloria (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 33 (mcb)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Alleluia
Preparation of the Gifts Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Agnus Dei Mass XVIII & Missa O Quam Gloriosum (Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548–1611)
Communion Come to Me (Martin Barry & Diane Murden)
Postcommunion Tu Es Petrus (Jacob Clemens non Papa, c. 1510-1556)
Recessional For All the Saints

For our celebration of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul today we were joined by members of Province 1 of the Catenian Association. We had music to suit a large and willing singing assembly – the Gathering Mass, the Coventry Gloria, and some rousing and well-known hymns. It's some years since we’ve sung Paul Inwood’s mass regularly on Sundays, but it’s just right for large ad hoc gatherings when you want to be sure people will know it well enough to be able to play their part.

The choir sang the setting of Tu Es Petrus by Clemens non Papa (according to Wikipedia his nickname - not the pope - was a joke on the part of his publisher), and the Agnus Dei from Victoria’s Missa O Quam Gloriosum, sandwiched between the first and third lines of the Agnus from Mass XVIII. This seems to me a good way to include gems from the repertoire of polyphonic mass settings, while maintaining the participation of the assembly first and foremost.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2009)

Entrance Eternal Father, strong to save
Kyrie Kyrie Litany from Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Gloria Missa Ubi Caritas (Hurd)
Psalm Ps 106 (Boulton Smith/BĂ©venot)
Gospel Acclamation The Wulstan Alleluia (Here in our Midst) (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Laudate Dominum (Mozart)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missa Ubi Caritas
Agnus Dei Missa Ubi Caritas
Communion The eyes of everyone (mcb)
Postcommunion Oculi Omnium (Charles Wood, 1866-1926)
Recessional Thanks be to God (Stephen Dean)

A prayer for those in peril on the sea, to go with the storms depicted in the verses of Sunday’s responsorial psalm. They’re unusually dramatic for psalm verses, and we acted them out with big dynamic contrasts, and a sudden pause for the calm after the storm to descend in the third verse.

Two versions of the communion antiphon The Eyes of All – a new simple setting of mine with a congregational refrain, and Charles Wood’s serene prayer of thanksgiving.

More serene thanksgiving in the Mozart (the soprano solo beautifully rendered by Gwen Leech), echoing today’s psalm response O give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures for ever. And then, to finish, a more exuberant expression of gratitude in Stephen Dean’s hymn setting, which deserves to be more widely known.

Corpus Christi, 2009

Entrance Of the glorious body telling
Kyrie Kyrie Eleison (Dinah Reindorf)
Gloria from Missa Latina (Daniel Bath)
Psalm Ps 115 (Psallite/Stephen Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Sacerdotes Domini (William Byrd)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Christ the King (mcb)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Take and Eat (Michael Joncas)
Postcommunion O Sacrum Convivium (Olivier Messiaen)
Recessional O bread of heaven

Another of our rich and varied musical banquets for the solemnity of the Body & Blood of the Lord, transferred from last Thursday - ranging from Daniel Bath’s Gloria in Cuban jazz style to Messiaen’s vision of the heavenly banquet, at turns almost mute with reverence and dazzling in its vision of future glory.

For the responsorial psalm we took the response from Psallite (Raise the cup of salvation, only we added “I will” by way of an anacrusis, to bring the words more in to line with those of the Lectionary) and psalm verses set by Stephen Dean. The two seemed to go together well.

Compared with the brimming sensuality of the Messiaen, we had to work hard to bring Byrd’s Sacerdotes Domini to life. But I think we found the right understated note of solemnity and mystery for the first half – “The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God, and therefore they shall be holy to their God, and shall not defile His name” – while injecting a spring in the step for the cheerful alleluias with which it concludes.

We didn’t sing today’s sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem. It’s optional, and to my mind the Latin chant setting isn’t a thing of great beauty. It’s long too. Maybe next year; or maybe I’ll look for a more appealing vernacular setting. Suggestions anyone?

Trinity Sunday, 2009

Entrance Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty
Kyrie Kyrie Eleison from Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Gloria Missa Ubi Caritas
Psalm Ps 32 (Robert Sherlaw Johnson)
Gospel Acclamation Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)
Creed Credo III
Preparation of the Gifts A Hymn to the Trinity (Tchaikovsky)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missa Ubi Caritas
Agnus Dei Missa Ubi Caritas
Communion God beyond all names (John Bell) & Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas (chant)
Postcommunion Tibi Laus (Orlande de Lassus)
Recessional Holy God, we praise thy name

A sung Credo for a feast on which we reflect perhaps more than usual on the mysteries of what we believe. We sang it antiphonally, the choir and people alternating lines, but having tried it that way I think I prefer singing it all straight through tutti. The text isn’t a dialogue, and it feels arbitrary to allocate some propositions but not others to the singing assembly. It doesn’t make it any easier to sing, anyway - with Credo III you either know it or you don’t. It would be good to sing it often enough that it’s familiar even to younger members of the congregation.

For Communion, a combination of John Bell’s God beyond all names from the Iona collection We walk his way, and the chant antiphon Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas. Strictly speaking the latter is the Introit for today's Mass, but it lends itself nicely to breaking up into three shorter sections interleaved with John Bell’s refrain. In previous years we’ve sung Bernadette Farrell’s song with the same title. Another good text for a day when we reflect on mysteries!