26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2009)

Entrance All ye who seek a comfort sure
Kyrie Missa de Angelis
Gloria Mass for John Carroll (Michael Joncas)
Psalm Ps 18 (McCarthy/Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation Celtic Alleluia (Fintan O’Carroll)
Creed Credo III
Preparation of the Gifts Lord for tomorrow and its needs
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Agnus Dei Mass XVIII & Missa Aeterna Christi Munera (G.P da Palestrina, c. 1525–1594)
Communion (i) Living Bread, Bread of Heaven (mcb)
(ii) O Quam Gloriosum (Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548–1611)
Postcommunion Soul of my Saviour
Recessional Holy God, we praise thy name

Our Mass today was celebrated in the presence of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux. The congregation was bigger than I’ve ever seen for a Sunday Mass at the cathedral, and the music was chosen to suit the occasion.

The opening hymn approximately reflected the entrance antiphon—the hymn’s …opens to you his sacred heart, O to that heart draw nigh. Ye hear how kindly he invites… matching the antiphon’s But now show us your greatness of heart, and treat us with your unbounded kindness, while also acknowledging our distinguished visitor with the words Jesus, thou joy of saints on high, thou hope of sinners here, and the highly apposite all ye that labour come to me, and I will give you rest. We used Colin Mawby’s festive arrangement of the tune St Bernard from his collection Hymns for Occasions. I think it set the right tone for a grand and solemn celebration.

For the Communion procession we had a new piece – a simple setting for assembly of some words from Thérèse’s Mon chant d’aujourd’hui:

Pain vivant, Pain du Ciel, divine Eucharistie
O Mystère sacré! que l’Amour a produit…
Viens habiter mon cœur, Jésus, ma blanche Hostie
Rien que pour aujourd’hui.

which I’d paraphrased to:

Living Bread, Bread of Heaven, Eucharist divine
O sacred Mystery, fruit of Love
Come into our hearts, Lord, come into our lives
This is all we ask for today

and in between the refrains, the choir sang verses of Psalm 50(51), beginning A pure heart create for me O God.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2009)

Entrance Be thou my vision
Kyrie Kyrie I (Taizé )
Gloria Mass for John Carroll (Michael Joncas)
Psalm Ps 53 (Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts All that is hidden (Bernadette Farrell)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Eucharistic Acclamations (Bernadette Farrell)
Agnus Dei from Beneath the Tree of Life (Marty Haugen)
Communion In the Lord (Taizé)(alternative text by Paul Inwood)
Postcommunion Teach me, O Lord (Thomas Attwood, 1765-1838)
Recessional O God our help in ages past

Another of those Sundays that are difficult to plan for because there seem to be fewer items in our repertoire that directly connect with the readings and propers. But Be thou my vision and All that is hidden linked nicely to the theme of discipleship set out in today’s Gospel reading from Mark:

If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.

Jacques Berthier’s Kyrie I formed the backbone of our Penitential Rite in the third form, with Fr Tony singing the tropes (with the choir accompanying) in between the people’s refrains.

After our recessional hymn Anthony treated us to Bach’s St Anne Fugue in E♭, BWV 552. The striking resemblance of the fugue’s subject to the opening line of the familiar tune for O God, our help in ages past is said to be fortuitous, but the two pieces go together splendidly.

At Communion we had Attwood’s Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, reflecting today’s Communion antiphon:

You have laid down your precepts to be faithfully kept. May my footsteps be firm in keeping your commands.

Attwood is claimed to have been a “favourite pupil of Mozart”, but judging from the workmanlike simplicity of Teach me, I’m not sure a whole lot actually rubbed off.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2009)

Entrance Praise to the holiest
Kyrie Mass for John Carroll (Michael Joncas)
Gloria Mass for John Carroll
Psalm Ps 114 (McCarthy/Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Let all mortal flesh keep silence
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Eucharistic Acclamations (Bernadette Farrell)
Agnus Dei Mass of Christ the King (mcb)
Communion The Blessing Cup (Sue Furlong)
Postcommunion Lord Jesu Christ, my life and light, BWV 118 (J.S. Bach)
Recessional My song is love unknown

In today’s Gospel reading from Mark, Jesus – seen the previous two Sundays as teacher and healer – reveals his impending suffering and death. The first reading and the responsorial psalm reflect the starkness of this disclosure. To get the choir in the right frame of mind for rehearsing O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht (in John Rutter’s excellent translation) I pointed to the phrase “I have set my face like flint” in the first reading from Isaiah, to encapsulate the sense of grave steadfastness in Bach’s solemn motet.

Our opening and closing hymn choices too had a Passiontide feel, though Let all mortal flesh at the preparation of the gifts was intended as a more numinous reflection on Christ’s kingship, acknowledged (obliquely) by Peter in the Gospel reading.

A first outing in three years for Bernadette Farrell’s Eucharistic Acclamations (also published as the Mass of Hope). They have the merit of versatility, working well, in my experience, with parish music group resources, as much as in the solemn and stirring arrangement by Paul Inwood for choir and organ, which is how we did them today.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2009)

Entrance Praise my soul, the king of heaven
Kyrie Mass for John Carroll (Michael Joncas)
Gloria Mass for John Carroll
Psalm Ps 145 (Stephen Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts Fugue alla Gigue, BWV 577 (J.S. Bach)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Agnus Dei Holy Family Mass (John Schiavone)
Communion (i) Like the Deer (mcb)
(ii) Godhead here in hiding
Postcommunion Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)
Recessional Thou whose almighty Word

We returned from our Summer break today, and were fortunate to have members of Province 1 of the Catenian Association with us once again. As usual for these occasions, the music was chosen to take advantage of the large and enthusiastic singing assembly.

Today’s readings touched on healing, and two of our hymns took up the same theme: Praise my soul, the king of heaven (“ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven”) and Thou whose almighty Word (“Thou who didst come to bring/on thy redeeming wing/healing and sight,
health to the sick in mind, sight to the inly blind, ah! now to all mankind,
let there be light!”)

Psalm 42’s thirsty deer had two contrasting outings, in my simple setting and Palestrina’s famous gem. (One-nil to Palestrina then.)

The Ordinary of the Mass was mix-and-match, the items by Joncas and Schiavone providing instantly accessible but musically strong congregational responses for a gathering of people from disparate worshipping communities with a limited common repertoire. And if anyone didn’t know the Sanctus from the Mass of Creation, perhaps they should have, and they do now.

All that plus Bach’s Jig Fugue during the Preparation of the Gifts, carried off by our inimitable organist with verve and panache, and stuff like that.