Sunday, 2 January 2011
|Entrance||As with gladness men of old|
|Gloria||Gloria de Noël (Thomas Niel)|
|Psalm||Ps 71 (Eugene Monaghan/Stephen Dean)|
|Gospel Acclamation||Celtic Alleluia (Fintan O’Carroll)|
|Preparation of the Gifts||What child is this|
|Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen||Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)|
|Agnus Dei||Mass of the Angels and Saints (Steven Janco)|
|Communion||Laudate Omnes Gentes (Taizé) & Reges Tharsis (chant)|
|Postcommunion||Bethlehem Down (Peter Warlock, 1894-1930)|
|Recessional||The First Nowell|
Peter Warlock’s Bethlehem Down sets words (by the poet Bruce Blunt) imagining Mary and Joseph pondering what to do with the gifts of the Magi:
“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
Beautiful robes”, said the young girl to Joseph,
Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down.
As in Sabine Baring-Gould’s The Infant King, the image of the sleeping child mixes with that of the crucifixion:
When He is King they will clothe Him in gravesheets,
Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary,
Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.
But the whole ends in tranquility: here and now the baby has what he needs:
Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,
Close huddled oxen to keep Him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.
The organ packed up just before our recessional hymn, and our visiting organist Anthony Dawson, kindly filling in for our own Anthony, was left pawing a dummy keyboard or four. But I plucked an approximation to F♯ out of the air, and between us the choir and congregation shook the rafters with The First Nowell. Who needs an organ?