2nd Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2011)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Entrance Remember your mercy, Lord (Paul Inwood)
Kyrie Mass XVII
Psalm Ps 32 (Alan Rees)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ (James Walsh)
Preparation of the Gifts Averte faciem tuam (from Miserere Mei by Antonio Lotti, c. 1667-1740)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Here is my servant, here is my Son (Psallite)
Recessional Immortal, Invisible

Today’s Entrance antiphon came from Psalm 24(25):

Remember your mercies, Lord,
your tenderness from ages past.

We sang Paul Inwood’s very fine setting, with choral verses (setting the Grail translation of the psalm text) and a people’s refrain. The extended refrain and the organ interludes make it a good processional song.

The Communion antiphon,

This is my Son, my beloved,
in whom is all my delight: listen to him.
echoing the Gospel story of the Transfiguration, was a new element in the 1970 Roman Missal, so I shouldn’t have been surprised not to be able to find a polyphonic choral setting. We sang the setting by the Psallite composers, combining a prayerful adaptation of the antiphon text with verses from Isaiah. The latter were an unwieldy object for chanting, but presented the choir with a good test of coordination and clear diction.

Another instalment of Lotti’s Miserere, to follow the section we sang for Ash Wednesday. This time we sang from Averte faciem tuam (turn your face from my sins) to Et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam (and my mouth shall declare your praise). The episodic character of the setting, meandering from verse to verse with nothing in the way of recurring thematic material, gives it a restless, even shapeless feel, but the strength of the pleading in the declamatory final verse of today’s excerpt (beginning Domine, labia mea aperies (Lord, open my lips)) gave the piece its character.

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