|Entrance||Christ is made the sure foundation|
|Kyrie||Kyrie Eleison from Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)|
|Gloria||Missa Ubi Caritas|
|Psalm||Ps 30 (Martin Hall/A Gregory Murray)|
|Gospel Acclamation||Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)|
|Preparation of the Gifts||The Lord bless you and keep you (John Rutter)|
|Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen||Assisi Acclamations (Nick Baty)|
|Agnus Dei||Lamb of God II (mcb)|
|Communion||I am the true and living bread (Martin Barry/Diane Murden)|
|Postcommunion||Litany to the Holy Spirit (Peter Hurford)|
|Recessional||Glorious things of you are spoken|
It was harder than I expected to find songs and hymns reflecting the image in today’s readings of God our rock. From Psalm 94(95), there’s the line Hail the rock who saves us. We sang a setting of this psalm for our Entrance song four Sundays ago. Today we tried out a hymn which, to my knowledge, we haven’t sung before: John Newton’s Glorious things of thee are spoken (in the Celebration Hymnal for Everyone version with modernised pronouns), with the line On the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake your sure repose? Our opening hymn Christ is made the sure foundation touched on the same theme.
For this the last Sunday before Lent, we had two fairly sunny choral items: firstly, John Rutter’s The Lord bless you and keep you, in which the line The Lord make his face to shine upon you echoed the last verse of the responsorial psalm; and secondly Peter Hurford’s Litany to the Holy Spirit.
The latter was chosen with both of today’s Communion antiphons in mind:
I call upon you, God, for you will answer me;
Bend your ear and hear my prayer.
I tell you solemnly, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours, says the Lord.
The words are the first three stanzas of Robert Herrick’s (1591-1674) prayer in verse about last things. Peter Hurford’s charming melody might be thought an incongruous vehicle for Herrick’s rather morbid supplications, but the end result is an uplifting focus not on death and judgement, but on the reassurance of trust in the Holy Spirit, the comforter.