15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2011)

Entrance Thou whose almighty word
Kyrie Taizé Kyrie I
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 64 (Stuart Beer)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts Eye has not seen (Marty Haugen)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Agnus Dei Holy Family Mass (John Schiavone)
Communion Seed scattered and sown (Dan Feiten)
Postcommunion How lovely are thy dwellings (Johannes Brahms, 1833-1897)
Recessional Love Divine

The seed in today’s readings is identified with the word falling on receptive ears. Our Communion processional song made a different connection, using the image from the Didache: as seed was scattered on the hill and then gathered to make one loaf of bread, so are we gathered into Christ’s body. The music, in different hands, could have a chirpy 60s folk quality to it, but we took it at a gentler pace, which lent a prayerful air, and gave time for the multiple scriptural sources of the text to resonate.

The Communion antiphon itself, from Ps 83(84), included the words

How happy they who dwell in your house! For ever they are praising you.

We sang the same text in the well-known chorus from Brahms’s German Requiem.

Another new Gloria today, namely that from Jacob Bancks’s Mass of the Most Sacred Heart. For a piece given away freely via the internet it has a good deal of musical merit, chiefly in the skilful use of connected melodic themes to mirror the structure of the text itself. On the other hand (as I read in a blog discussion of the piece) the part-writing seems curiously cavalier about musical grammaticality, with a proliferation of consecutive fifths and octaves, unresolved discords, gratuitous second inversions, and the like. The composer seemed unrepentant, and the least that can be said is that to the untrained ear the piece seems to work well.

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