23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2011)

Entrance All people that on earth do dwell
Kyrie Kyrie Eleison from Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Gloria Missa Ubi Caritas
Psalm O that today (Chris O’Hara)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Alleluia
Preparation of the Gifts Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei Missa Ubi Caritas
Communion Like the Deer (mcb)
Postcommunion Sicut Cervus (G.P. da Palestrina, 1525-1594)
Recessional Love divine, all loves excelling

As usual for this Sunday in the year we were joined by members of Province No. 1 of the Catenian Association, which made for a large and willing singing (and speaking) assembly. We made our first full use of the new translation of the Order of Mass, and all seemed to go well. In general it seemed that the sung responses were more successful than the spoken ones, the notes on the page (for the assembly as well as the choir) forcing people to pay attention to the words too. In contrast, with the spoken responses it seemed that concentration was flagging by the end of Mass, so that plenty of instances of and also with you crept in by the time we responded a final time to the Lord be with you. But our gradual implementation of the new texts has been proceeding smoothly since Easter, and today’s experience suggested that this will continue.

The second reading today spoke powerfully of the commandment to love, and both our recessional hymn and our song at the preparation of the gifts tied in with this. The latter fitted nicely with our Lord’s words in the Gospel too: where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them, which found echoes in Bob Hurd’s rendition of the ancient hymn:

The love of Christ joins us together;
let us rejoice in him,
and in our love and care for all
now love God in return.

In true communion let us gather;
may all divisions cease
and in their place be Christ the Lord,
our risen Prince of Peace.

May we who gather at this table
to share the bread of life
become a sacrament of love,
your healing touch, O Christ.

Today’s responsorial psalm (94(95)) had the words

For he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

and we sang similar words paraphrased from Ps 99(100) in Vaughan Williams’s stirring Coronation arrangement of our opening hymn.

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