1st Sunday of Advent (Year B, 2011)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Entrance Let all mortal flesh keep silence
Kyrie Missal Chant
Psalm God of hosts, bring us back (Sue Furlong)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Alan Smith)
Prayers of Intercession Through our lives (John Bell)
Preparation of the Gifts Wake O Wake, with tidings thrilling (Philipp Nicolai, 1566-1608, arr mcb & J.S. Bach, 1685-1750)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missal Chant
Agnus Dei Missal Chant
Communion To you, O lord, I lift my soul (Marty Haugen)
Postcommunion Ad te levavi (F.X. Witt, 1834-1888)
Recessional Love divine, all loves excelling

Our two pieces during Communion both took their text from the entrance antiphon:

To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.

Franz Xaver Witt was a founding father of the Cecilian movement, and his dramatic miniature is five parts imitation Palestrina to one part attempted Bruckner. Marty Haugen’s gentle prayerful setting adds verses from Psalm 25.

We sang two verses of Philipp Nicolai’s Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, in the 1906 translation by Francis Crawford Burkitt. The first was my perky dance-like arrangement for four voices, the second a more stately rendition of Bach’s chorale harmonisation. The overall mood of the piece was one of burgeoning anticipation; just right for a first celebration of Advent.

Christ the King (Year A, 2011)

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Entrance Christus Vincit
Kyrie Kyrie for 3 voices adapted from Byrd (mcb)
Gloria Psallite Mass
Psalm Ps 22 (Gélineau)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Let all the world in every corner sing
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Te saeculorum principem (chant) & Jesus, remember me (Taizé)
Postcommunion Hallelujah (from the Messiah by G.F. Handel, 1685-1759)
Recessional Crown him with many crowns

We opened our celebration with plainchant at its most muscular – the mid-13th century Laudes Regiae from the Worcester Antiphoner, in the version reconstructed by Laurence Bévenot. This is different from the version appearing in the Roman chant books, with the latter version’s emphasis on prayers for the Church. We prayed instead chiefly for the Pope: tu illum adiuva rather than illam.

Today’s Communion antiphon from Ps 28 –
The Lord shall reign for ever and will give his people the gift of peace

was the perfect excuse for the Hallelujah chorus, echoing the first sentiment, if not so obviously the second.

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) and Remembrance Sunday 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Introit Requiem Aeternam (chant)
Opening Hymn Abide with me
Kyrie Kyrie for 3 Voices adapted from Byrd (mcb)
Gloria Psallite Mass
Psalm O blessed are those (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts Will you let me be your servant
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Confitemini Domino (Taizé) & Ps 117 (Bévenot)
Postcommunion Justorum Animae (Charles Villiers Stanford, 1852-1924)
Recessional O praise ye the Lord

Stanford’s powerful and dramatic setting of words from the book of Wisdom was just right for Remembrance Sunday, as was the plainchant introit from the Requiem Mass, and the hymn which followed our two minutes’ silence at the beginning of Mass.

The readings and antiphons for the 33rd Sunday were harder to match with suitable songs, I thought, but Paul Inwood’s gentle setting of the responsorial psalm hit the right note, as did our song – taking up the image of the good and faithful servant from St Matthew’s Gospel – at the preparation of the gifts.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2011)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Entrance Awake, awake, fling off the night
Sprinkling Rite Springs of Water (Marty Haugen)
Gloria Psallite Mass
Psalm Ps 62 (James Walsh)
Gospel Acclamation Celtic Alleluia (Fintan O’Carroll)
Presentation of Confirmation Candidates Christ be our Light (Bernadette Farrell)
Preparation of the Gifts Wisdom Come Softly (Diane Murden & Martin Barry)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Because the Lord is my Shepherd (Christopher Walker)
Recessional O Jesus Christ, remember

We had fairly family-friendly musical fare for a celebration including the presentation of most of our eighteen candidates for Confirmation and First Communion this year. While the children and their parents processed to the Paschal Candle to light their Baptismal candles, we sang Christ be our light.

We sang my second setting of the Lamb of God for the first time in a good while. While it was off the road it underwent a re-fit – the final phrase being rewritten to bring the words more closely into line with the Missal text, the way composers are now being encouraged. The congregation seemed to cope with the change without demur. The revised version survived scrutiny by the panel of the Bishops’ Conference, and was approved for publication in Glory to God, now appearing (in its agreeably rapid second printing) at a religious bookshop near you. I'm not sure why the publisher’s own web site gives so little information about it.