Rite of Election (2012)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Opening Hymn The Church’s one foundation
Responsorial Psalm God of hosts, bring us back (Sue Furlong)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ (James Walsh)
Enrolment How lovely is your dwelling place (Paul Wellicome)
After the Election of the Catechumens Who calls you by name (David Haas)
Welcome of Candidates In the Lord is my true salvation (Inwood/Berthier)
After Welcome of Candidates All things bright and beautiful (John Rutter)
Prayers of Intercession Lord in your mercy (John Bell)
Recessional Hymn Thanks be to God (Stephen Dean)

It was a special treat for the choir today to have one of our number among the candidates for reception into the Church at Easter. For the two long processions, respectively of catechumens and candidates, we had Paul Wellicome’s gentle setting of Ps 83(84) and Paul Inwood’s reworked (and I think improved) text for the Taizé refrain In the Lord.

Five minutes’ rehearsal with the assembly before the celebration began meant that Stephen Dean’s hymn of thanksgiving – not nearly as well-known as it ought to be – was sung heartily at its end.

1st Sunday of Lent (Year B, 2012)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Entrance Led by the Spirit (Bob Hurd)
Kyrie Mass XVII
Psalm Ps 24 (Boulton Smith/Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Emendemus in Melius (William Byrd, c.1540-1623)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII & English Missal tones
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion On eagles’ wings (Michael Joncas)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Guide me, O thou great redeemer

Emendemus in melius is strictly a Responsory for Ash Wednesday, but the text:

Let us correct our faults which we have committed in ignorance, let us not be taken unawares by the day of our death, looking in vain for leisure to repent.
Hear us, O Lord, and show us your mercy, for we have sinned against you.
Help us, O God our Saviour; for the sake of your name, O Lord, set us free.

conforms nicely with our Lord’s call to repentance in today’s Gospel.

Today’s Communion antiphon:

The Lord will conceal you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will trust.

was from Ps 90(91), so we sang Michael Joncas’s much-loved setting of the same psalm, in my arrangement for four voices.

Ash Wednesday (2012)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Entrance Lord Jesus, think on me
Psalm Ps 50 (Stephen Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Lenten Gospel Acclamation (mcb)
Imposition of Ashes Lord, Cleanse my heart (Psallite)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII & Missal tones
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Miserere Mei (Orlande de Lassus, 1532-1594)
Recessional Our Father, we have wandered

Small changes, as usual, to our musical bill of fare; both the Psallite setting of Ps 50(51) and the one by Stephen Dean, for instance, are strong and simple settings that easily bear annual repetition. Our third setting of the opening verse of this psalm was by Lassus.

My setting of the Gospel Acclamation offers a hybrid refrain adapted from three of the suggested texts:

Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus,
You are the Word of God.

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2012)

Entrance Sing of the Lord’s goodness (Ernest Sands)
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 40 (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Stand and stare not (Huub Oosterhuis/Tony Barr)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion There is a longing (Anne Quigley)
Postcommunion Cum appropinquaret Iesus (Juan Ginés Pérez, c. 1548-1600)
Recessional Praise my soul, the King of heaven

Our postcommunion piece tells a similar story to that in today’s Gospel from Mark (2:1-12). Ginés Pérez sets excerpts from the story of the healing of the blind man from Luke 18:35-42:

As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. He shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.’

In today’s story of the paralytic lowered through the roof, Jesus forgives and heals seeing their faith. In both stories, faith leads to audacity, and the healing that follows is perhaps not so much a reward for audacity, but a symbol of what faith itself inexorably brings about.

Our opening hymn reflected the lines from the entrance antiphon:

I will sing to the Lord
who has been bountiful to me.

I almost wrote echoed the lines from the entrance antiphon, but that was truer of the old translation: I will sing of the Lord for his goodness to me. Somehow God’s goodness seems easier to recognise and acknowledge than his being bountiful, but maybe that’s just me.

Our song at the preparation of the gifts, a charming canon with a bit of tricky syncopation thrown in, took its text from the opening lines of the first reading from Isaiah.

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2012)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Entrance Christ is made the sure foundation
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 31 (Christopher Walker)
Gospel Acclamation Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts God be in my head (Henry Walford Davies, 1869-1941)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion You are my refuge (Christopher Walker)
Postcommunion Domine, non sum dignus (T.L. de Victoria, 1548-1611)
Recessional Lord, Jesus Christ, you have come to us (Patrick Appleford)

Today’s Psalm Response appears in two different versions in various people’s editions of the Missal. We sang

You are my hiding place, O Lord.
You surround me with cries of deliverance.

in Chris Walker’s setting. But in some sources it appears as

You are my refuge, O Lord;
you fill me with the joy of salvation.

I’m not sure I know the explanation for the two variants. (Anyone?) Our Communion song, again in a setting by Chris Walker (for whom it was evidently a bumper weekend here in Salford), echoed the second variant, this time taking its text from Ps 45(46).

The first reading, from Leviticus, and the Gospel reading from Mark both spoke of sickness and healing, so we sang Victoria’s setting of the liturgical text recently reconnected to its scriptural source (the words of the centurion in Matthew 8:8) in the new translation of the Mass:

Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed.

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2012)

Entrance Come, ring out your joy (17th c. Peruvian, arr. Martin Foster)
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 146 (Anne Ward)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Your hands, O Lord, in days of old
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Now in this banquet (Marty Haugen)
Postcommunion O Quam Suavis (William Byrd, 1540-1623)
Recessional Now thank we all our God

Our celebration for the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time today was also offered in loving memory of our former parish sister Sr Anne O’Shea, who served the Diocese for thirty-seven years until her retirement in 2010. Her death had been expected for a little while, and we had sung her favourite hymn (Timothy Dudley-Smith’s O Christ the same, sung to the tune of O Danny boy) on the day her death was announced a couple of weeks ago. Today I looked for hymns and songs that would both respond to today’s texts from the Missal and Lectionary, and help us celebrate the life, and mourn the death, of a dear friend. Edward Plumptre’s Your hands, O Lord sings of healing, and of triumph over pain and death. And our final hymn reflected both today’s Communion antiphon –

Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
his wonders for the children of men,
for he satisfies the thirsty soul,
and the hungry he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:8-9)

– and our thanks for a life of service lived in transparent (if occasionally crotchety) love for our community.

Today is also the feast (strictly the Memorial) of St Agatha, so we marked the occasion with a new verse for our Gospel acclamation.

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2012)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Entrance Save us, Lord our God (Christopher Walker)
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria (Peter Jones)
Psalm Listen to the voice of the Lord (Patrick Geary)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts The Beatitudes (Bob Chilcott)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Be still, and know that I am God
Postcommunion The Lord bless you and keep you (John Rutter)
Recessional O Lord my God

Something to reflect each of the two Communion antiphons from the Missal again this week:

Let your face shine on your servant.
Save me in your merciful love.
O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the land.

in the anthems by Rutter (the Lord make his face to shine upon you) and Chilcott respectively.

The Gospel reading had Jesus saying “Be quiet”, which gave us our Communion song, in the enchanting arrangement from the RSCM’s Sing with all my soul, ending with double descant for solo sopranos added to the a cappella SATB repetition of the first verse.

We gave Peter Jones’s revised setting of the now-venerable Coventry Gloria a first outing, and the consensus would seem to be that it actually improves on the original.