The Nativity of St John the Baptist (2012)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Entrance On Jordan’s bank
Kyrie Kyrie for three voices, adapted from Byrd (mcb)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm O God, You Search Me (Bernadette Farrell)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts Blest be the Lord, the God of Israel (Owen Alstott/Bernadette Farrell)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
Agnus Dei Holy Family Mass (John Schiavone)
Communion Behold the Lamb of God (Psallite)
Postcommunion Et tu puer (from the Benedictus by T.L. de Victoria, 1548-1611)
Recessional Forth in the peace of Christ

The Canticle of Zechariah, or Benedictus, (from Luke 1:68-79) provided two of the key texts for singing today, in the form of the Gospel Acclamation:

As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him.

and the Communion antiphon:

Through the tender mercy of our God,
The Dawn from on high will visit us.

We sang Bernadette Farrell’s setting of Owen Alstott’s versification, and then the final six verses – including those key verses – of Victoria’s setting, alternating chant and polyphony. We used the same chant tone for the Gospel Acclamation verse, which meant we sang the same words to the same tune, in both English and Latin.

For the Responsorial Psalm, we took another very fine Bernadette Farrell song, adapting it to work in responsorial fashion. The final two lines of the last verse:

For the wonder of who I am I praise you.
Safe in your hands all creation is made new.

are a good fit for the response prescribed in the Lectionary, and added to the rather “choral” arrangement of the verses in the collection Christ be our Light, it made for an appropriate distribution of labour between the assembly and the choir.

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, 2012)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Entrance We walk by faith and not by sight (Henry Alford/Marty Haugen)
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Ps 91 (Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
Gospel Acclamation Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Lord, hear my voice (mcb)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion There is one thing (Chris O’Hara)
Postcommunion Locus Iste (Anton Bruckner, 1824-1896)
Recessional Thanks be to God (Stephen Dean)

Our entrance song reflected on St Paul’s words:

To live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord.

while our closing hymn was prompted by today’s Psalm response It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Both the entrance and communion antiphons were drawn from Ps 26(27), and we sang two contrasting versions in Chris O’Hara’s determined and optimistic setting, and my own more plaintive and reticent rendition.

It was only a small step from

...only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life

to Locus iste, the Gradual for the Mass of dedication of a church. This place, the text runs, was made by God; an inestimable holy place, beyond reproach.

The Body and Blood of Christ (Year B, 2012)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Entrance Of the glorious body telling
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Ps 115 (Stephen Dean/Psallite)
Sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem (plainchant & Chris Mueller)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts O Sacrum Convivium (Olivier Messiaen, 1908-1992)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Take and Eat (James Quinn & Michael Joncas)
Postcommunion Ave Verum (Edward Elgar, 1857-1934)
Recessional Soul of my Saviour

In our opening hymn, the sequence and our motet at the preparation of the gifts, we sang three of Thomas Aquinas’s texts for this feast. Ave Verum Corpus and Anima Christi (Soul of my Saviour) both date from the century after Aquinas, but on the whole it was a good day for the authors of mediaeval verses in honour of the Blessed Sacrament. James Quinn’s hymn (with refrain added by Michael Joncas), rich in scriptural images of our Lord, is a worthy companion for these more venerable texts.

Trinity Sunday (Year B) & Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Entrance Father, Lord of all creation
Kyrie Kyrie Eleison from Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Gloria Missa Ubi Caritas
Psalm Ps 32 (Robert Sherlaw-Johnson)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts I was glad (C.H.H Parry, 1848-1918)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Missa Ubi Caritas
Agnus Dei Missa Ubi Caritas
Communion God beyond all names (John Bell) & Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas (chant)
Postcommunion O Taste and See (Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958)
Prayer for the Queen (chant)
National Anthem
Recessional Holy God, we praise thy name

Another celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, our own this time, gave us a second opportunity to sing Parry’s magnificent coronation anthem, minus the brass this time but with the vivats once again. Vaughan Williams’s simply-crafted miniature was also written for a coronation, this time the Queen’s own.

Our final hymn was both a Te Deum for a royal occasion, and an acclamation of the Trinity, which I'd like to think wasn’t dislodged from the main focus of attention in both our spoken and sung prayer this morning.