3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C, 2013)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Entrance Bring to the Lord a glad new song (Perry/Parry)
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Ps 18 (McCarthy/Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Andrew Wright) with chanted verse
Preparation of the Gifts God has chosen me (Bernadette Farrell)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Taste and See (Richard Proulx)
Postcommunion O nata lux (Thomas Tallis, c.1505-1585)
Recessional Thou whose almighty word

Similar musical fare to our last three celebrations of the third Sunday in Ordinary time. Our postcommunion motet, Tallis’s brief but intense hymn fragment, reflected on the words of the Communion antiphon I am the light of the world:

O Light of light, by love inclined,
Jesus, Redeemer of mankind,
with loving-kindness deign to hear
from suppliant voices praise and prayer.

Thou who to raise our souls from hell
didst deign in fleshly form to dwell,
vouchsafe us, when our race is run,
in thy fair body to be one.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C, 2013)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Entrance The Church’s one foundation
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Ps 95 (Monaghan/Murray)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia Mode 2 (Plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts Cantate Domino (Giuseppe Pitoni, 1657-1743)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Draw nigh and take the body of the Lord
Postcommunion Venite Comedite (William Byrd, c. 1540-1623)
Recessional O praise ye the Lord

Today’s first reading from Isaiah included the words

as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride,
so will your God rejoice in you

which found a resonance in our opening hymn:

From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride.
With his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.
and our postcommunion motet, with the (Latin) words

Come and eat my bread,
and drink the wine I have poured out for you.

evoked the wine flowing in abundance at the wedding feast at Cana, recounted in today’s Gospel reading from St John.

The Baptism of the Lord (Year C, 2013)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Entrance On Jordan’s Bank
Sprinkling Rite Springs of Water (Marty Haugen)
Gloria Gloria de Noël (Thomas Niel)
Psalm Ps 103 (Laurence Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Songs of thankfulness and praise
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Here is my Servant (Psallite)
Postcommunion Beatus Auctor Saeculi (Tarik O’Regan, 1978-)
Recessional Come down, O love divine

Tarik O’Regan’s haunting Christmas motet sets a fifth-century Latin text (the second and third stanzas of the abecedarian poem A solis ortus cardine, attributed to Caelius Sedulius) found in the eleventh-century liturgical almanac the Portiforium of St Wulstan. The music alternates moments of sparse discord with richer chordal writing, but always infused with serenity. (In rehearsal I told the choir not to wake the baby.) In the composer’s own explanation, the particular verses set were chosen apparently for the vagueness of their religious allusions:

I specifically chose to set only two of the eight extant stanzas in the manuscript as I was aware that these were the most ecumenical (sic) in their reading, referring in metaphor only to a ‘blest author’.

but the text itself (given here in the translation by J.M. Neale) looks unambiguously Christian to me:

Blest Author of this earthly frame,
To take a servant’s form he came,
That liberating flesh by flesh,
Whom he had made might live afresh.

In that chaste parent’s holy womb,
Celestial grace hath found its home;
And she, as earthly bride unknown,
Yet calls that Offspring blest her own.

I’m guessing, then, that the composer came at the work from a fairly non-religious perspective. But for all that, it makes for a beautiful reflection on the mystery of the incarnation.

There’s a sumptuous recording of the piece on this web page (and also – a little more complex to link to – on the composer’s own web site). I think it’s the choir of Clare College, Cambridge, for whom the piece was commissioned. Click the second link down on the right hand side of the page. And enjoy.

The Epiphany (2013)

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Entrance As with gladness men of old
Gloria Gloria de Noël (Thomas Niel)
Psalm Ps 71 (Monaghan/Dean)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Laudate Omnes Gentes (Taizé) & Reges Tharsis (chant)
Postcommunion Here is the little door (words: Frances Chesterton, 1869-1938; music: Herbert Howells, 1892-1983)
Recessional The First Nowell

The poet and playwright Frances Blogg Chesterton lived and wrote in the shadow of her more famous husband (G.K.); so much so that information about her is hard to come by. Both Wikipedia and the Dictionary of National Biography relegate her to a couple of mentions in articles about her husband. Her poetry is striking, however, not least in Here is the little door, where gifts offered tenderly to the infant Christ are returned as the trappings of battle and death:

Here is the little door, lift up the latch, oh lift!
We need not wander more but enter with our gift;
Our gift of finest gold,
Gold that was never bought nor sold;
Myrrh to be strewn about his bed;
Incense in clouds about his head;
All for the Child who stirs not in his sleep.
But holy slumber holds with ass and sheep.

Bend low about his bed, for each he has a gift;
See how his eyes awake, lift up your hands, O lift!
For gold, he gives a keen-edged sword
(Defend with it thy little Lord!),
For incense, smoke of battle red.
Myrrh for the honoured happy dead;
Gifts for his children terrible and sweet,
Touched by such tiny hands and
Oh such tiny feet.