2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2014)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Entrance Let all the world in every corner sing
Kyrie Kyrie I (Taizé)
Gloria Mass of the Redeemer (mcb)
Psalm Ps 39 (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Here in our Midst (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Blest be the Lord, the God of Israel (Bernadette Farrell)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Agnus Dei from Beneath the Tree of Life (Marty Haugen)
Communion Behold the Lamb of God (John Bell) & Ecce Maria genuit (chant)
Postcommunion Venite Comedite (William Byrd, c.1540-1623)
Recessional Hail to the Lord’s anointed

A good mix of music, I thought, encompassing plainchant, Byrd, traditional hymns, the St. Thomas More Group, Iona, Taizé and Marty Haugen. What did we leave out?

Our music for the Communion procession combined the chant item and the piece from the Iona Community. John Bell’s refrain sandwiched a psalm antiphon from second vespers for the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord:

Behold, Mary has borne a Saviour for us,
whom John saw, and cried out:
Behold the Lamb of God,
Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.

A new piece by yours truly as well - a Gloria that more or less completes the Mass setting I’ve been writing since last summer. (More or less, because there may yet be a further setting or two of the Penitential Rite.) It’s taken me a good while to feel my way around the text of the new translation of the Gloria - the opening lines have a stilted feel, rhythmically speaking, as if there was a deliberate move away from the lilting feel of the old version towards something more prosaic.

Funeral of Paul Goggins MP

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Entrance Guide me, O thou great Redeemer
Psalm The Cry of the Poor (John Foley)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Alleluia (plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts Fanfare for the Common Man (Aaron Copland) – organ
Sanctus Mass XVIII (chant)
Acclamation B St Columba (Irish melody)
Doxology & Amen Missal Tone
Communion Be thou my vision
Postcommunion Lead, kindly light
Commendation Be still, my soul
Recessional Jerusalem
Voluntary Nimrod (Edward Elgar) – organ

The cathedral was packed for a moving farewell to a faithful and dedicated public servant. There was no choir: I think plans were made without considering the possibility, and then there was a decision to keep things simple. A cantor led the Psalm and Gospel Acclamation, and the hymns in the main were those which people knew well enough to sing with vigour. (There was a tussle between anacrusic and non-anacrusic versions of Be thou my vision, inevitable when people come together from different parishes.) Anthony did a thoroughly impressive job in keeping the vast singing assembly in order from the organ.

The Baptism of the Lord (Year A, 2014)

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Entrance On Jordan’s bank
Sprinkling Rite Springs of Water (Marty Haugen)
Gloria Gloria de Noël (Thomas Niel)
Psalm Ps 28 (McCarthy/Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts O comfort my people
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen German Mass (Schubert/Proulx)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Here is my Servant (Psallite)
Postcommunion Jesus Christ the apple tree (Elizabeth Poston, 1905-1987)
Recessional Come down, O love divine

We brought the Christmas season to a close with one final outing for Thomas Niel’s Gloria adapted from Angels we have heard on high, and Elizabeth Poston’s setting of the carol Jesus Christ the apple tree. In rehearsal I told the choir that the words were written by George Washington’s father, but all I got in response was whistling wind and tumbleweed…

The Epiphany (2014)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

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 What child is this?
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen German Mass (Schubert/Proulx)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Laudate Omnes Gentes (Taizé) & Reges Tharsis (chant)
Postcommunion The Coventry Carol (traditional, arr. Martin Shaw)
Recessional The First Nowell

Christmas Morning Mass (2013)

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Entrance (i) Hodie Christus natus (chant)
(ii) O Come all ye faithful
Gloria Psallite
Psalm All the ends of the earth (Johnson)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts God rest you merry gentlemen
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen German Mass (Schubert/Proulx)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion O Little Town of Bethlehem
Postcommunion Verbum Caro Factum Est (Hans Leo Hassler, 1564-1612)
Recessional Hark, the herald angels sing

Men’s voices as usual for Christmas morning, this year five of us singing in four parts. The musical fare was our customary mix of prayerful and joyful.

Christmas Vigil and Midnight Mass (2013)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Introit O Emmanuel (chant)
Opening Hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Reading Isaiah 11:1-10 (A shoot springs from the stock of
Choir Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovych)
Hymn In the bleak midwinter
Reading Luke 1:26-38 (The Annunciation)
Hymn Unto us is born a son
Reading John 1: 1-18 (In the Beginning was the Word)
Choir O Little One Sweet (J.S. Bach)
Bishop’s entrance and procession to the crib Adeste Fideles
Gloria Gloria de Noël (Thomas Niel)
Reading Isaiah 9:2-7 (The people that walked in darkness)
Psalm Ps 95(96)
Reading Titus 2:11-14 (God’s grace has been revealed)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Reading Luke 2:1-14 (The Nativity)
Creed Credo III & Et Incarnatus from the Mass for three voices (William Byrd, c.1540-1623)
Preparation of the gifts Ding Dong Merrily (traditional) – choir
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen German Mass (Schubert) & Missal tones
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion My Lord has come (Will Todd)
Silent night
Postcommunion O little town of Bethlehem
Recessional Hark the herald angels sing

Our usual rich pageant, with a packed congregation, Celebration Brass, and the choir in sparkling form. The choral et incarnatus during the Creed, taking a leaf from someone else’s book, made for a moment of appropriate stillness.

Happy Christmas!

4th Sunday of Advent (Year A, 2013)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Entrance Come Saviour, Come/Rorate Caeli (Chant)
Kyrie Missal Chant (Lord have mercy)
Psalm Let the Lord enter in (Chris O’Hara)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Philip Duffy)
Creed Credo III
Preparation of the Gifts On the lips of an angel (J.S. Bach/Charles Gounod/Scott Soper)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missal Chant
Agnus Dei Missal Chant
Communion (i) O Clavis David (chant)
(ii) Bread of life (Bernadatte Farrell)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional O come, O come Emmanuel

Our Advent music this year has included a large measure of plainchant, to my mind rightly so in a season of restrained anticipation. More than half today’s musical fare consisted of chant items, but they all sat well together with the contemporary items by Bernadette Farrell, Chris O’Hara and the like. This to my mind is a much healthier situation than keeping chant in a ghetto surrounded by Renaissance polyphony. Chant isn’t a museum piece; it’s part of our living musical language.