3rd Sunday of Advent (Year B, 2014)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Entrance Rejoice for ever (mcb)
Kyrie Missal Chant (English)
Psalm My Soul Rejoices (Owen Alstott)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Andrew Wright)
Preparation of the Gifts Adam lay ybounden (Boris Ord, 1897-1961)
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Missal Chant
Agnus Dei Missal Chant
Communion (i) O Radix Jesse (chant)
(ii) Be strong, our God has come (Psallite)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Tell out, my soul

Mass of Installation of Bishop John Arnold

Monday, 8 December 2014

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Entrance Procession of Priests Veni Sancte Spiritus (Christopher Walker) listen
Salve Regina (Francis Poulenc, 1899-1963)
Entrance Procession of Bishops Tell out, my soul listen
Reception of Bishop Arnold Ecce Sacerdos (T.L. de Victoria, 1548-1611) listen
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Sing a New Song (mcb) listen
Gospel Acclamation Choral Alleluia (Colin Mawby, b. 1936) listen
Creed Credo III
Preparation of the Gifts Ave Maria (Karl Jenkins, b. 1944) listen
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen English Missal Chants
Agnus Dei Mass of the Redeemer (mcb)
Communion Take and Eat (Michael Joncas)
O Quam Suavis (William Byrd, c.1540-1623) listen
Soul of my Saviour
Postcommunion The Deer’s Cry (Shaun Davey) listen
Recessional Salve Regina (chant) listen
Holy light on earth’s horizon listen

For perhaps a once-in-a-generation occasion, I aimed to compile a musical programme that would highlight the trademark diversity and accessibility of our musical fare, interspersed as usual with gems from the treasury of sacred choral music and chant.

For me the highlights included: (i) a full-throated rendition of the chant Salve Regina by the whole assembly at the end. I know that Alma Redemptoris Mater would have been seasonally appropriate, but it wouldn’t have shaken the rafters in quite the same way.

(ii) The serene opening processional song Veni Sancte, first heard at the Papal Mass in Coventry in 1982 and, for us, again in 1997 at the Mass of Installation of Bishop Terence Brain.

(iii) After Communion, the haunting and reflective setting of St Patrick’s Breastplate by Irish composer Shaun Davey. This was a special piece for Bishop John, and it had been sung at his episcopal ordination in 2006. I was delighted to have been asked to include it, and our choral scholar Emma Gent delivered the solo part with true sensitivity.

Celebration Brass were on hand, and the final hymn, especially, was another roof-raising moment. Anthony gave us Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren BuxWV 214 by Buxtehude (listen), and movements from the Suite Gothique by Boëllmann (listen). So all in all we assembled a feast, and people with many different kinds of musical taste will, I hope, have gone away feeling nourished.

2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B, 2014)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Entrance Song of Consolation (Peter Jones)
Kyrie Missal Chant
Psalm Ps 84 (Elsie Wright)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Andrew Wright)
Preparation of the Gifts Deus Convertens (Wolfgang Emmerig, 1772-1839)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missal Chant
Agnus Dei Missal Chant
Communion O Adonai
There is a longing in our hearts (Anne Quigley)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Come, thou long-expected Jesus

The cheerful setting of today’s offertory antiphon from the Gradual was an obscure find on CPDL. I can’t find any information about the composer anywhere, other than his birth and death dates. The music looks back to Haydn and Mozart rather than echoing his more famous contemporaries.

Army Cadet Force Carol Service

Saturday, 6 December 2014

All O Come, All Ye Faithful
Choir    In the bleak midwinter (Gustav Holst, arr. Will Todd)
All O Little Town of Bethlehem
All Once in Royal David’s City
Choir Candlelight Carol (John Rutter)
All Stille Nacht/Silent Night
All While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
All National Anthem
All Hark the Herald Angels Sing

For the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, we sang the opening verse of Silent Night in German, in a style reminiscent of the way the story is told of Christmas 1914 in the trenches: first a lone voice began the verse, then more voices gradually took it up, and we ended the verse in choral harmony, before the whole assembly took up the second verse in English.

Will Todd’s jazz arrangement of In the bleak midwinter seems a bit of a Marmite piece – as many people told me they hated it as loved it. It worked for me.

1st Sunday of Advent (Year B, 2014)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Entrance Awake, awake, fling off the night
Kyrie Missal Chant
Psalm God of hosts, bring us back (Sue Furlong)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Andrew Wright)
Preparation of the Gifts Zion hears the watchmen’s voices (J.S. Bach, 1685-1750)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Missal Chant
Agnus Dei Missal Chant
Communion O Sapientia (chant)
To you, O lord, I lift my soul (Marty Haugen)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Love divine, all loves excelling

Bishop Terence joined us for one final celebration before relinquishing the care of the diocese on 8 December. I’m sure we’ll see lots more of him in the future.

Christ the King (Year A, 2014)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Entrance Christus Vincit (chant, arr. Martin Baker)
Kyrie Mass of the Redeemer (mcb) – Penitential Act
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Because the Lord is my Shepherd (Christopher Walker)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts The Servant King (Graham Kendrick)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen German Mass (Schubert/Proulx)
Agnus Dei Mass of the Redeemer
Communion Like a shepherd he feeds his flock (Bob Dufford)
Postcommunion Hallelujah from Messiah (G.F Handel, 1685-1759)
Recessional Hail Redeemer, King Divine

The Gospel reading from Matthew telling of the sheep and goats was prefaced by a first reading and Psalm dwelling on the image of the good shepherd, and we had multiple references in our musical selections. We’ve never sung Bob Dufford’s Like a shepherd before at the Cathedral (and I can’t remember singing it anywhere in at least the last thirty years), but the simple singable refrain made me think it worth giving it a try. If I’d looked more carefully at the music in the verses, I might simply have put the book back on the shelf, though. We stuck it out with the first two, but gave verse three a miss.