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.

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