Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Good Friday, 2015)

3 April 2015

A new departure for us this year was a sung celebration of the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The psalms were sung antiphonally to psalm tones in the style of Laurence Bévenot, taken either from the various collections of Responsorial Psalms, or written by me in the same idiom. Numbers were small: today we had ten in the choir and fourteen in the congregation, plus our celebrant Fr Michael and Anthony on the organ, but in the more enclosed space of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel this worked very nicely, and the two halves of the singing assembly joined in gamely with the two halves of the choir in singing the psalms. We sang the opening hymn (part one of Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle) to the tune St. Thomas, and the Benedictus in Bernadette Farrell’s setting of the text versified by Owen Alstott.

Sung Prayer of the Church has hardly featured in the life of the Cathedral, over recent years at least – I can remember it twice in the last 25 years – but today’s celebration worked well, and felt like something we should do more often.

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