3rd Sunday of Advent (Year C, 2015)

Rite of Opening of the Door of Mercy

Sunday, 13 December 2015

 
Rite of Introduction Misericordes Sicut Pater (Paul Inwood)
Procession to the Cathedral Stay with us Lord (mcb)
Showing of the Book of the Gospels I am the gate (mcb)
Entrance Rejoice, the Lord is King
Remembrance of Baptism Asperges Me from Miserere Mei (Antonio Lotti, 1667-1740) & Psalm 50(51) (Bévenot)
Psalm Is 12 (Laurence Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamation (Alan Smith)
Preparation of the Gifts Rejoice in the Lord (anon, c.1600)
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Missal Tone
Agnus Dei Missal Tone
Communion O Radix Jesse (chant)
Bread of Life (Bernadette Farrell)
Concluding Rites Salve Regina (chant)
Recessional Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Bishop John led the celebration for the opening of the holy door for the Year of Mercy. We began in the Cathedral cloister, singing the “official hymn” for the Year, as people, and then clergy, gathered, ending with a choral flourish in Paul Inwood’s arresting polyphonic coda. Processing around to the (liturgical) north side of the building via the Cathedral yard and then Chapel Street, we sang the refrain to my Stay with us, Lord. This seemed to hit the right spot – with the choir at the front of the procession and Anthony (on his very fine portable instrument) anchoring things in the cloister, we kept together well, and the people seemed willing to maintain the singing until the whole of the procession had arrived. Testament to the power of repetition, I think, not just in procession, but over the period from Lent to Pentecost last year, when we made it the refrain for the Universal Prayer every Sunday.

The moment before the entrance through the newly opened door called for a sung antiphon I am the gate, while the Bishop held up the Book of the Gospels. I estimated the length of time Bishop John might reasonably be expected to hold up a heavy book (I gave him twenty seconds), and came up with a lively choral fanfare in 7/8 time. Later, we had an excerpt from Lotti’s Miserere, with repetitions of the relevant section interspersed with psalm verses during the lengthy sprinkling of a full Cathedral.

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