16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

 
Entrance O God, beyond all praising
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm O Lord, you are good (mcb)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts The Kingdom of God is justice and joy
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Mass of Christ the Saviour (Dan Schutte)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Here I stand (John Bell)
Postcommunion Panis Angelicus (Cesar Franck, 1822-1890)
Recessional Thanks be to God (Stephen Dean)
 

One last outing before a well-earned summer break. The eight of us did justice to Panis Angelicus.

Ordination to the Priesthood of Gavin Landers and Mark Paver

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Feast of St Mary Magdalene

 
Entrance Praise to the holiest
Kyrie Mass of Christ the Saviour (Dan Schutte)
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm For you my soul is thirsting (CJM) — Becky Ryder, cantor
Gospel Acclamation Easter Alleluia
Litany of the Saints Chant
Illustrative Rites Dixit Dominus (Chant & T.L de Victoria, c. 1548-1611)
Kiss of Peace Tui amoris ignem accende (Taizé)
Preparation of the Gifts Love Divine (Howard Goodall, b.1958)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Mass of Christ the Saviour
Agnus Dei Mass of Christ the Saviour
Communion Take and Eat (Michael Joncas)
Ubi Caritas (Maurice Duruflé, 1902-1986)
O bread of heaven
Postcommunion The Deer’s Cry (Shaun Davey, b.1948)
Recessional Hail Queen of Heaven
 

A good mix of music for this special occasion. The text of today’s Gospel acclamation echoes lines from the Easter sequence:

Tell us, Mary: say
what thou didst see upon the way.
– The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as he rose!

so we sang these words to the corresponding portion of the melody from Victimae Paschali.

Mary-Liz Walker was the soloist in Shaun Davey’s haunting setting of St Patrick’s Breastplate.

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 16 July 2017

 
Entrance Sing we of the blessed Mother
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm The Almighty Works Marvels (Josephine Cheong)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Ave Maris Stella (chant)
We Assembled Here Today
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Mass of Christ the Saviour (Dan Schutte)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Magnificat (Peter Jones)
Postcommunion Ave Maria (Edward Elgar, 1857-1934)
Recessional Salve Regina (chant)
Hail Queen of Heaven
 

Technically, Sundays in Ordinary Time take precedence over Marian feast days, but 16 July is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the principal patron of Salford Diocese, and my instructions, rightly or wrongly, were to celebrate the feast. I think we kept on the right side of liturgical law, sort of, by retaining the readings for the Sunday, and Fr Joe’s excellent homily wove Marian themes into the parable of the sower from today’s Gospel.

The musical fare was a good mix of old and new, I thought, including at the preparation of the gifts a hymn that folks round here seem to know from of old, but can’t be found in hymn books. It was requested by two members of the Cathedral parish, and I promised to oblige if they would record themselves singing it for me. They did (thank you, Pat and Karen!), so I knocked up an arrangement in short order. It turned out that Anthony had done the same thing a few years ago for a nearby parish, and it was interesting to compare harmonic ideas.

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

 
Entrance All ye who seek a comfort sure
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 144 (Martin Hall)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Come down, O love divine
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Mass of Christ the Saviour (Dan Schutte)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Come to me (Barry/Murden)
Postcommunion O Taste and See (Arthur Sullivan, 1842-1900)
Recessional I heard the voice of Jesus say
 

We moved on from Philip Duffy’s Jubilee Mass to Dan Schutte’s Mass of Christ the Savio(u)r. The latter had been requested by one of the candidates for ordination to the priesthood later in the month, so it made sense to road-test it in advance. It’s a bright and accessible setting, which congregations clearly love. Despite being unfairly pilloried in the spiteful nether regions of the Catholic blogosphere (chiefly for its resonances with a theme tune from American children's television, not familiar to a UK audience), I think it might come to be a well-loved favourite, in much the same way (and with the same gratuitous opprobrium from some quarters) that Paul Inwood’s Gathering Mass, in its pre-2010 guise, at least, once was and perhaps still is.

Love Your Garden!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

 

What started out as a lengthy recording in the Cathedral of the full choir (plus Anthony on the organ) eventually became the briefest cameo at the ‘reveal’ (as they say in the biz) of the surprise garden makeover accorded to the Mills sisters, stalwarts of the Cathedral parish. Eight of us sang the last couple of pages of John Rutter’s All things bright and beautiful a cappella. We did respectably, I thought, and a little publicity on prime time ITV is probably good for recruitment.

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 2 July 2017

 
Entrance All are welcome (Marty Haugen)
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 88 (mcb)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts The Servant King (Graham Kendrick)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Jubilee Mass (Philip Duffy)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Bless the Lord, my soul (Taizé)
Postcommunion O Salutaris Hostia in F (Edward Elgar, 1857-1934)
Recessional Lord, whose love in humble service
 

Saints Peter and Paul (2017)

Thursday, 29 June 2017

 
Entrance Faith of our fathers
Gloria Missa Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Psalm Ps 33 (mcb)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Missa Ubi Caritas
Agnus Dei Missa Ubi Caritas
Communion Taste and See (Richard Proulx)
Postcommunion Tu Es Petrus (Maurice Duruflé, 1902-1986)
Recessional For all the saints
 

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

 
Entrance Praise to the Lord, the almighty
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Lord, in your great Love (Malcolm Kogut)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts All that is hidden (Bernadette Farrell)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Jubilee Mass (Philip Duffy)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion Do not be afraid
Postcommunion Oculi Omnium (Charles Wood, 1866-1926)
Recessional Praise to the holiest

Malcolm Kogut’s lively and atmospheric psalm setting was a good excuse for us to get the Latin percussion instruments out.

The Body and Blood of Christ (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 18 June 2017

 
Entrance Guide me, O thou great redeemer
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 147 (Colin Mawby)
Gospel Acclamation Sequence: Lauda Sion (Chris Mueller)
Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts Ave Verum Corpus (W.A. Mozart, 1756-1791)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Jubilee Mass (Philip Duffy)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion O Sacrum Convivium (Olivier Messiaen, 1908-1992)
Adoramus Te Domine (Taizé)
O bread of heaven
Recessional Alleluia, sing to Jesus
 

Mozart and Messiaen… Bliss.

Trinity Sunday (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

 
Entrance Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God almighty
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Trinity Psalm (Martin Foster)
Gospel Acclamation Gospel Greeting (Peter Jones)
Preparation of the Gifts St Patrick’s Breastplate (C.V. Stanford, 1852-1924)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Jubilee Mass (Philip Duffy)
Agnus Dei Lamb of God II (mcb)
Communion The Love of God (Psallite)
Postcommunion O Lux Beata Trinitas (T.L. de Victoria, c.1548-1611)
Recessional Holy God, we praise thy name
 

Stanford and Victoria for Trinity Sunday, and a change to the elements of the Mass ordinary to mark the transition back to Ordinary Time. We haven't, to my recollection, done a ‘responsorial’ Mass setting in at least the last twenty-seven years – I much prefer a strong melody which the Assembly can take to heart, to the repetitious and disrupted feel of the line-by-line responsorial format. But responsorial settings probably have their place in celebrations bringing together a congregation without a shared common repertoire of ritual music. Philip Duffy’s Jubilee Mass was written for the golden jubilee of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral on 4th June, and since the composer had very kindly obliged when I begged a copy, I thought we’d try out the Eucharistic acclamations.

The experience over this and subsequent weeks was positive: the setting has sufficient musical interest to keep the choir on its toes, while providing melodic fragments for the assembly appealing enough to evoke a fairly enthusiastic response. There are limits to its staying power, inevitably – what is suitable for a one-off occasion is unlikely to serve well week in week out. But at least we now have a responsorial setting in our repertoire, for when the need might arise.

Pentecost (2017)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

 
Entrance Come Holy Ghost
Kyrie (Peter Jones)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Send forth your Spirit (Paul Wellicome)
Gospel Acclamation (i) Pentecost Sequence (arr. Proulx) (ii) Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Wisdom, Come Softly (Martin Barry & Diane Murden)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei (Peter Jones)
Communion Veni Sancte Spiritus (Gregorio Allegri, c.1582-1652)
Tui Amoris Ignem Accende (Taizé)
Recessional Shine, Jesus, Shine

The proposed change to the age at which Confirmation will be conferred in the Diocese in future means that the sacrament is effectively on hold for children and adolescents for a few years. Our celebration of the sacrament today with Bishop John was for adult candidates from around the Diocese. The rite itself was carried out in silence, but elsewhere in the celebration we had an eclectic mix of hymns and songs invoking the Holy Spirit, ranging from Gregorio Allegri to Graham Kendrick.

The Ascension of the Lord (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

 
Entrance Praise him as he mounts the skies
Kyrie (Peter Jones)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Ps 46 (Stephen Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Viri Galilei (William Byrd, c.1540-1623)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei (Peter Jones)
Communion My Peace (Taizé)
Postcommunion We shall walk through the valley (trad., arr. Moses Hogan)
Recessional Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour
 

With the victims of the Arena bombing still uppermost in our minds, we reprised We shall walk through the valley from Tuesday, after which Fr Michael led us into a minute’s silence.

Mass in Remembrance of the Victims of the Manchester Arena Bombing

Tuesday of the 6th week of Eastertide, 23 May 2017

 
Entrance All my hope on God is founded
Kyrie Missal chant
Psalm Ps 90(91): Be with me, O Lord (Peter Smedley)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Alleluia (plainchant)
Preparation of the Gifts We shall walk through the valley (trad. arr. Moses Hogan)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Missal chant
Agnus Dei Missal chant
Communion Come to Me (Martin Barry & Diane Murden)
Postcommunion In Paradisum (Gabriel Fauré, 1845-1924)
Recessional Thine be the glory
 

We remembered the dead and their loved ones in a moving celebration with Bishop John and a large number of concelebrating priests. Among the people of Manchester and beyond, the shock and devastation of last night’s cowardly and barbarian attack has been tempered by a tangible sense of proud defiance. We gave voice to that in our final hymn: not Abide with me, but

Thine be the Glory, risen, conquering Son.
Endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won
.

6th Sunday of Easter (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Today – a little earlier in the year than usual – was the celebration of First Holy Communion for children of the parish, with music provided by the choir of St Peter & St John’s Primary School.

5th Sunday of Easter (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

 
Entrance Christ is made the sure foundation
Kyrie (Peter Jones)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm May your love be upon us (Daniel Bath)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Regina Caeli (Samuel Webbe, 1740-1816)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei (Peter Jones)
Communion I am the vine (John Bell) & Ps 80 (Laurence Bévenot)
Postcommunion Exsultate Justi (Lodovico da Viadana, 1560-1627)
Recessional Out of darkness (Christopher Walker)
 

4th Sunday of Easter (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

 
Entrance The living God my shepherd is
Kyrie (Peter Jones)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Ps 22 (Murray/Gélineau)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Flocks in Pastures Green (J.S. Bach, 1685-1750)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei (Peter Jones)
Communion You are the shepherd (Psallite)
Postcommunion Surrexit Pastor Bonus (Michael Haller, 1840-1915)
Recessional Praise we our God with joy
 

The readings and propers for today, Good Shepherd Sunday, invite plenty of musical selections relating to the shepherd and his sheep, so we went the whole, er, hog.

3rd Sunday of Easter (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 30 April 2017

 
Entrance The day of resurrection
Kyrie (Peter Jones)
Gloria Psallite
Psalm Centre of my life (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Awake, thou wintry earth (J.S. Bach, 1685-1750)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei (Peter Jones)
Communion Come and eat this bread (Marty Haugen)
Postcommunion Mane nobiscum Domine (William Byrd, c.1540-1623)
Recessional Stay with us, Lord (mcb)
 

Today’s Gospel account of the encounter on the road to Emmaus prompted the choice of two contrasting settings of the text Stay with us, Lord.

Our Mass setting for the Easter season comprises three items from the Decani Music collection Glory to God. Peter Jones’s setting of the Kyrie and Agnus Dei are in disparate keys (C minor and B minor respectively), but transposing the Kyrie down a semitone makes them both good companions for the D major of my own Spring Sanctus. The Gospel Acclamation is Brian Luckner’s fiery setting of the 15th century French melody O Filii et Filiae. It makes for a rousing and dramatic congregational refrain, though the setting of the verses, it has to be said, is less successful.

Easter Sunday (2017)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

 
Entrance Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today
Kyrie Peter Jones
Gloria Psallite
Psalm This day was made by the Lord (mcb)
Gospel Acclamation Sequence: Victimae Paschali Laudes (William Greene)
Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Sprinkling Springs of Water (Marty Haugen)
Preparation of the Gifts Easter Anthem (Paul Inwood, b.1947)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei Peter Jones
Communion Confitemini Domino (Taizé) & Ps 117 (Laurence Bévenot)
Postcommunion Dextera Domini (Orlande de Lassus, 1532-1594)
Recessional Go in peace, Alleluia
At the Lamb’s high feast
 

Happy Easter!

The Easter Vigil (2017)

Saturday, 15 April 2017

 
The Service of LightLumen Christi (chant)
ExsultetPlainchant
After 1st reading (Genesis 1)Send forth your Spirit (Stephen Dean)
After 2nd reading (Genesis 22)Preserve me (mcb)
After 3rd reading (Exodus 14-15)I will sing to the Lord (Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
After 4th reading (Isaiah 55)With joy you shall draw water (Bob Hurd, verses mcb)
After 5th reading (Ezekiel 36)As the deer (Barbara Bridge)
GloriaPsallite
Easter Alleluia + Psalm 117Plainchant, verses by Paul Inwood
Litany of the SaintsMissal Chant
SprinklingVidi Aquam (Cristóbal de Morales (c.1500-1553)
Preparation of the GiftsChristus Resurgens (Jean Richafort, c.1480-c.1547)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, AmenSpring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus DeiPeter Jones
CommunionNow in this banquet (Marty Haugen)
DismissalGo in peace, Alleluia (chanted)
Final HymnThine be the Glory
 

A new setting of Ps 41/42 this year, in the form of Barbara Bridge’s adaptation of Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus (adapted some more by Martin Foster, to incorporate the verses from the Grail translation of the Psalms). Sung a cappella, with simple chant for the verses, it added another strand to the diverse array of psalm settings we sang tonight.

Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Holy Saturday, 2017)

15 April 2017

 

The hymn this time was Faithful Cross, above all other, that is, part two of the hymn we began yesterday. Today’s tune was St. Thomas.

Celebration of the Lord's Passion (Good Friday, 2017)

14 April 2017

 
PsalmFather, into your hands (chant, arr. Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
Gospel AcclamationChristus factus est (Felice Anerio, c.1560-1614)
Adoration of the CrossBehold the wood of the Cross (Missal tone)
There is a green hill far away
Crux Fidelis (attr. King John IV of Portugal, 1604-1656) & plainchant
Jesus, remember me (Taizé)
CommunionAve Verum Corpus (William Byrd, 1540-1623)
Soul of my Saviour

Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Good Friday, 2017)

14 April 2017

For a third year in succession, psalms sung to simple chant melodies sung alternatim by the two sides of the choir and congregation, plus an opening hymn (Sing my tongue, the glorious battle to the tune Westminster Abbey) and a hymn-tune setting (by Owen Alstott and Bernadette Farrell) of the Benedictus.

Mass of the Lord's Supper (Holy Thursday, 2017)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

 
Opening Hymn When I survey the wondrous Cross
Kyrie Mass XVII (chant)
Gloria Psallite
Responsorial Psalm The Blessing Cup (Christopher Walker)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Washing of Feet If there is this love among you (Martin Barry & Diane Murden)
Preparation of the Gifts Ubi Caritas (Ola Gjeilo, b. 1964)
Sanctus Mass XVII
Memorial Acclamation B, AmenMissal Tone
Agnus Dei Mass XVII & Missa Brevis (Antonio Lotti, 1667-1740)
Communion Take and Eat (Michael Joncas)
Procession Pange Lingua (plainchant)
Stay with me (Taizé)
 

The Mass of Chrism (2017)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

 
Opening HymnAll people that on earth do dwell (arr. Vaughan Williams)
KyrieKyrie Eleison from Mass of the Redeemer (mcb)
Gloriafrom New Mass for John Carroll (Michael Joncas)
Responsorial PsalmO Lord, I will sing of your constant love (Christopher Walker)
Gospel AcclamationGlory and Praise (mcb)
Procession of the OilsO Redeemer (Paul Ford/mcb)
Preparation of the GiftsWe Come to Your Feast (Michael Joncas)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, AmenMissal tone in English
Agnus DeiMass XVIII (chant) & Missa O Quam Gloriosum (T.L. de Victoria, c.1548-1611)
CommunionCome to Me and Drink (Bob Hurd)
Eripe Me (Rihards Dubra, b.1964)
Soul of my Saviour
Recessional HymnHail Redeemer, King Divine
 

There was a certain amount of vacillation in our preparation of Dubra’s beautiful Eripe Me. At the climactic moment the score gives the sopranos a top G natural over a chord of A♭ major, a sudden moment of arresting (if gentle) discord in a generally serene prayer for divine assistance. At a fairly late stage I found the recording by the Cambridge Chorale, in which the (apparently) offending note is amended to a more emollient G♭. Having foisted last-minute remedial learning on our soprano section, I then had a swift exchange of emails with Dubra’s publisher Musica Baltica, who assured me that the composer’s intentions were less conciliatory than the Cambridge Chorale might have reckoned, and recommending an alternative recording with the right note in. We went with their advice, and the result was satisfyingly gritty (in a beautiful serene sort of way) at the crucial moment.

At Bishop John’s suggestion during the planning stages, I ditched the lengthy choir piece I had intended for the Preparation of the Gifts, and gave the people their voice. It worked a treat.

Palm Sunday (2017)

 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

 
Entrance (i) Hosanna to the Son of David (Christopher Mueller)
(ii) All Glory Laud and Honour
Psalm My God, My God (Liam Lawton)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts O Bone Jesu (G.P. da Palestrina, 1525-1594)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII & English Missal tones
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Father, if this cup (Stephen Dean)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional My song is love unknown
 

If CPDL is to be believed, opinions are sharply divided as to the authorship of the dramatic monophonic gem O Bone Jesu. Traditionally ascribed to Palestrina, modern musical scholarship has generally preferred to attribute the piece to Marc’Antonio Ingegnieri (c.1535 or 1536 - 1592). But a new CD from the Choir of the Sistine Chapel in Rome gives it back to Palestrina, and according to the choir’s director Massimo Palombella, the original manuscript in Palestrina’s hand can be found in the Vatican Library.

5th Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

 
Entrance Lord Jesus, think on me
Kyrie Mass XVII
Psalm Ps 129 (Peter Smedley)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts I heard the voice of Jesus say (Third Mode Melody, Thomas Tallis, c.1505-1585)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Give us, Lord, a new heart (Bernadette Farrell)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Praise to the holiest
 

4th Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

 
Entrance Your hands, O Lord, in days of old
Kyrie Mass XVII
Psalm His goodness shall follow me (Chris O’Hara)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts The Crown of Roses (P.I. Tchaikovsky, 1840-1893)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Lord, your love has drawn us near (Stephen Dean)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Be thou my vision
 

3rd Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

 
Entrance Your love is finer than life (Marty Haugen)
Kyrie Mass XVII
Psalm Listen to the voice of the Lord (Patrick Geary)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Sitivit Anima Mea (G.P. da Palestrina, 1525-1594)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Come to me and drink (Bob Hurd)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Guide me, O thou great redeemer
 

2nd Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 12 March 2017

 
Entrance Remember your mercy, Lord (Paul Inwood)
Kyrie Mass XVII
Psalm Ps 32 (Alan Rees)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Hic est filius meus dilectus (Diego de las Muelas, 1698-1743)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Be still, for the presence of the Lord (David Evans)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional O worship the King
 

The Rite of Election (2017)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

 
Opening Hymn The Church’s one foundation
Responsorial Psalm Teach me, O God (Christopher Walker)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Enrolment Take, O take me as I am (John Bell)
After the Election of the Catechumens Will you come and follow me (John Bell)
Welcome of Candidates In the Lord is my true salvation (Taizé)
After Welcome of Candidates All things bright and beautiful (John Rutter) – choir
Recessional Hymn Stay with us, Lord (mcb)
 

1st Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

 
Entrance Led by the Spirit (Bob Hurd)
Kyrie Mass XVII
Gloria (none)
Psalm Ps 50 (Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts Thou knowest, Lord (Henry Purcell, 1659-1695)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Not on bread alone are we nourished (Psallite)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Forty days and forty nights
 

With yours truly away in Rome for the Musicam Sacram conference, the choir was ably directed today by choral scholar Benoît André.

Conference: Music and Church – Cult and Culture 50 Years after Musicam Sacram

Rome, 2–4 March 2017

Musicam Sacram was a document issued by the Church in 1967, setting out its vision for sacred music in the context of the major reforms to the Church’s liturgy that emerged from the Second Vatican Council. March 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the document, and a conference entitled Music and Church took place in Rome from 2–4 March, in order to celebrate the event and explore the current state of music in Catholic worship.

I was one of four British representatives at the conference, along with Mary Rouse, a trustee of the Society of Saint Gregory, Catherine Christmas, Music and Liturgy Adviser for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, and Paul Inwood, the internationally renowned composer and liturgist, who was one of the conference’s invited speakers.

The conference explored the ways music has developed in the Church in the last fifty years, the strengths and weaknesses of Church music today, and the opportunities and challenges facing those who ‘make music to God’. The range of views and experiences on offer amply reflected the diversity of traditional and contemporary music-making to be found around the globe. We heard from cardinals and composers, from scholars and from practising musicians. As well as Catholic musical tradition in its many facets, we heard from those working to integrate liturgical music into diverse cultures around the world. Fr Alois, prior of the Taizé, community recounted the remarkable success story of that community’s distinctive musical language. Sr Marana Saad from Lebanon illustrated new forms of musical expression emerging from the melting-pot of middle-eastern Christianity. We heard about the distinctive role of the animator of the singing assembly in the Church in France, of how Renaissance polyphony fused with the indigenous music of Latin America, and of how the music of the Church in South Korea emerged from the simplicity of folk traditions.

Among the unforgettable treats for the participants was a celebration of Vespers in the Sistine Chapel, and afterwards a concert given by the Sistine Chapel Choir, which included a performance of Allegri’s Miserere, sung in its original form, in the place and by the choir it was written for.

If there was a recurring theme among many of the presentations at the conference, it was the need for formation: musicians in the church can only carry out their tasks if they are given the essential training, and receive the support of the clergy, themselves perhaps the ones most in need of formation. This too was underlined by Pope Francis, who gave a special audience at the end of the conference, after which each participant in turn had the privilege of meeting the Holy Father. In his address, the Pope underlined the importance of the participation of the entire assembly in song, and of safeguarding the Church’s musical traditions, not in a nostalgic way but inculturated into the musical language of the present, with the aim of making people’s hearts vibrate with reception of, and participation in, the mysteries we celebrate.

There were challenges in embracing modern musical forms, the Pope added, not least in the danger of superficiality and banality creeping into our music. It was time, he said, for a renewal of liturgical singing, in dialogue with the musical currents of our time and with an ecumenical openness. Everyone involved with music making in the Church could contribute to this renewal.

At the end of the conference, the hope was expressed that this would be the beginning of something: a new movement to bring music to life in the Church. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which organised the conference, said that the next step was to move ‘from the monody of presentations to the polyphony of dialogue’ so that the voices of more musicians from around the world could be heard. This will be something to look forward to.

Ash Wednesday (Year A, 2017)

1 March, 2017

 
Entrance Again we keep this solemn fast
Psalm Ps 50 (Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Glory and Praise (mcb)
Imposition of Ashes Lord, Cleanse my heart (Psallite)
Preparation of the Gifts Miserere Mei (William Byrd, c.1540-1623)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Bless the Lord, my soul (Taizé)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Our Father, we have wandered
 

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 26 February 2017

 
Entrance All my hope on God is founded
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 61 (Martin Foster)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Where your treasure is (Marty Haugen)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Communion In God alone (Taizé)
Postcommunion Quaerite Primum (G.B Martini, 1706-1784)
Recessional Alleluia, sing to Jesus
 

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 19 February 2017

 
Entrance Praise to the Lord, the almighty
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 102 (Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Brother, sister, let me serve you
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Communion Ubi Caritas (Bob Hurd)
Postcommunion All things bright and beautiful (John Rutter, b. 1945)
Recessional Praise my soul, the King of heaven

Today’s Communion antiphon from psalm 9 included the words I will recount all your wonders. So we did, in the form of Rutter’s cheerful setting of the words of the old hymn, itself said to be inspired by words from Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner:

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things great and small
For the dear God who loveth us
He made and loveth all.

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 12 February 2017

 
Entrance Christ is made the sure foundation
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 118 (Martin Hall)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Eye has not seen (Marty Haugen)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Communion Teach me, O God (Christopher Walker)
Postcommunion Tantum Ergo (Maurice Duruflé, 1902-1986)
Recessional O Jesus, I have promised
 

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 5 February 2017

 
Entrance Come, ring out your joy (arr. Martin Foster)
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Good people are a light (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Be not afraid (Bob Dufford)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Communion God’s tender mercy (Psallite)
Postcommunion O Quam Suavis (Sebastián de Vivanco, 1551-1622)
Recessional Christ, be our light (Bernadette Farrell)
 

Another new composer for us this week, in the person of Sebastián de Vivanco. Roughly contemporary with Victoria, he plied his trade in Ávila, Segovia and, at the height of his career, in Salamanca. According to Wikipedia he wrote about 150 motets and a dozen or so Masses, but only a handful seem to have made it on to CPDL. Perhaps we'll explore some of the others.

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 29 January 2017

 
Entrance Save us, Lord our God (Christopher Walker)
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 145 (Boulton Smith)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Make me a channel of your peace
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Communion Blest are they (David Haas)
Postcommunion Beati Eritis (Giovanni Croce, 1557-1609)
Recessional Tell out, my soul
 

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

 
Entrance Bring to the Lord a glad new song (Michael Perry/C.H.H. Parry)
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 26 (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Communion O thou who at thy Eucharist didst pray (Orlando Gibbons, 1583-1625)
The Lord is my light (Marty Haugen)
Postcommunion Salve Lux Mundi (attr. Josquin des Prez, c.1450-1521)
Recessional Thy hand, O God, has guided
 

Salve Lux Mundi is the second part of the motet Ave Christe Immolate, usually attributed to Josquin, but argued by some to be more likely attributable to Noel Bauldeweyn (c.1480-1530). Either way, it was the first time we’d sung anything by that composer, in the last 26 years or so at least. It was quite an eye-opener for me – I’d taken music from the Middle Renaissance to be fairly plain-spoken, deadpan even, in character, compared with William Byrd’s eye for detail, or the richly atmospheric dramas of Victoria, both from sixty or so years later. Here we found drama in abundance, not least in the alternation between gently meandering counterpoint and bold homophony, the latter especially at the end in the words et nos electorum gregi numerari.

We marked the opening of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with our recessional hymn, and with the opening verse of O thou who at thy Eucharist didst pray, sung by the choir to Gibbons’s very fine Song 1.

O thou, who at thy Eucharist didst pray
That all thy Church might be forever one,
Grant us at every Eucharist to say
With longing heart and soul: “thy will be done”.
O may we all one Bread, one Body be,
Through this blest Sacrament of unity.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2017)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

 
Entrance Let all the world in every corner sing
Kyrie Kyrie II from Paschal Mass (Alan Rees)
Gloria Mass of the Most Sacred Heart (Jacob Bancks)
Psalm Ps 39 (Paul Inwood)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts The Lamb (John Tavener, 1944-2013)
Blest be the Lord, the God of Israel (Alstott/Farrell)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Bede Acclamations (Martin Foster)
Agnus Dei Paschal Mass (Rees)
Communion Behold the Lamb of God (John Bell) & Ecce Maria genuit (chant)
Postcommunion Venite Comedite (William Byrd, c.1540-1624)
Recessional Hail to the Lord’s anointed
 

Plainchant, polyphony, Tavener, traditional Anglican hymnody, music of the St Thomas More Group… One of our trademark diverse musical banquets.

For the next few weeks we're singing Martin Foster’s Bede Acclamations, which look to me like a winner.

The Epiphany (2017)

Sunday, 8 January 2017

 
Entrance As with gladness men of old
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
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 Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Laudate Omnes Gentes (Taizé) & Reges Tharsis (chant)
Postcommunion Mid-winter (Bob Chilcott, b. 1955)
Recessional The First Nowell
 

Christmas Day (2016)

Sunday, 25 December 2016

 
Entrance Hodie Christus natus (chant)
O Come all ye faithful
Gloria Psallite
Psalm All the ends of the earth (Alan Johnson)
Gospel Acclamation St Agatha Alleluia (mcb)
Preparation of the Gifts See amid the winter’s snow
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Verbum caro factum est/Gloria III (mcb/Taizé)
Postcommunion Away in a manger - Choir
Recessional Hark, the herald angels sing

Six men of the choir shouldered this morning’s burden, including my double canon based on Jacques Berthier’s Gloria. In principle it was six of us singing in eight parts, but when there’s that much going on, musically speaking, no-one really noticed the missing voices.

The Nativity of the Lord: Mass during the Night (2016)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

 
Opening Hymn Adeste Fideles
Reading Isaiah 11:1-10 (A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse)
Choir Gaudete (15th c., arr Craig Kingsbury)
Hymn Once in royal David’s city
Reading Micah 5:1-4 (Out of you, Bethlehem, will be born the one…)
Choir Myn Liking (R.R. Terry)
Hymn O little town of Bethlehem
Reading Isaiah 52: 7-10 (How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of one…)
  Christmas Proclamation
Gloria Gloria de Noël (Thomas Niel)
Reading Isaiah 9:2-7 (The people that walked in darkness)
Psalm Today a Saviour has been born (Martin Foster)
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 In the bleak midwinter (Holst)
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (trad. Polish, arr Willcocks) – Choir
Verbum caro factum est/Gloria III (mcb/Taizé)
Silent Night
Recessional Hark the herald angels sing

Once again as in recent years, we celebrated the night-time Mass of Christmas in the form of an extended vigil, of the sort commended in the various liturgical books, including the Ceremonial of Bishops. This year we made a few adjustments to the order of the various readings, songs and prayers compared with the previous year, and it seemed to me we hit on a successful formula, giving the early part of our celebration a feel recognisably like the extended Liturgy of the Word found at the Easter Vigil.

A notable addition this year was the Christmas Proclamation from the Roman Martyrology, sung with panache by Fr Michael. The choir, shorn of most of our student members, but with one or two welcome guests, was small in number but made a fine sound in conjunction with Anthony on the organ, and Celebration Brass.

Advent Penitential Service

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

 
Entrance Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Sacrament of Reconciliation (i) Kyrie Eleison (Haugen)
(ii) Remember your mercy, Lord (Paul Wellicome)
(iii) God’s tender mercy (Psallite)
Recessional Christ, be our light (Bernadette Farrell)
 

The Deanery Advent Penitential Service was led by Bishop John, who guided us on an extended reflection through six excerpts from scripture, before individual reception of the sacrament of reconciliation and a final communal act of contrition.

4th Sunday of Advent (Year A, 2016)

Sunday, 18 December 2016

 
Entrance Come Saviour, Come/Rorate Caeli
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Psalm Ps 23 (David Saint)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia: Show us your mercy (Alan Rees)
Preparation of the Gifts Ave Maria (Karl Jenkins, b. 1944)
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion (i) O Clavis David (chant)
(ii) Veni Immanuel (John Bell)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional O Come O come Emmanuel
 

Christmas is Coming! (2016)

Music and Readings for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, 11 December 2016

 
Cathedral Choir & Notability O Magnum Mysterium (Morten Lauridsen)
All Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Notability Lully, Lulla, Lullay (Philip Stopford)
All The angel Gabriel
Cathedral Choir O Nata Lux (Thomas Tallis)
O Radiant Dawn (James Macmillan)
Notability The Little Drummer Boy (K K Davis, arr. McCarthy)
Angels’ Carol (John Rutter)
Cathedral Choir Myn Liking (R.R. Terry)
All Once in royal David’s city
Anthony Hunt (organ) Chorale Fantasia on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (Dieterich Buxtehude)
Notability O Holy Night (Adolphe Adam, arr. Rutter)
Cathedral Choir & Notability In Dulci Jubilo (arr. R.L. Pearsall)
Cathedral Choir Gaudete (15th c.)
All O Come, all ye faithful
All O Come, O come Emmanuel
Anthony Hunt Vom Himmel Hoch (J.S. Bach)

As last year, I tried to find the right balance between Advent and Christmas music, interspersed with readings, brief addresses from representatives of our two charities (Caritas Diocese of Salford and Salford Loaves and Fishes), and prayers led by Bishop John. Fourteen years after the first one, I’m still not sure whether this annual celebration (in which we have been joined each time by the excellent Notability) is mainly a service or mainly a concert. But someone in the congregation/audience said tonight’s was the best ever.

3rd Sunday of Advent (Year A, 2016)

Sunday, 11 December 2016

 
Entrance Rejoice for ever (mcb)
Kyrie Belmont Mass (Christopher Walker)
Psalm Ps 145 (Rees/Bévenot)
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia: Show us your mercy (Alan Rees)
Preparation of the Gifts O Radiant Dawn (James MacMillan, b. 1959)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Belmont Mass
Agnus Dei Belmont Mass
Communion (i) O Radix Jesse (chant)
(ii) Be strong, our God has come to save us (Psallite)
Postcommunion (silence)
Recessional Hark! a herald voice