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.

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