5th Sunday of Easter (Year C, 2013)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Entrance A new commandment
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm Ps 144 (Martin Hall)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Awake, thou wintry earth (J.S. Bach, 1685-1750)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei from No Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Communion I am the vine (John Bell)
Postcommunion Cantate Domino (Hans Leo Hassler, 1564-1612)
Recessional Christ triumphant

The opening hymn was prompted by today’s Gospel acclamation, and by the Gospel reading itself from St John. The entrance antiphon text

O sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders;
in the sight of the nations
he has shown his deliverance, alleluia.
(Ps 97(98))

found an echo in our postcommunion motet, setting similar words from Ps 95(96). With I am the vine during the Communion procession, and Martin Hall’s responsorial psalm setting, we had (as Eric Morecambe might have put it) all the proper texts, but not necessarily in the proper order.

4th Sunday of Easter (Year C, 2013)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Entrance All people that on earth do dwell
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm We are his people (mcb)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Christo resurgenti (François Couperin, 1668-1733)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei from No Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Communion You are the shepherd (Psallite)
Postcommunion Surrexit Pastor bonus (G.P. da Palestrina, 1525-1594)
Recessional Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour

We had the usual array of shepherd-themed music for today’s celebration of Good Shepherd Sunday. In year C the second reading, from the book of the Apocalypse adds the image of the Lamb, and indeed shows the Lamb and the Shepherd to be one and the same:

The Lamb who is at the throne
will be their shepherd
Our closing hymn also sang of the slain Lamb:

Paschal Lamb, thine offering, finished
once for all when thou was slain,
in its fullness undiminished
shall for evermore remain.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Cleansing souls from every stain.

Life-imparting heavenly Manna,
stricken Rock with streaming side,
heaven and earth with loud hosanna
worship thee, the Lamb who died.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Risen, ascended, glorified!

3rd Sunday of Easter (Year C, 2013)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Entrance Crown him with many crowns
Gloria Glory to God (Peter Jones)
Psalm I will praise you, Lord (Daniel Bath)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Surrexit Christus Dominus (Michael Praetorius, 1571-1621)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei from No Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Communion Come and eat this bread (Marty Haugen)
Postcommunion This is the day (Anon, 16th c.)
Recessional Battle is o’er

Our opening hymn echoed the words of today’s second reading from the book of the Apocalypse:

To the One who is sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb,
be all praise, honour, glory and power,
for ever and ever.

The Communion antiphon:

Jesus said to his disciples:
Come and eat.
And he took bread
and gave it to them,

in turn found an echo in Marty Haugen’s thoughful gentle song setting.

Easter Sunday (2013)

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Entrance Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today
Gloria Psallite
Psalm This is the Day (mcb)
SequenceVictimae Paschali Laudes (J. William Greene)
Gospel Acclamation Easter Gospel Acclamation (Brian Luckner)
Preparation of the Gifts Now the green blade riseth
Sanctus, Acclamation A, Amen Spring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Dei from No Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
Communion Confitemini Domino (Taizé) & Ps 117 (Laurence Bévenot)
Postcommunion Alleluia Surrexit Dominus (Jacquet de Mantua, 1483-1559)
Recessional (i) Go in peace, Alleluia (chanted)
(ii) At the Lamb’s high feast

I reckon Anthony must have been caught out by the clocks changing; at least, his brain was still on snooze when he gave us the start note for our postcommunion motet - top C would have been just right for Lassus the previous night, but for Jacquet we would really have preferred an A. I’m not sure which I’d rather have been equipped with: perfect pitch or a laser death ray gun. (It would have been a pain to have to recruit a new organist, to be fair, and whoever we got wouldn’t be as good as Anthony.) Still, the choir coped admirably, not least the tenors, who had to spend more time than was strictly comfortable around top A. Plainly it’s possible to make beautiful music even while singing with puzzled and/or pained expressions on our faces.

Happy Easter everyone!

The Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday, 2013)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Service of LightLumen Christi (chanted)
After 1st reading (Genesis 1)Send forth your Spirit (Stephen Dean)
After 2nd reading (Exodus 14-15)I will sing to the Lord (Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
After 3rd reading (Isaiah 55: come to the water)We shall draw water joyfully (Paul Inwood)
After 4th reading (Ezekiel 36: I shall give you a new heart)Like the deer (mcb)
Easter Alleluia + Psalm 117Plainchant, verses by Paul Inwood
Lighting of Baptismal CandlesSprings of Water (Marty Haugen)
SprinklingVidi Aquam (Cristóbal de Morales, c.1500-1553)
Preparation of the GiftsDextera Domini (Orlande de Lassus, 1532-1594
Sanctus, Acclamation A, AmenSpring Sanctus (mcb)
Agnus Deifrom No Greater Love (Michael Joncas)
CommunionNow we remain (David Haas)
DismissalGo in peace, Alleluia (chanted)
Final HymnThine be the Glory

Tonight’s Offertory antiphon from the Graduale, Dextera Domini, sets the words from a verse of Ps 117, which we heard in English before the Gospel:

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
His right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds.

With Lassus’s setting, together with the Morales Vidi aquam, sundry chant items, a traditional hymn, and songs by Haas, Haugen, Inwood, Joncas and co., we had one of our trademark banquets of rich and diverse musical fare; rightly so for a celebration that more or less sums up Christian faith and liturgical life.

There was no blessing of the font this year, for the first time in many years. (The customary absence of baptismal candidates was, I think, for once judged a reason not to bless the font.) We omitted the litany of the saints, but retained Springs of water which usually serves not only as the acclamation after the blessing, but also as musical cover for the lighting of baptismal candles before the renewal of promises.

Good Friday (2013)

Friday, 29 April 2013

PsalmFather, into your hands (Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
Gospel AcclamationChristus factus est (Felice Anerio, 1560-1614)
Veneration of the CrossBehold the wood of the Cross (Missal tone)
O come and mourn with me a while
Miserere Mei (Gregorio Allegri, 1582-1652)
Jesus, remember me (Taizé)
CommunionAve Verum Corpus (William Byrd, 1540-1623)
Soul of my Saviour

Bishop Terence sang his part in the solemn intercessions, and in the dialogue at the showing of the cross. During the adoration, we found time for thirteen verses of the Allegri, including the serene conclusion in nine parts. The quartet verses were beautifully executed by Aimée Presswood, Bekki Gocher, Karen Massey and Ian Williams.

As always on this occasion, the people’s singing was reverent and strong, not least in Jesus, remember me, sung while the choir joined the procession to venerate the cross.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday, 2013)

Thursday, 28 March 2012

Opening Hymn The glory of the cross (John Ainslie)
Gloria Psallite
Responsorial Psalm The Blessing Cup (A Gregory Murray)
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 (Maurice Duruflé, 1902-1986)
Sanctus Missa Orbis Factor
Memorial Acclamation BMissal Tone: When we eat this Bread
Agnus Dei Missa Orbis Factor & Missa Aeterna Christi Munera (G.B. da Palestrina, 1525-1594)
Communion Take and Eat (Michael Joncas)
Procession Pange Lingua (plainchant)
Stay with me (Taizé)

It’s not a bad problem to have when the assembly run away with a song. Things came a bit unstuck in Pange Lingua: we were allowing a break in the music after the fourth verse, while the procession completed its progress to the altar of repose, so that we could begin Tantum Ergo at the appropriate time. Last year people were content to follow the choir’s lead, but this time a determined subset of the assembly sang their way through the whole of the fifth verse despite being evidently in the minority. It seemed more charitable for us to resume at verse six, rather than to sing verse five again properly, so to speak. Next time round I’ll make sure the instructions are clear in the service sheet; and I’ll make sure the organ plays something incompatible with forging ahead obliviously at that point.

Anyway, if there’s a choice between the people singing and the people not singing, I know which I prefer.

The Mass of Chrism (2013)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Opening HymnBe thou my vision
KyrieMissal tone in English
GloriaGlory to God (Peter Jones)
Responsorial PsalmI will sing forever (mcb)
Gospel AcclamationGlory and Praise (mcb)
Procession of the OilsO Redeemer (Paul Ford/mcb)
Preparation of the GiftsO Crux Ave (Rihards Dubra, 1964-)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, AmenMissal tone in English
Agnus DeiMissal tone in English & Missa super Laudate Dominum (Orlande de Lassus, 1532-1594)
CommunionWhere two or three are gathered (Liam Lawton)
Ave Verum Corpus (Colin Mawby, 1936-)
Recessional HymnTell out, my soul

The usual festive mix of ancient and modern for our grand, happy gathering of the Diocese. Celebration Brass made their customary splash, and the choir shone, not least in the choral items by Dubra and Mawby.

Our communion song was a fairly recent offering from the pen of Liam Lawton. The anthem-like people’s refrain is very appealing, and the assembly picked it up quickly and sang with commitment. The verses, “emulating a chant style”, it says in the publisher’s promotional material, are to my mind very weak in comparison. It’s a great pity the composer didn’t aim for something more imaginative and well-crafted. But the uplifting refrain perhaps makes up for them.