Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ritual Notes.

Solemn Procession and Sung mass of Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.

There were five servers, two acolytes, a crucifer, a thurifer and a boat-bearer, as well as a master of ceremonies. All servers in red cassocks.
Oddly, no antiphon at the blessing of the palms, even though the missal requires one. * ETA* Now that I remember, I'm wrong on this. They did sing the antiphon 'hosanna Filio David'. The precession went from the rectory porch to the church around the corner.Only the first antiphon, 'Pueri hebraorum...Portantes' with psalm 23 was sung. 'All Glory, Laud, and honor' was sung at the incensation of the altar, and the celebrant changed from a red cope with gold patterned bands and hood to the chasuble that matched it.

The collect was sung and the first two readings were read by a lay reader. (A bit too quickly for my taste. With the acoustics of the church, it can get blurred , and you can't properly read , mark, learn, and inwardly digest the scriptures.)
The gradual psalm was psalm 21, chanted by the women of the choir with the response sung by the men of the choir and the congregation.
The tract before the gospel was set to the kyrie from the missa Orbis Factor.
The Passion according to S.Matthew was read, all standing, and all kneeling after the mention of Our Lord's death. The creed and intercessions wre recited.

I'm not sure what the offertory motet was. It sounded like a setting of 'hoc Opus Nostrae Salutis',
but that would be redundant considering the hymn sung afterwards was 'Sing, My Tongue, The Song of Triumph'.
Dialogue and preface sung, sanctus and agnus from the Missa Simplex (Mass I in the Graduale Simplex.)
The communion antiphon and psalm "Pater, si non potest" from the simple gradual was sung, and the communion motet was Byrd's 'Ave Verum Corpus.'
The recessional hymn was 'O sacred head Surrounded' I really wanted it to be 'Lord Christ, When First Thou Cam'st to Earth." It's a lot more triumphant, focuses on the passion of Our Lord and fickleness of the crowds, and works better as a procession hymn. ( 'O Sacred head' is too slow, and sounds more like a communion hymn when played in a lenten manner*)
Postlude was the prelude from BWV 543 .
All in all, great, but the crucifer holds the cross in that weird way that you see at the Washington National Cathedral, with the palm outwards and the cross held extremely high and at an angle.
Also good that it was a warm sunny day as opossed to last year's cold, cloud, and drizzle.

Also, I really must get used to people who only come to church four times a year and don't know how to receive communion or behave in church. Maybe there should be an announcemnt that only neccesary talking is done in the church, even then, in a whisper. Everything else is done in the narthex or outside, 'cause some of us are trying to make our thanksgivings after communion.
I ended up waiting till everyone else was gone, then I made my thanksgiving and said Sext from my diurnal.

*Lenten manner means mostly flutes and principals 4' and 8'. No mixtures or reeds, and nothing loud. No pedal 32' is ever used.

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