Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ritual Notes.

This is midnight mass and Christmas day.

There were less poinsettias than last year, and I could see the relics among them on the high altar.There were carols before mass (Including my two favorites: "See Amid the Winter's snow", Away in A Manger" sung to 'cradle song', and "Of the Father's Love Begotten".) The vestments were the same set as last year. (The set identical to this one), the cope of which set was worn during the procession.The creche was blessed and a short few minutes of prayer said before it before the procession. The hymn was "Hark! the herald angels sing", with some glorious organ improvisations before and after the last verse. versicle and collect at the high altar, then the ministers put on their maniples, the celebrant his chasuble, and mass began.

I just want to say that I almost died every time the choir sang a portion of the mass. The gloria and the benedictus were the best. (And it was the first time I've ever heard the long version of the gloria, either in life or a recording. And one more comment: How exactly does Haydyn define "Brevis"? The sanctus and benedictus required the priest to wait before continuing the mass, I'll give him that the Kyrie was a good length, but he more than made up for it.)

Going on:

Fr.Joseph gave the homily, and sat in choir with someone else who I've seen around,but don't know.At the offertory, 'Adeste,Fideles" was sung after the offertory antiphon, and the offertory was taken up at the 'orate,fratres'.There were six red torchlights at the consecration. Fr.Joseph helped to give communion, so it went faster than last year.Mozart's "Laudate dominum" and "O magnum mysterium".The blessing was sung, and the recessional was "Joy to the world". The postlude was one of Bach's preludes on "In dulci Iubilo" (There are three, and I don't know which BWV number if was yet.)
I only have one very selfish and Wrong comment: The church was full, and with all the people inside,(Ergo,soft surfaces) the acoustics got deadened. So that lovely reverb we usually get to shape the choral and organ music and make it sound ethereal was gone.

That said, not only was it great, but it was shorter than last year by at least 15-20 minutes, even with a Haydyn mass setting.)

Christmas day:

Not as many people as at last night. In fact, most of the servers did'nt come. The mass was still nice though: The chasuble stole, and maniple from last night's set, and the M.C. wore a surplice matching the celebrant's alb.The processional was the same as from last night, all the propers were sung (No cutting of the introit this year) the mass setting was "de angelis" with credo III .The responsorial psalm was okay I guess, but the alleluia was great. At communion (Of the Father's Love Begotten" was sung after the proper antiphon and psalm. The recessional and postlude were the same as last night.

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