Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ritual Notes. (Palm Sunday)*Edited*

Well, things were much better than I expected. This was the 12:15 English mass, where the solemn procession always takes place. It was downcast and chilly, and there was a light drizzle earlier, but the procession went on. There were two acolytes, a crucifer, a thurifer and boat-bearer, and two servers in choro. Some of the servers, who are also members of the Archdiocesan Boychoir are away in spain, which shortens our numbers a bit.The others, I guess they have no excuse unless they thought the rainy weather meant that the procession would be canceled.

The blessing of the palms took place on the rectory porch. Five of the men of the choir sang an English adaptation of the chant 'Hosanna Filio David' (From the excellent book, By Flowing Waters)at the blessing of the palms. After the blessing of the palms and the reading of the gospel, the procession went from the rectory around the corner to the church, while the aforementioned mini-schola sang the chant 'Pueri Hebraeorum..portantes' in English with verses of psalm 24 to tone 2d. When the celebrant entered the church, 'All Glory Laud and Honour' was sung while he changed from a red cope to a red roman chasuble, and added the maniple.
This mass was celebrated ad orientem, so the incensing of the altar took place facing the reredos rather than the people. The main altar and side altars weren't decorated with palms alone, but also with olive branches.The collect was sung, and the readings read. The psalm was psalm 21. The passion was read, with the celebrant taking the part of Christ, and two readers taking the part of the evangelist and the other parts. The congregation took the part of the crowd. And it was wonderful to see that no one that I could see sat down during the passion.The sermon was mercifully short.

After the prayers of the faithful, the altar was preprared while the organist improvised on the tune Passion Chorale. Then the offertory hymn was My song is Love Unknown, sung to Love Unknown. The first verse was sung by the sopranos and altos, the second by all together, the third by the tenors and basses, the fourth in harmony,unaccompanied, the fifth all together, and the sixth in harmony with a descant and the contra bourdon 32' in the pedal of the organ. It seems now that at high mass, after the celebrant in incensed, the M.C. also in incensed, and then the people, which is nice.
The super oblata and preface were sung, with Sanctus I sung in Latin.The Roman canon was used, and three bell rings at the elevations. The Per ipsum and Our Father were sung, and the peace given. Agnus Dei I was sung.During communion, there was a psalm with the communion antiphon, but I don't remember what the psalm was.
After the ablutions, the choir sang the motet Christus factus est pro nobis, by Felice Anerio .The post-communion prayer was sung, and afterwards, the prayer over the people and the blessing. The Ite was also sung. The recessional was 'Lift High the Cross', and the postlude was the prelude from BWV 549

Photos from Patrick, the postulant with the Mercedarians: 1, 2, 3.
4,5, 7,

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