Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ritual Notes, Palm Sunday.

(A photo from last year's procession)
Rather than the 12:15 mass, there was an 11:30 solemn mass sung. There were two acolytes, a crucifer, a thurifer and boat-bearer, and all the rest of the servers in choro.One of the older servers has finally 'graduated', if that's the right word, from senior server to Master of ceremonies. He was in black cassock and lace surplice. He did an excellent job, by the way. Nice warm, sunny weather meant that the procession was outdoors as usual.

The blessing of the palms took place on the rectory porch. Six 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 gothic 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. sung to an adaptation of the first psalm tone with an antiphon in the same mode.

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 prepared in silence. 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 the tenors and basses, the third in harmony,accompanied, the fourth in harmony accompanied, the fifth by sopranos and altos only, the sixth in harmony and the seventh in unison except with a descant and the contra bourdon 32' and 16' Pousaune in the pedal of the organ. After the celebrant in incensed, the M.C. was in incensed, and then the people.

The super oblata and preface were sung, with Sanctus I sung in Latin, with six torchbearers and a thurifer coming for the elevation.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 O Sacred Head Surrounded, and the postlude was the prelude from BWV 549

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