Palm Sunday

Sunday 13 April 2014
Processional hymn 1 All glory, laud and honour
Processional hymn 2 Ride on, ride on in majesty
Children's Liturgy (sending) Sing Hosanna!
Responsorial Psalm My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me? (Alan Smith)
Gospel Acclamation Meditation on the Passion (Christopher Walker)
Preparation The Servant King (Graham Kendrick)
Eucharistic Acclamations A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion procession Meditation on the Passion (Christopher Walker)

We gathered in the church hall and processed with palms into the church. As the children left for their Liturgy of the Word everyone sang ”Give me joy in my heart”. The contrast between this song and the reading of the Passion was deliberately stark: from ‘Hosanna!’ to ‘Crucify!’ in a few minutes. Chris Walker’s Meditation on the Passion (a version of ‘Christ was humbler yet’) served both as Gospel acclamation and communion processional, which should have embedded it sufficiently for it to be recognised when it is heard again on Good Friday.

[Posted by Alan Smith]

5th Sunday of Lent

Sunday 6 April 2014
Entrance Gather us in (Marty Haugen)
Penitential Act A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Responsorial Psalm With the Lord there is mercy (G Boulton Smith/Gelineau)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ our Saviour (Bernadette Farrell)
Preparation Unless a grain of wheat (Bernadette Farrell)
Eucharistic Acclamations A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion procession From the depths (Alan Smith)
Communion chant Jesus, remember me (Taizé)

The third and last of the three great Johannine gospel passages today: the raising of Lazarus, picked up in our opening song: “We will arise at the sound of our name.”

Not for the first time, our communion processional song was a psalm paraphrase that reflected at greater length on the day’s responsorial psalm.

[Posted by Alan Smith]

4th Sunday of Lent

Sunday 30 March 2014
Entrance There is a longing in our hearts
Penitential Act A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Responsorial Psalm The Lord is my shepherd (Alan Smith/Martin Hall)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ our Saviour + v1 (Bernadette Farrell)
Preparation I heard the voice of Jesus say
Eucharistic Acclamations A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion procession Shepherd me, O God (Marty Haugen)
Communion chant Jesus, remember me (Taizé)

The second of the three great Johannine gospel passages today: the man born blind. Our communion processional song was at the same time both a retelling of today’s responsorial psalm and a prayer for the light of life:

Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants,
beyond my fears,
from death into life.

[Posted by Alan Smith]

2nd Sunday of Lent

Sunday 16 March 2014
Entrance O raise your eyes on high
Penitential Act A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Responsorial Psalm May your love be upon us, O Lord (Alan Smith)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ our Saviour + v2 (Bernadette Farrell)
Preparation How good, Lord, to be here!
Eucharistic Acclamations A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion procession Hear us, almighty Lord (Lent Prose)
Communion chant Jesus, remember me (Taizé)

The Entrance and Preparation hymns were new to us, but worked because we sang them to familiar melodies.

[Posted by Alan Smith]

1st Sunday of Lent

Sunday 9 March 2014
Entrance Praise to the holiest in the height
Penitential Act A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Responsorial Psalm Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned (Tony Barr)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ our Saviour + v1 (Bernadette Farrell)
Preparation On Eagle's Wings (Michael Joncas)
Eucharistic Acclamations A Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion procession Hear us, almighty Lord (Lent Prose)
Communion chant Jesus, remember me (Taizé)

We are introducing Fr Peter’s Parish Mass for the Sundays of Lent (but retaining his Aston Lamb of God).

[Posted by Alan Smith]

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 5 March 2014
Entrance From ashes to the living font vv 1,2 & 4
Penitential Act Missal chant
Responsorial Psalm Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned (Barr)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ our Saviour + v2 (Farrell)
Distribution of Ashes Remember, remember your mercy, Lord (Inwood)
Eucharistic Acclamations In Pace (Walker)
Agnus Dei In Pace (Walker)
Communion Jesus, remember me (Taizé)

The change of tone in the liturgy was very apparent this evening, and this was undefined by quite a high level of dissonance in the music, not least in Tony Barr’s psalm tone and Paul Inwood’s Remember, remember your mercy, Lord.

Elsewhere the music took on a seasonal simplicity, with the Gathering Mass giving way to Christopher Walker’s In Pace eucharistic acclamations and Lamb of God. Perhaps the ultimate simplification was the omission of the closing hymn. This is something that we shall be doing throughout Lent. The Missal, of course, makes no mention of a final hymn: it’s a ‘local’ UK custom.

[Posted by Alan Smith]

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 2 March 2014
Entrance Seek ye first
Penitential Act Missal chant
Gloria Gloria in excelsis Deo (David Saint)
Responsorial Psalm In God alone is my soul at rest (Moore)
Gospel Acclamation Missal chant
Preparation Morning has broken
Eucharistic Acclamations Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion The Lord is my song (Taizé)
Recessional I heard the voice of Jesus say

[Posted by Alan Smith]

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 22 February 2014
Entrance God is love, and where true love is
Gloria Gloria in excelsis Deo (David Saint)
Responsorial Psalm The Lord is compassion and love
Gospel Acclamation Brentwood Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation Make me a channel of your peace
Eucharistic Acclamations Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion Be still, for the presence of the Lord
Recessional God is love, his the care

[Posted by Alan Smith]

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 15 February 2014
Entrance All my hope on God is founded
Gloria Gloria in excelsis Deo (David Saint)
Responsorial Psalm Teach me, O God (Christopher Walker)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation O God, you search me and you know me (Bernadette Farrell)
Eucharistic Acclamations Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Agnus Dei Aston Lamb of God (Peter Jones)
Communion Bless the Lord, my soul (Taizé)
Recessional Be Thou my vision

There has been some discussion on the blogosphere this week about how the charismatic renewal in the mainstream churches has been impoverished by the over-use of subjective, non-scriptural texts – and, especially, by a neglect of the psalms. That is not a criticism that could have been levelled against today’s choice of music: in addition to the responsorial psalm, we also had Psalm 139 at the Preparation and Psalm 103 at Communion. If the responsorial psalm was rather lengthy, I hope this was compensated for by its sheer beauty, not least in the refrain, whose lovely singability almost defies people to remain silent.

[Posted by Alan Smith. The music at last week's Mass was provided by the school]

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