Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ye who own the faith of Jesus

My induction into the Society of Mary has been postponed again. Last year, I was prepared for admission, until at the last minute it was revealed that I hadn't been to enough meetings. This year, due to a confluence of a number of things not going as planned, it wasn't able to take place on the Feast of the Visitation once again. It was too bad, since Bishop Victoria Matthews was there this time. I've been told I can be admitted in the fall, but I prefer to wait until next Visitation. (Technically, the Visitation won't occur next year as it is displaced by Pentecost. In practice, I suspect SOM will keep it on the last Saturday of May as usual, and bump Roberta Elizabeth Tilton, Founder of the Anglican Church Women). In any event, I was glad to get to St Mary Mag again for another outdoor procession. The weather cleared up just in time!

I will note briefly (now that I've seen it twice and know that it's not a one-off) SMM's odd practice of switching the places of the Te Deum and Benedictus at Morning Prayer.

Detail of the Solemn Mass and Outdoor Procession below.


The Mass was Willan, of course: Mass 3 (except Gloria and Credo, de Angelis). The motets were also Willan. Two motets preceded the Mass: "Fair in Face" and "Rise up, my love."

The Mass itself began with the Introit, not the traditional one, but a generic one of unknown provenance ("Rejoice we all, and praise the Lord, celebrating a holy day..."). No smoke, as the principal celebrant was in the nave for the wreath ceremony. He blessed the wreath and sprinkled it, and placed it around the base of the statue of Madonna and Child.

The Ritual Choir had the wrong gradual with them, but improvised valiantly. The sequence hymn, which blew me away, was "Virgin-born, we bow before thee" (Mon Dieu). Offertory hymn was "Sing we of the blessed Mother" (Abbot's Leigh). Another Marian motet by Willan: "I beheld her, beautiful as a dove."

In addition to the principal celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon, there were two concelebrants. And when I say "concelebrants," I mean they wore discrete chasubles and extended their hands in a vague, Anglican fashion during the dominical words (which one of them, but not the other, murmured along with the principal celebrant).

The Communion proper was sung as an antiphon on the Magnificat. After the post-communion, we embarked on a procession with the statue of Our Lady. Lots of favourites for the hymns:

*"Sing of Mary, pure and lowly" (Hermon)
*"Hail Mary, blest Mother" (French)
*"Hail, O Star that pointest" (Ave Maris Stella)
*"Now in holy celebration" (Oriel)
*"Ye who own the faith of Jesus" (which during the May Festival is sung to "Daily, daily")
*"Sing how the age long promise of a Saviour" (Coelites Plaudant)
*"Tell out, my soul" (Woodlands)
*"Be joyful, Mary" (Regina Caeli - sung more slowly - and with an odd pause - than the way I learned it. "Alle-luuuuu-ia.........Rejoice, rejoice", etc.)
*"For Mary, mother of Our Lord" (St Botolph)

Upon returning to the church, we repeated "Sing of Mary, pure and lowly" and said (alas) the Angelus before being blessed and dismissed.


aaronorear said...

Wow...only one of those hymns is even IN the new Common Praise. I think we need a special Marian festival hymnal. Or is there one? I suspect that if such a thing exists, you know of it!

Geoff said...

St Mary Mag uses the New English Hymnal. The processional hymns were in a stapled booklet. (At least one of the hymns in the booklet was not from NEH - as I discovered when I returned my booklet upon re-entering the church only to hear the organ start up on it again and find that it wasn't in the hymnal).

Tay Moss said...

The reason Harold likes to switch the Ben. and Te D. at MP is that he likes to put canticles in the order they appear in the Bible. If you want a longer explanation, I'm sure he'll tell you more. -t

BillyD said...

Tay Moss, the Te Deum isn't in the Bible, unless I'm greatly mistaken.

If we're talking about using the Benedictus after the OT reading and the Te Deum after the NT, instead of the other way around, I'm betting that the reason lies in the order they are printed in the BCP. The '79 edition lumps all the canticles together, and for some reason the Te Deum is last on the list.

Tay Moss said...

Lol. Of course you're right about the Te D. not being in the Bible. But I do remember Harold's preference to always put BIBLICAL canticles in the Order they appear in the Bible. I think he extended that logic to say that the TD belongs to a post-Gospel moment of Salvation History and therefore should go after the Ben. I'll have to ask him to elaborate the next time I see him.