Tuesday, April 7, 2009
My first Chrism Mass
Photo borrowed from the cathedral newsletter
I went to my first Chrism Mass today. It was a pleasant experience, though I didn't know what to expect. Br Christian, OHC, was in St George's Chapel hearing confessions prior to the Mass. The order used was considerably divergent from that contained in the Book of Alternative Services.
The Mass setting was Schubert's German Mass - as arranged by Proulx - for the Kyrie (no Gloria) and Sanctus. The Agnus Dei was identified as "Senchur." Part of the cathedral's splendid Passiontide crimson set (namely, the chasuble and the two dalmatics) was in evidence. A photograph of the set can be be found on page 6 of this PDF.
The confession and absolution took place during the Gathering of the Community, as I've seen done in Lent. The collect (but not the secret or postcommunion) was sung. The psalm was a haunting setting by the cathedral's music director, Mr Ager (I'm a big fan of his Alleluia) and the Tract was his work as well. The Bishop of Toronto preached expertly from the altar steps without the aid of notes. The clergy of the diocese renewed their vows, remaining standing while the rest of us were asked to sit down (which was slightly uncomfortable). Stoles were presented to priests in their 25th and 50th years of priestly ministry, or at least to those thereof who showed up.
The offertory was smoke-free, but the preface was sung. The Lord's Prayer was the ubiquitous McNeil Robinson setting and the motet was the Duruflé Ubi Caritas.
Introit: "Blest by the sun, the olive tree" (Gonfalon Royal)
Offertory: "Eternal ruler of the ceaseless round" (Song 1)
Communion: "Tree of life and awesome mystery" (Thomas)
Exit: "Restore in us, O God" (Bellwoods)