This blog is falling behind somewhat. Last week was very busy indeed with three funerals in three days, two of which were Requiem Masses, one of which was for a forty-two year old mother of three, Helen, who had a rare cancer.
However, on the weekend of November 7th-9th, as mentioned earlier, St Mary`s hosted a Gregorian chant study weekend led by the Scottish Gregorian Group. Many thanks to Alan, Fred, David and Bruce for all their work. Posters had been sent by email to all parishes in the diocese by the chancellor. Twenty people had expressed interest and asked for an application form but in the event about ten came, some of whom have been long involved in the Latin Mass.
After an introductory meeting on Friday night the evening closed with Compline in the church. next morning began with a Missa Cantata in the EF which ended with a Cistercian solemn Salve. The afternoon was spent learning the music for First Vespers for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica which was sung at 4.30pm. Alan had prepared beautifully produced booklets for the services we had. Vespers and Compline were sung following the monastic use so I had to pretend to be a Benedictine and stand for the Gloria Patri`s etc.
The next morning the 10.30 Mass was the Remembrance Sunday Mass so the ordinary, the Introit, Dies Irae, Offertory Antiphon and communion Antiphon were sung by the schola. We also had a cantor for the responsorial psalm ( The Lord`s my Shepherd) and included a couple of hymns. That was the most chant we have ever had on a `Chant Sunday` and I was nervous that it might be too much but I think everyone understood it was a special occasion.
The SGG then did a quick flit over the Tyne to St Joseph`s, Gateshead where they sang the EF Mass for the Lateran Basilica feast. I got there half-way through and sat at the back. The parish priest, (and diocesan liturgist) was the celebrant. Unfortunately it was hard to concentrate on the Mass because of a large party waiting for a baptism at 1pm who were talking loudly but the Mass was beautiful. I enjoy attending the EF almost as much as saying it.
So many thanks to the SGG. I hope they may have planted some seeds to give other people a love of Gregorian Chant.