It was an amazing service.
The Wedding of two of Chapel of the Cross's Senior Choristers, Roberta Van Ness and Gerald Whittington, took place Saturday afternoon. It was truly a wonderful celebration of music and fellowship.
Roberta was a very beautiful bride. I teared up when I saw her prepare to walk down the aisle. She was accompanied by her 93-year old father. The happiness emanating from the two of them was quite palpable - you can feel it many pews away.
The music they chose for the procession, which ended with the bride and her father, was an interesting choice. Unusual, but somehow fitting and is one of the Senior Choir's "signature" pieces ...
Before I go on, here is the Order of Worship. Numbers are out of The Hymnal 1982. The prelude music featured very heavily choral music. The Senior Choir was joined by members of the Bel Canto Company, and oh, what a Glorious Sound they made!
Fantasia in G Major: Très vitement / Grave / Lentement (BWV 572, J. S. Bach)
Duet from Cantata 78: Jesu, der du meine Seele (Bach)
I sat down under His shadow (E. C. Bairstow)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (S. S. Wesley)
Duet from Gloria: Laudamus te (A. Vivaldi)
Rise up, my love, my fair one (H. Willan)
I was glad when they said unto me (C. H. H. Parry)
Here I will interrupt my list. Huge fanfare at the start (and yes, the Kleuker has quite the "party horn" (a.k.a. Festival Trumpet) stop) ... crucifer and acolytes went down the aisle, followed by the person carrying the Book Containing The Word (I'm not sure exactly what that is called, hey you liturgical types - help me here!), followed by two priests, and then the best man and matron of honour went down the aisle, followed by the bridesmaids and bridgegrooms (just two pairs) ... oh, I believe the groom also walked down the aisle as well ... and in the meantime, the choir carried on singing. The bride, accompanied by her father, started walking down the aisle as the choir sang the last section ("Peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces"). Oh, and the text was based on Psalm 122.
Declaration of Consent
Hymn: 366 (v. 1-4), Holy God we praise Thy Name (GROSSER GOTT)
The First Lesson: Tobit 8:5-8
Hymn: 706, In your mercy, Lord, you called me (HALTON HOLGATE)
The Second Lesson: Colossians 3:12-17
Sequence Hymn: 458, My song is love unknown (LOVE UNKNOWN; with descant by John Rutter, which was originally written for Roberta's first marriage to her late-husband. I'm not sure if it has been published, but it's been done at Chapel of the Cross since then whenever this hymn is programmed.)
The Gospel: John 15:9-12
Choral Amen: from Geistliches Lied (Op. 30, J. Brahms)
The Blessing of the Marriage
Offertory Anthem: Ave Maria ... virgo serena (J. des Prez)
The Great Thanksgiving
Sanctus: S-130, Deutsche Messe (F. Schubert)
The Breaking of the Bread
Open thou mine eyes (Rutter)
Hymn 653, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (REPTON, with harmonisations and descant by David Willcocks)
Laudate Dominum omnes gentes (H. Helvey; Premiere Performance of this wonderful piece)
The Prayer after the Communion
Closing Hymn: 382, King of glory, King of peace (GENERAL SEMINARY)
Toccata from Symphonie V (C.-M. Widor)
Yes, there was an amazing amount of choral music, and people were saying they don't remember any other wedding at Chapel of the Cross that was quite like this one. I'm really sorry that my voice wasn't healed enough for me to sing with the choir, and all except the Rutter anthem sung at Communion and Helvey's new piece, were very familiar to me - some of which I could have sung in my sleep.
But no matter - I am very glad I was able to be there for Roberta and Gerry, and it was an absolutely beautiful service.
Now the newlyweds are off to their honeymoon - London, Milan, and I'll have to admit I missed their third destination. I'm sure they'll have a smashing time.