Thursday, July 7, 2011

26 June—Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 8)

Still playing catch-up.

St. Joseph's Episcopal Church where I played the usual 10.30 am service. As usual, the numbers are out of The Hymnal 1982.

Second Sunday after Pentecost: Holy Eucharist Rite II
Prelude: Ave verum corpus (W.A. Mozart)
Processional: 414, God, my King, thy might confessing (STUTTGART)
Gloria: Gloria No. 3 (Taizé)
Psalm: Psalm 13, chanted to Tone 8
Sequence Hymn: 609, Where cross the crowded ways of life (GARDINER)
Offertory Hymn: 401, The God of Abraham praise (LEONI)
Sanctus: S-130, Deutsche Messe (Schubert/Proulx)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982)
Fraction Anthem: S-169, My flesh is food indeed (Urwin)
Communion: Eat This Bread (Words and music by Jacques Berthier (GIA Publications))
Recessional: 525, The Church's one foundation (AURELIA)
Postlude: Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (J. Brahms)

As you can see from my organ voluntary choices, I had Eucharistic themes in the brain. The prelude was sung by the choir, and it would be the last piece they sing as a group until the fall. I had made the decision, with the support of the Vicar and the Liturgy committee, to let the choir have the summer off. A few key members of the choir would be away for most of the summer, and considering how small my group is, I thought it would be a good idea to let them lead the singing in the pews. As far as I was concerned, it would be a win in the long run: they could listen for the strong singers in the pews and encourage them to join the choir when they reconvene for the fall.

In the absence of the choir, the Psalms would be chanted responsively by whole verse. I had suggested Responsorial Psalms, which was the way they were done when I had first started at St. Joseph's (they were using Gather Comprehensive as a source, which I found rather strange), but the members of the Liturgy committee had objected, saying they liked the idea of everyone singing the psalms, so my solution to that was to have the congregation chant it responsively by whole verse. It seems to work; this congregation chants well.

The last change is to Communion: I've been asked to program Taizé chants during that time. So I'm starting with something this group should know: Eat This Bread. It's in the St. Joseph's Hymnal. I'll also program others like "Bless the Lord, my Soul", "O Lord, Hear my Prayer", "Nada te Turbe", and "Laudate Dominum". I'll take this as an opportunity to expand this congregation's Taizé repertoire as it was limited to three: "Eat this Bread", "Ubi Caritas", and "Jesus, Remember Me".

Last thing: I was asked to play both Gloria No. 3 and the Schubert Deutsche Messe faster. I see the point with the Gloria; I actually played it much slower than recommended (MM dotted quarter=80!) so I played it a little faster (but not as fast as indicated).

The Schubert was interesting. In the Hymnal 1982, the recommended MM was quarter at 72. When we did this at Chapel of the Cross, we sung it slowly, I'd estimate around quarter at 84, and it felt right. A supply priest had strongly encouraged me to play it much faster, at least quarter at 120, which I found to be uncomfortably fast. I had polled my fellow organists, and the consensus appeared to be quarter at 104-108. When I played it at that tempo, people still sang it well, and the complaints about dragging tempo ceased.

Enough blathering from me. I didn't have any afternoon services because the 2011 AGO Region IV Convention had started that evening, so I had, on purpose, asked that I not be scheduled for any afternoon services that day.

More later!

No comments: