Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Midnight Mass, St. George Cathedral, Southwark, London

These videos are treasures and they should be viewed carefully by every reader and sent to every pastor and music director without exception. They provide an outstanding model of how it can be done. The man behind the genius of this liturgy is schola director Nick Gale.

The Mass was celebrated by His Grace Archbishop Peter Smith. The Mass setting (Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei) was Nicholas O'Neill's Missa Sancti Nicolai (2008). The Gregorian propers were sung (Introit, Alleluia and Communio - the responsorial psalm is sung in English), as was the Solemn Proclamation of Christmas (sung in English to the traditional, solemn Latin tone) and Credo III (sung in Latin). The Our Father was sung to the setting by Rimsky-Korsakov. The communion motet: James MacMillan's In Splendoribus for SATB & trumpet. The Cathedral Girls Choir sang an anthem to Our Lady by Timothy Craig Harrison. The Mass concludes with Alma Redemptoris, simple tone sung by all, and I really do mean by all. Listen to this Americans and consider whether this could happen in any Cathedral in the U.S..

The chant is free, natural, and strong - fantastic sound really.

In general, Americans will learn a great deal just by watching these videos and seeing how it is done.