Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Living Tradition defines the Novus Ordo

at St. Etheldreda's in Ely Place, London. Built in the 13th century and tucked away from a main thoroughfare, St. Etheldreda's is a testament to the tenacity of those whose respect for the Faith and its tradition have kept the Roman church alive in England through years of division and unrest. Read its fascinating history.

Among the many treasure's at St. Etheldreda's are its Sunday Novus Ordo Masses, complete with plainchant and polyphonic Ordinaries, Gregorian Propers,and myriad motets and organ offerings. View the current schedule of upcoming Masses and liturgies.

There was some discussion in the blogs a few months back about doing the Dies Irae Sequence before the Gospel, and in fact, about the wisdom of the doing the Dies Irae at all in Novus Ordo funeral Masses. Some felt that since the Dies Irae had not been banned outright, that it was fine to proceed and include the sequence in its proper spot. Others weighed in with the opinion that it was probably most prudent to do the Dies Irae as an offertory or communion meditation in this day and age.

It is noteworthy that a parish like St. Etheldreda's, an established witness to the dignity, beauty and holiness of the Church's living tradition, sings the Dies Irae sequence for requiem Masses on a regular basis.

The present Choir is one of only a handful of fully professional Roman Catholic church choirs in the country, and has its origins in the choir of men and boys which Theodore Tanner directed from 1908 to 1948 and in the mixed choir of local singers who continued his work.

In the late 1970s, professional singers were gradually engaged and the choir evolved into its present form. It sings the Latin Mass each Sunday morning at 11 am and on major Feast Days and Solemnities, with a wide and varied repertoire ranging from plainsong and 16th century polyphony to music of the present day.

The Director of Music is Paul Gillham and the organist is Iestyn Evans.

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