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August 03, 2005

MDS - Mass in honour of Our Lady

The Mass in honour of Our Lady yesterday was stupendous. The congregation of just over 300 had their worship accompanied by the stunning sounds of the Louis Vierne setting of the Mass enhanced by an Introit Anthem by Palestrina, an Ave Maria setting as the Gradual Anthem by Anton Bruckner, and the Offertory Anthem "The sorrows of Mary" by Richard Bennett. Communion itself was accompanied by the Anthem "Emmanuel" by Philip Moore.

The preacher, Canon John Armson from Rochester, preached a powerful sermon on the role of Mary and all women within the Christian Church, pointing out that we cannot truly honour Mary without understanding her as a woman. It certainly rattled a few cages and will give rise to a number of debates in coming months!

What can one say about the music? What can one say about the manner in which the setting, the music, and the prayer of the congregation lifts ones soul as a minister in the midst of this to a level of spiritual awareness that makes prayer natural? I find myself lost for words - which is perhaps as it should be.

To crown it all, Carleton Etherington played Vierne's "Final" from Symphonie III - a stunning finale to a stunning Mass.

This morning we celebrate a Solemn Mass of the Holy Cross, the setting is for Double Choir by Frank Martin, and the Anthems are by Byrd, Peebles, Purcell, and Lotti. We will again be praying for all our friends and acquaintances, both near and far.

Pax vobiscum!

Posted by The Gray Monk at August 3, 2005 08:48 AM