Friday, 20 August 2010

Catching Up

A quick resumé of what I've been up to since the last entry here, which has been dominated by work & sleep with the occasional dalliance with Facebook.

17th July saw myself and a friend from the York EF Community visit the medieval church of All Saints, North Street to witness an (Anglican, obviously) Pontifical High Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of North Street according to the Use of York. An interesting experience backed up with super singing by 4 members of the excellent Ebor Singers.

The following day saw what could have been a potentially disastrous EF Missa Cantata turn into something of a mini triumph. With just a few hours to go, some key singers for the planned polyphonic music pulled out due to illness, leaving me with a makeshift schola of 8 and hastily rearranging the bulk of the music. It turned out to be one of the best chant Masses I've been involved in for ages, and that includes Ushaw, a credit to all involved, especially those who turned up for the rehearsal expecting to sing polyphony & ending up sight-reading chant instead!

Moving on to the next weekend, which saw me back in London - eventually, after discovering my train had been cancelled on the Friday evening, resulting in a taxi [not paid for by me] down to Doncaster Station in order to catch, literally the last train to London that night. The following day saw my host roydosan & I off to Oxford for the Diaconate Ordination of Br Lawrence, an old friend & one of the first choral scholas of Leeds Cathedral Choir, when even then, I was a veteran Bass [or so it seemed!] Let's not forget the other two Ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood that day of Frs Robert & Thomas, who I'm pretty sure were Deacons on the day that Lawrence made his Solemn Profession back in September last year. You can read more about the days events here. Sunday was a little different. We decided to visit the Chaldean Catholic Community in West London. There was me thinking 'What sort of church will they be using?' only to find out that they make use of a catholic parish church, which to all intent, could easily be mistaken for an aircraft control tower! Nevertheless the liturgy was an interesting mix of middle eastern languages, a [very] little of which I recognised, having sung in liturgical Arabic for the Ordination of an Orthodox Priest from the Patriarchal jurisdiction of Antioch - in Doncaster. The ordaining bishop came from Syria, & had to learn enough English in order for the Liturgy to proceed smoothly, but there were bits in Arabic, & I therefore claim to be one of a few Western Christians to have invoked the name of 'Allah' liturgically! The Arabic theme stayed with us for lunch, which was at a Lebanese restaurant just a few minutes walk from the London Oratory, where Solemn Vespers & Benediction was not to be missed.

So, this brings me to the following weekend, which saw the Rudgate Singers reduced to one [me], for the Annual Founders-Day Requiem at Barnard Castle. It very nearly wasn't even that, as I had a horrendous journey up to Barney, due to very heavy traffic in & around York & then the roadworks on the A1. I made it to church with literally 3 minutes to spare! Fr Elkin gives a good account of the day here.  

This brings me up to August, a month which singers usually take a well-earned break, but behind the scenes, plots are already being hatched for major services which will take us right up to the end of this year and beyond...!

Next on the agenda is the Annual High Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland for which we rehearse on Bank holiday weekend. If you're in, or can get to, Brinkburn on 11th September, do come along. It should be a super occasion & we're planning music to match!