Saturday, 8 January 2011

Christmas comes but twice a year...

Yesterday, I braved the elements, & the HGV's, and drove across the Pennines to Oldham to visit the Ukrainian Catholic Church of SS Peter, Paul & All Saints, where I have made many friends for Christmas Day. (According to the Julian Calendar). Indeed, Stefan, who I first met well over 20 years ago, is not only the cantor, but also doubles up as church Secretary, caretaker & anything else you might care to mention!

Here are some photos.

More can be seen here, though you'll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Welcome to Rudgate's XVth year!

It's still only early January, and yet we already have a very full schedule of services outlined for the year. Some may not happen of course and as I'm not into the clairvoyance business, I'm not going to make any rash predictions, so this is potentially what we've got to look forward to. Not bad considering we only got a group of singers 15  years ago, for what was expected to be a one-off, or at best, annual occasion. :-) Some of these involve the whole choir, some just the Schola Cantorum & others just individuals joining with others.

22nd January [week of prayer for Christian Unity]

Ampleforth Abbey
Orthodox Divine Liturgy - in English (Directed by Fr. Alexander McCabe OSB.)
Slavonic composers
Individual singers needed.
I actually heard the group who sang for a Liturgy back in October, and was rather impressed, but I've been told that experienced singers of all voices would be very helpful, particularly for this Liturgy in January as they want to pull out all the stops so to speak for Christian Unity Week.
They serve an excellent lunch afterwards!
2nd February [Wednesday evening]
Candlemass 2nd Vespers.
St Mary, Bishophill Junior, York
Likely to be Schola only as many people rehearse on Wednesdays with other choirs.
12th February. (National Event No.1)
English Martyrs' York 4pm.

Sung Mass at the conclusion of a Nationally organized training day for servers in the EF.
26th March (National Event No.2!)
YORK MINSTER/Bar Convent Chapel. Now confirmed!
 Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. Margaret Clitherow. 1.30pm
This is going to be as part of a National Pilgrimage to York in her honour. The plan is for Mass, followed by a  procession to her shrine at the Shambles, and then later in the day, 4pm I believe, going to the Convent chapel for Veneration of her relic & Benediction.

We would need a full choir for the Mass, but could cope with chant only for Benediction, though it would be nice if we had a quorum to sing a little polyphony here as well.
Music: Byrd 5, Iustorum Animae, Ave Verum & Ave Regina Caelorum. + chant proper from the Mass of Martyr Not A Virgin. (Didn't realise such a Proper existed, so I'm glad I looked it up! I was originally going to choose one from the Common of Martyrs - you learn something new every day!)
I've had a look at the side chapels, and there are one or two that could be suitable, depending on numbers of pilgrims, but I suspect a lot of people will come to this, & we may well end up in the Nave - so we'll need to be prepared!
30th April
Stow Minster, Lincolnshire 12.PM

Confirmed invitation for the Full choir, to sing a Sung Eucharist - votive of Our Lady in Easter Week.
18th June, venue to be arranged, but hopefully, St Joseph's, Scarborough. (I have now written to ask, but haven't had a reply yet, but hopefully, it'll be here!) 

15th Anniversary Mass (Vigil of Trinity Sunday?)
The reason I'm going for this church, is that it's accessible for most of us re parking [lifts will be given to non-drivers!], and it has a generous acoustic AND a large West Gallery. Essential from my point of view, because I'd like everyone who has been involved with us for the last 15 years to be invited. (I realise some won't be able to make it, but it's the thought that counts!)
16th, 23rd, or 30th July [to be confirmed]
St Mary's Church, Barnard Castle

The Annual Founders' Day Requiem
The last 6 years this has just been the Gregorian Chant Requiem. Nothing wrong with that, but it would be great in our Anniversary Year to have a full choir to sing a polyphonic Requiem

10th September [provisionally]
Brinkburn Priory [to be confirmed]

It's usually the Second Saturday in September, weddings & other services permitting!
The Annual Solemn High Mass.
We've had a request for  RVW's Mass in G minor!
Venue to be confirmed, but probably St Mary's Bishophill Jnr,
Choral [probably Orthodox] Divine Liturgy
Full choir. Not sure yet whether it will follow the Ampleforth model of various composers, or be a composed setting by an individual. I have a full score of Ippolitov-Ivanov's Liturgy which is very singable, but it will need to be transliterated, as the text is in Old Church Slavonic. For those of us who can read it, that's not a problem, but I guess we'll be in the minority!
Monday 19th December [provisionally]
St Mary's Bishophill Junior

The Annual Service of Carols by Candlelight.
Obviously, some of this may change, as I'm working up to almost a year in advance, but this is a general idea of what we are/or likely to be invited to this year! There are some other events likely to involve some, if not the full choir. These are at the Greek Orthodox Church in Leeds, where we hope to sing, in English, a new setting of the Liturgy in Byzantine Chant. 

The others largely concerns Gregorian Chant, but MAY involve some polyphony also, as there are provisional plans for liturgical workshops to take place at Middlesbrough  & Lancaster Cathedrals. 
There will probably be other services throughout the year mainly in York, and there's always Compline or Vespers at St Mary's Bishophill on a regular basis, usually on Saturday evenings. Stay tuned! If you want to join us in what will be a very busy, but exciting year, please don't hesitate to get in touch!