Tuesday, 3 December 2013

From the archives.


I can't believe it's over 5 years since I wrote this. The answer to one of the questions I raised then is now St. Wilfrid's in the centre of the city. See previous post for how to get in touch!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Albeit a day late. I had intended to write this yesterday on returning from church but instead, almost immediately retired to bed and have spent most of today there also having picked up a bug from somewhere which has consequently kept me off work today & possibly tomorrow.

That's enough whingeing! November has come and gone and ended in a flurry of activity, the last weekend seeing me being involved in 3 different events in 3 different locations in 3 days... (None of them being Rudgate services)

On the 22nd (Feast of St. Cecilia) I along with a few other Rudgates joined forces with the Middlesbrough Diocesan Choir to sing Solemn Vespers at St. Wilfrid's church in York (home to the new Oratorian community of which more later!) directed by the wonderful Tim Harrison - Tim, if you read this, we still have to have that post-service pint. ;-) The following day, I went up to Edinburgh to join forces with singers from a local Schola, the Cantors of the Holy Rude in order to sing the first Dominican Rite Mass celebrated there for decades. The Schola was directed by James MacMillan CBE. No doubt some of you will have heard of him! It was nice to be able to have a chat as the last time we met was in London nearly 2 years ago. The Mass itself was celebrated by fr. Lawrence Lew, another friend. We've known each other since fr. Lawrence (aka Paul) was one of the first choral scholars in Leeds Cathedral Choir during my time there. You can read fr. Lawrence's account of the day here.

Finally on the Sunday of that weekend, the solemnity of Christ the King in the OF, I went up to Teesside to sing with the Darlington Ordinariate Choir. If you're ever in the Teesside area on a Sunday, do consider going to St. Osmund's church in Gainford where they are based. The community will offer you a very warm welcome and you can be assured of some splendid music sung in the contect of the OF Liturgy. Evensong is still sung from time to time, reflecting the Anglican patrimony which is a charism of the Ordinariate and it was this that I went for. In fact this was Solemn Evensong & Benediction and it was all rather splendid - not just the music. If you have a Facebook account, you may be able to access the photographs taken by Deacon Andrew Bunce here.

We now move on a week to the beginning of the new Church Year and back to the York Oratorian Community. Several of you reading this will no doubt know by now that the Oratorians of Oxford were invited to send priests to St. Wilfrid's church in York upon the retirement of the previous parish priest, Canon Michael Ryan with a view to establishing an independent Oratory in York eventually.

I (along with others) had already been asked about the feasibility of establishing a choir there along the lines of the existing Oratory choirs elsewhere in the country. Yesterday, the 1st Sunday of Advent, saw a scratch choir, almost half of whom have sung with the Rudgates, sing at St. Wilfrid's for the first time in decades directed by the organist at St. Wilf's, Iain Robertson. I stand to be corrected, but if memory serves, the last  choir that sang for a Catholic Mass on a Sunday in York was also directed by Iain, some 30+ years ago! This is no quick fix though, and to get a choir of the calibre of the existing Oratories will take more than just a few York-based Rudgates and other volunteers turning up on a Sunday morning. We're talking time, probably a year or two before we can realistically achieve this. If you're in the Greater York area and want to be part of what is a very exciting & (hopefully) rewarding venture, then please do contact the new Parish priest, Fr. Richard Duffield who will be delighted to hear from you! For contact details and more about the St. Cecilia Vespers click on this link. If you're not sure yet, you can always have a quiet word with me first via the Rudgate link on this page.

In addition to the new choir which will sing for the main OF Mass at 11am each Sunday, I've also been asked to form a Gregorian Chant Schola for the EF Mass which has now moved there from English Martyrs church and is offered at 5pm each Sunday, followed by Rosary & Benediction. Hopefully this won't be as big a task as the choir as many of the current Rudgate Schola already live in the York area and I hope they will relish the opportunity to sing Masses more often! It is anticipated that Missa Cantatas will start next month with a view to extending this to a weekly sung Mass eventually.

Compline continues as before at our York base, St. Mary Bishophill Junior. We once jokingly referred to this as the Little Oratory! Little did we know what was in store for the future... Times of Compline this month are :

9pm 6th December
9pm 13th December
9pm 21st December

Our Annual Carol Service at St. Mary's is on December 20th at 7.30pm. This sadly clashes with Fr. Richard's induction Mass at St. Wilfrid's, but the date had been fixed months ago, so we can't change it now. Music Plans are also in place for the 4th annual York Pilgrimage in honour of St. Margaret Clitherow. More of that nearer the time, but for now all I'll say is expect some Mozart..!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Compline this week

This will be at 9.30pm on Friday due to other events taking place that day. It's also the Solemnity of All Saints which means of course, Compline of Sunday with Solemn Salve! We'll also be singing Te Lucis II which we don't often get to do.

Usual venue, St. Mary's Bishophill jnr York. All welcome!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Brinkburn Video Highlights

Click on the following link and enjoy!


Huge H/T to Mark for filming and editing this.

Compline by candlelight tomorrow.

This is exactly the same as last week, note for note, it being the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. One of our number thought it might be more solemn as we now have a Pope Francis - but not so! It's still Friday psalms, Te Lucis I & Simple Salve.

All welcome at Bishophill Jnr at our usual time of 8.45pm.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Compline this weekend.

We meet on Friday at our usual time 8.45pm at St. Mary's Bishophill Jnr. It's the Feast of SS Cosmas & Damian, class III in the EF, so that's Friday psalms, Te Lucis I and simple Salve. We also have visitors from Germany this week, so do come and say hello!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

More about Brinkburn

Last Saturday, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross saw a goodly complement of Rudgates heading up to Northumberland to sing in what is unquestionably (IMHO!) our favourite venue of Brinkburn Priory.

This is not too far from Morpeth, on the road to Rothbury, and is by far the furthest venue that most of us travel to each year, but it is definitely worth it, as the setting, not to mention the acoustic is splendid. :-)

For Holy Cross Day this year, we were joined by the Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow, a full complement of clergy and servers and about 30+ people in the congregation who made the journey into central Northumberland. The music went well.

Here's a link to the Offertory Motet, Crux Fidelis.

And some of Mark's excellent photos. I shall have to persuade him to upload some of the video taken that day as well!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Compline tomorrow.

This is traditionally an Ember Day in the EF calendar which we use when singing the Office.

What this means in practice is that we sing the psalms of the day,  Te Lucis III & the Simple Tone Salve.

We meet at St. Mary's tomorrow evening at the usual time of 8.45pm, though it will probably be after 9 by the time we actually start...

Monday, 9 September 2013

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Brinkburn Priory, Longframlington, Morpeth, Northumberland NE65 8AR.
Saturday, 14th September 2013 at 12pm.

Music provided by the Rudgate Singers and the Schola Sancti Baedae.

Gregorian Chant Proper from the Graduale Romanum.

Mass for 4 Voices: William Byrd
Crux Fidelis: John IV of Portugal
Christus Factus Est: Felice Anerio

Salve Regina: Gregorian Chant Simple Tone.

All welcome!

Compline this week...

Moves to Saturday evening, as the Orthodox Community have a Liturgy on Friday evening for the eve of Holy Cross Day. So, details as follows:


Semifestal Office.

Which means (as you may already have guessed) Compline of Sunday!

Te Lucis I and Solemn Salve Regina, in its own right as it were, not just because it's the eve of Sunday.

Some of us may be a little tired, as we'll have been up to Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland earlier to sing a Solemn High Mass for the Feast, (see next post for details) so we may be susceptible to making the odd mistake or two, so bear with us! The important thing of course, is that the office is still sung.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Compline This Friday.

For those of you who are interested.

Fri 6th September

Diocese of Middlesbrough:

Festal Office

Compline will therefore be of Sunday with Te Lucis II and the Solemn Salve Regina.

8.45pm at our usual venue, St. Mary's Church, Bishophill Junior, York.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Thursday, 29 August 2013

James MacMillan on Musica Sacra Scotland

Byzantine Music Concert in Leeds

If you're in or near Leeds on the weekend of 13/14th September and not involved with our own Solemn High Mass up at Brinkburn that day (which I shall write about separately nearer the time) then this is a unique opportunity to hear some fabulous music. It's very frustrating, because I'd love to go! However, despite that, I'm more than happy to give the event publicity here.

The concert is linked to the Consecration of the Romanian Orthodox church in Leeds, details of which follow:

The Concert of the Choir Saint Demetrius
The Choir, set up 14 years ago by a group of students at Theology from Craiova, Romania, aims at discovering the ancient Romanian traditions and hymns, especially those of Byzantine tradition. It is currently led by Victor Sapca, PhD student at the University of Music in Bucharest and music teacher at “St. Gregory the Theologian” Orthodox Seminary in Craiova. The Choir members performed in numerous concerts in Romania and at the San Marco Cathedral in Venice. They recorded nine compact discs with a selection of the most beautiful and expressive Byzantine chants from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

This concert, organized with the generous support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in London in partnership with our Parish, will feature the following musical pieces:

 The world has found you to be a great defense…, Troparion of St. Demetrius the Great Martyr, traditional melody in tone III - performed in Romanian, Greek and English.
2.   On this day Saint Constantine and blessed Helen…, Kontakion of Sts Constantine and Helen, tone III - performed in English.
3.     Our Father…, tone VIII, recent composion of Hieromonk Ghelasie Ivan from Crasna Monastery, Romania - performed in English.
4.       Let every breath praise the Lord…, Sticheraric Praises in tone III by Iakovos Protopsaltis - performed in English.
5.       Holy God…, Tone I Sticheraric,  by Parthenios of Meteora - performed in both Romanian and English.
6.       The Servants of the Lord… , Polyeleos in tone V  by Peter the Lampadar - performed in Romanian.
7.       It is meet and right…, Axion in tone VIII - performed in Romanian.
8.       Good Word…, Polyeleos on Feasts of the Theotokos in tone VIII by Nectarie the Protopsaltis - performed in Romanian.

Consecration Programme

 Friday, 13th September

19:00 - 20:00 – A Concert of the Byzantine Music performed by the choir of Saint Demetrius, Craiova, Romania (held in the Church)
20:00 - 21:00 – Common meal (Agape) inthe  Church Hall
21:00 - 23:00 –Vigil Service (Vespers, Artoklasia and Matins)

Saturday, 14th September

09:00 - 13:30 – Service of Consecration with Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
14:00 – 16:30 Common meal (Agape) in the Church Hall.

Fr. Constantin Popescu
Romanian Orthodox Parish of Saint Makarios the Great
Saint Michael and All Angels Church
Lawns Lane, Farnley, Leeds, LS12 5ET
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Tel: 01785 212247; Mobile: 07514 524 544

Compline tomorrow

This may be of interest to any of you in or near the York area. We'll be singing Compline tomorrow evening after our break due to the fact that two of the regular singers were in Belgium last week. :-)

I've just finished editing & saving the photos - a massive task. Some will no doubt appear on Flickr and/or Facebook in the near future.

Back to the present. Tomorrow is:

Fri 30 S ROSE of LIMA V III Cl W
Ordinary Office

Therefore: Friday psalms, Te Lucis I & Simple Salve Regina.

For some reason I thought it was a Marian feast & Compline of Sunday, but both calendar & online ordo confirm it isn't. Nevertheless, everyone is welcome! No doubt we shall adjourn to the 'vestry' afterwards for 'refreshments'. ;-)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Musica Sacra Scotland Conference

This is a super initiative and promises to be a great day. I'd love to go to this, but it sadly clashes with my own birthday and there are events, both sung and social taking place in York that day. Do go if you have the opportunity, except those of you invited to my party of course! 

If you click on the poster image, it will expand to show all the details.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

More About Compline - and introducing a service schedule

It's not gone unnoticed that we're attracting more people lately, especially now that we've more or less moved back to singing on a Friday evening, which is where we started out when we were given the opportunity to sing the Office in York's oldest church some years ago.

It would still be lovely to see more, so my intention is to (time permitting) publish details of our regular services here on a weekly basis.

So, next week we shall be singing Compline again in St. Mary's, the details of which follow:

Friday 16th August 8.45pm (in all honesty, it will be nearer 9 by the time we eventually start!)

Semifestal Office

Compline will therefore be that of Sunday, concluding with the Solemn Salve Regina..

All welcome!

There are other potential developments regarding liturgical choral music & chant in York which may begin to take effect later this year. Stay tuned. If/when it happens you'll hear about it here...!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Watch this...

"The Chant Café: Propers of the Mass Channel" http://feedly.com/k/15ySjTP

I've subscribed to the channel

Monday, 27 May 2013

St. Margaret Clitherow Mass.

Watch "Solemn High Mass in honour of St. Margaret Clitherow" on YouTube

For those of you who weren't there, or would just like a reminder of the day - here's the video of the Mass.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Music for Margaret Clitherow 2013

Within a month of Ratcliffe, is the Rudgates first big event of the year, the National Pilgrimage to York in honour of St. Margaret Clitherow, transferred to 4th May (Star Wars Day!) this year due to the traditional weekend day closest to her feast being so close to Holy Week.

Like the preceding post, here are some musical highlights of what we'll be doing. The three points I made there, also apply here!

Victoria Missa Simile est Regnum Coelorum Kyrie/Gloria:

Victoria Missa Simile est Regnum Coelorum Sanctus, Benedictus & Agnus:

Bardos Audi Filia:

Croce O Sacrum Convivium:

Ratcliffe music

Holy Week is here. All too soon it will be Easter, and then the week after, Low Week, which for me means the Training conference at Ratcliffe College.

For those of you interested in these things, here are a few links to some of the music which we'll be singing throughout the week.


Ecce Sacerdos Magnus - Victoria: http://youtu.be/tNAShUfXCJA

Introit Vultum tuum: http://youtu.be/ohB3hdVLE-0

Missa cum jubilo: http://youtu.be/0DYyWFtPmpA

Credo IV: http://youtu.be/Yja0Tp_TCPA

Ave Maria - Victoria: http://youtu.be/QlLrHWJcloA

Regina Caeli Solemn mode: http://youtu.be/iIYCRqwHA94


Missa de angelis: http://youtu.be/iIYCRqwHA94

Ecce Panis Angelorum - Lotti http://youtu.be/9MeBCKagwxk

Regina Caeli Simple mode: http://youtu.be/6-EJiI_yAas

Ad RegiasAgni Dapes: http://youtu.be/M14r4KmyB0Q

Adoremus in Aeternum: http://youtu.be/XzegDFZQmeM


Missa Iste Confessor - Palestrina (Kyrie & Gloria): http://youtu.be/G-_Qx3fyRLQ

Aeterne Rex Altissime: http://youtu.be/fy1BW2VYEjw


Missa Lux et origo Kyrie: http://youtu.be/_LhoIYoeTC8

Missa Lux et origo: Gloria: http://youtu.be/OVKC7oVWYBA

Missa Lux et origo Sanctus: http://youtu.be/pQXGNPOhofA

Missa Lux et origo Agnus Dei: http://youtu.be/mSgyYDZvSAg

Ave Verum - Byrd: http://youtu.be/vFZZMF7SRRo?t=3s

Iste Confessor: http://youtu.be/ste06UzUd6w

O Doctor optime: http://youtu.be/Zbn49NR8j-o?t=3m2s


Victoria Requiem à 4 Kyrie: http://youtu.be/KdeCa1MzG4U

Victoria Requiem à 4 Offertorium: http://youtu.be/lg8f0PrXQi8

Absolve, Domine: http://youtu.be/np_slIOn5Jk

Dies Irae: http://youtu.be/dsn9LWh230k

Three things.

1. Obviously this list is by no means complete!

2. We won't necessarily be slavishly copying the performances recorded here. :-)

3. Any comments made are purely the opinions of those who wrote them!

If you want more, you'll just have to come along! All services are open to the public.

The conference runs from the 8th to 12th of April, commencing with Pontifical High Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation (transferred because 25th March falls during Holy Week) and finishes with a Solemn Requiem Mass for deceased bishops and priests. It is after all, a clergy training conference!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

This Weekend

Car permitting, as mine's off the road at the moment, something to do with an ECU, whatever that is. I only just bought the thing a week ago!

Saturday am: Choral Orthodox Liturgy at Ampleforth Abbey, followed no doubt by an excellent lunch. For those of you who think we're in Lent, and shouldn't be indulging, you're only partially right. The vast majority of Orthodox, and most Eastern Rite Catholics don't begin Great Lent until the first weekend in March as there is a 3 week discrepancy between the dates of Easter this year due to the different calendars in use.

Saturday pm sees a return to the Catholic Extraordinary Form for both Vespers (of the BVM) and later, Compline, both at our York base of St. Mary's Bishophill Jnr. Vespers is at 6:30pm. Compline at 8:45. New singers (and congregation) always welcome. :-)

Sunday, sees another minor (this time) calendar switch to the Ordinary Form and a trip up to co. Durham to sing Byrd's mass for 4 voices with the Darlington Ordinariate. They're desperately short of tenors, so if any of you reading this can oblige, and are free on Sunday, get in touch via the Rudgate website email link!

Music in the Diocese of Middlesbrough

I realise I'm guilty of directing readers to excellent blogs and websites in the USA regarding quality articles concerning church music, particularly catholic church music, so it's time to redress the balance a little bit.

This is very encouraging, and very close to home - I do in fact, live in this Diocese! Only a few years ago, liturgically speaking, this area of the UK was almost barren. If you wanted to hear a decent choir sing sacred music in a catholic service, you either had to follow us on our travels across Northern England, or visit Ampleforth in term time. However, the Diocese has got its act together and appointed an excellent musician, Tim Harrison, as Director of Music for both cathedral and diocese, and what a transformation he has made!

Where there were no choirs at all until recently, there are now 5 in residence at the cathedral, comprising of Cathedral Adult, Boy's & Girl's choirs + Ladies' & Mens' Schola Cantorum.

A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into this, and Tim deserves huge congratulations and a lot more publicity, something this blog can only go a little way towards achieving!

The link to the Diocesan music site can be found here.

From the excellent Chant Café

Lent Is Victoria Time

We need more Bishops like this!

Bishop Sample's Pastoral Letter on Sacred Music

Monday, 21 January 2013

Summer Tour

Whilst searching for links for the previous post on Catholic Evensong, I stumbled upon this courtesy of the excellent http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.co.uk/

We're going there this summer - via Belgium!

Catholic Evensong

Much has been said this week about Catholic Evensong in the 'Deep South' and also at Oxford, so I thought it was about time to shed a little Northern Light on the subject.

The Ordinary himself, Mgr Keith Newton, is visiting the church of St. Osmund, Gainford, which now hosts the Darlington Ordinariate Community,  on Sunday 3rd February.  I shall be singing there that day and may yet be able to persuade a couple of other Rudgates to come and join me.

Details are as follows:

Sunday 3rd February - Solemn Mass at 11.15 am – Mgr. Newton
Setting: Little Organ Mass by F J Haydn

Anthem: When to the temple Mary went by Eccard

Voluntary: Dialogue sur les grand jeux by Louis Marchand 

Evensong & Benediction at 4 pm

Hymns: For Mary Mother of the Lord

Her Virgin eyes saw God incarnate born

We hail thy presence glorious

The duteous day now closeth

Psalm: 42

Preces & Reponses: Reading

Canticles: Noble in B minor

Anthem: Evening Hymn by H Balfour Gardiner

Benediction: Saint-Saens and Henschel

Voluntary: Sonata No 2 in C by Felix Mendelssohn

Do come along! A very warm welcome will be given to new singers too, especially, but not exclusively, tenors. ;-)

We may appear to be resting....

But... Plans are already at an advanced stage for the third National Pilgrimage to York in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, which this year will take place on Saturday 4th May, due to the proximity of Palm Sunday & Holy week to the Saturday nearest to her actual Feast Day - 23rd & 26th March respectively.

Music details are as follows:

Mass Setting: Missa Simile est Regnum Caelorum: Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548-1611)
Offertory Motet: Audi Filia: Lajos Bárdos (1899-1986)Communion Motet: O Sacrum Convivium: Giovanni Croce (1557-1609)Marian Antiphon: Regina Caeli: Samuel Webbe: (1740-1816) 
Chant Proper: from the Graduale Romanum. Mass of a Holy Woman Martyr in Paschatide, which means we mustn't forget the Alleluias. :-)

Plans are also at an advanced stage for  this,the opening Mass of which will be the transferred Feast of the Annunciation, celebrated by Bishop Malcolm McMahon, the Diocesan Bishop.

The booklet for Conference attendees and congregation is done, and being checked for any errors, which I'd rather not do myself, as it took me hours just to compile it and, needless to say, I felt like the proverbial zombie once I'd finished, hence the need for a fresh pair of eyes!

Meanwhile in York, Compline is still sung regularly, with the addition of Vespers (currently of the BVM) every third Saturday. Check our calendar for further details.