Wednesday, 3 February 2016

That was the weekend (& a bit) that was.

On Friday evening some of the Rudgates and friends came to Bishophill Jnr to sing Candlelit Compline as usual. We normally use the Roman Rite, but for the last few weeks have been trying the Dominican instead, in order to get more acquainted with it, after using (part of)  it on our very successful visit to Ireland last year.

Saturday morning saw me drive off up to Ampleforth Abbey to join other singers, principally from Ryedale, & Fr Alexander McCabe to take part in my first Byzantine Rite Liturgy of the weekend, served by a good friend of mine, Fr David Carnelly. Fortunately, I didn't have too much to do, other than chant the Epistle Reading using my own adaptation of Carpatho-Rusyn chant and provide 'stage directions' of when to sit and stand for the congregation!

One of the pleasures of being involved in these services, is the superb food and drink laid on for everyone afterwards, not just the singers. Such a meal at a restaurant or even a pub, would set you back a minimum of £25 - and it's all free! I just mention that here, so as to whet all your appetites in anticipation of the next Liturgy, which will be in October. That's plenty of time to ponder on such things. :-)

Even if the food doesn't tempt you, the music certainly should!

Sunday saw another morning drive to the Greek Orthodox Church in Leeds, where this past weekend they have been celebrating not only their Patronal Feast (The Three Hierarchs) but also the 50th Anniversary of the first Liturgy to take place in the church. A big occasion with various con-celebrating clergy from across the country. Byzantine chant in Greek and English being the music on offer, a complete contrast from the choral music of the previous day. In addition, we also had relics of the Apostle St Barnabas present, and were able to venerate them.

Here are some photos.

The Third of this trio of Byzantine Liturgies came in the Form of a Vesperal Liturgy for the eve of Candlemas which I sang for the small community of Sts Constantine & Helen in York as their usual chanter is recovering from a heart attack. Prayers for Elwin would be appreciated I'm sure. This was back in Bishophill Jnr, which, apart from being home to the C of E Parish and the Rudgates' base for rehearsals and the singing of the Divine Office, is also home to both Greek & Russian Orthodox communities (both named after SS Constantine & Helen).

Left to my own devices, I improvised (a lot!) and incorporated much of the Carpathian chant that I'd learned when singing Byzantine Greek-Catholic Liturgies at the University of York with the then Chaplain, Fr. Elias, who was bi-ritual.

Finally, to complete this liturgical marathon, I ventured out to the small (but perfectly formed) church in the tiny hamlet of Marton, near Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire & back to the Roman Rite to sing an EF Mass for Candlemas, complete with procession out into the dark night, which promptly extinguished most if not all the candles!

The Church at Marton is lovely, and has a very pleasant acoustic, so singing there is a pleasure, which I hope to repeat  with more Rudgates, whether that's with the Schola only, or the full choir. I don't have any photos from last night, but, in the best 'Blue Peter' tradition, here are some I took on a previous visit!

After all this singing, a treat was in store, in the form of a splendid meal at a Thai restaurant in Beverley!

This coming Friday, we'll be using the Dominican Rite for Compline again. If any of you are in the Greater York area, do come along. You can find us in York's oldest church, St Mary, Bishophill Junior at 9pm. It would be lovely to see you!

1 comment:

Zephyrinus said...

Excellent Post, Mike.

Thank you.

Carpatho-Rusyn Chant, eh ?

We get that all the time down here !!!

in Domino