Monday, May 26, 2008

Rachmaninoff Vespers

We sang Mass of the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost as usual this morning, supplemented with a Procession in honour of the Blessed Sacrament at its end. In the afternoon - after getting the booklets ready for the Brothers of the Oratory tomorrow - I went with Fr Rowe, Rosemary and Peter to hear the Perth Collegium sing Rachmaninoff's Vespers (a.k.a. All-Night Vigil). Our mate Justin had a starring role thrust upon him, for at the last moment one of the other soloists was taken ill and Justin had to sing the other man's part as well as his own. The music was stunning, and the choir, not to mention Justin, acquitted themselves with aplomb. Afterward, we went out for Chinese (at the nearby Jade Flowers Chinese Restaurant, in Cambridge St, Wembley - I recommend it), together with and followed by some drinks and suchlike, and much good conversation. I even read the assembled brethren Dom Alban Butler's account of the death of St Philip Neri, to prepare us for tomorrow's feast, which ended with these stirring words:

St. Philip, inflamed with the love of God and a desire of praising him worthily, after offering him all the affections of his soul, and the homages of all his creatures, seeing in their poverty and inability nothing equal to his infinite greatness, comforted himself in finding in the Mass a means of glorifying him by a victim worthy of himself. This he offered to him with inexpressible joy, devotion, and humility, to praise and honor his holy name, to be a sacrifice of perfect thanksgiving for his infinite benefits, of expiation for sin, and of impetration to obtain all graces. Hence in this sacrifice he satiated the ardent desires of his zeal, and found such an excess of overflowing love and sweetness in the closest union of his soul with his divine Redeemer.

(from Vol. V of The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

To celebrate the day, I plan to read the Oratorians' 1st class Office of their Founder, kindly provided by one of their number. The Holy Hour for the Brethren of the Oratory (with Simple Exposition, Litany of St Philip, a half-hour of meditation, and Benediction to finish) will start at 5.30pm, to be followed by sung Mass at 6.30pm, and a gaudeamus afterward. Justin and I will sing the Propers, together with Mass V (Kyrie magnæ Deus potentiæ), the Veni Creator at offertory, Pange lingua at communion, and "Rejoice the Lord is King" for a recessional.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

For some reason, we ended up with solemn exposition instead at the Holy Hour... I had to duck out mid-way to run over the Mass music with Justin, and I'm afraid some of our singing was a bit ragged. We didn't need the Pange lingua after all, and - alas - when Justin struck up the recessional on the organ, it was to a completely unfamiliar tune. Oh well. In any case, despite it being new to me, I did like Mass V. Since Fr Rowe was late getting to the Pro., Holy Hour and Mass were each about 10 min. late starting, which gave me a chance to finish all the Office up to Vespers...