Again I was ad hoc choirmaster - totally without qualifications! - this morning at our 9.15 Missa cantata, as Fr had arranged with me. Luckily for people's ears, he'd arranged with one of the ladies to psalm-tone the Propers, and she was glad to intone all the items we sang except for one or two, which means that they soon will be able to sing the Mass on their own.
It had been decided by Fr Rowe that it was best to sing the well-known Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, plus the Benedicamus Domino, from Mass VIII (de Angelis), paired as usual with Credo III (it would have been nice to sing Mass XVII, but we don't know it, nor does the congregation); and we again sang Knox's translation of the Veni, veni Emmanuel, split into two parts, for processional and recessional. My only contribution was to choose the Advent Prose Rorate cæli to attempt at the Offertory (we four had some practice beforehand, and it went alright, albeit a bit wobbly), and at Communion we sang the Vesper hymn Creator alme siderum, plus the Advent anthem Alma Redemptoris Mater. It was a quick service: Mass was over within an hour.
Now, I like to daydream, and given my taste in music (as opposed to my lack of ability therein), this is what I'd wish to hear:
If only I could have been transported to some High Baroque church, for Solemn High Mass with such music! Anyhow, back to reality...
Before Mass, I'd fitted in Lauds, and for thanksgiving afterward said Prime, then, having put my Liber Usualis and Missal back in the car, walked around the grounds of the adjoining school while saying Terce, before joining the usual suspects for coffee and a snack. We broke up from our chat at half eleven, so I wandered back to the Pro., arriving at the ecphonesis of the Secret, and knelt in my spot next to the organ for the rest of the Low Mass, taking the chance to pray Sext and then, turning back, Matins, which I was very grateful to get through.
Fr Rowe preached this Sunday on St Ambrose, since to-day, the 7th, is his feast (although it is supplanted this year by the Sunday Mass and Office), and, like St John the Baptist, Ambrose is a great role model for us as no mere "reed shaken by the wind", but a man of action, persuasion, prayer, penance and authority, teaching us how we must work hard, pray hard, "rebuke, entreat, exhort in season and out of season" even at the cost of worldly embarrassments, confess our sins and wisely direct those placed in our charge, if we be parents, persons with responsibilities for others at work, or clergy as the great Milanese bishop was. Especially we ought heed his axiom: "Patient endurance is the perfection of charity". Our new recruit Ambrose was delighted to get a sermon on his patron on this his name-day!