Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chanting is Good for the Soul

Again deputizing for Father, who had a prior commitment, I led our little Gregorian chant group this evening for our fortnightly singalong.  Being in church, a prayer to Our Lord in the Sacrament started us off, then an English hymn, marking the feast day of the holy martyrs John Fisher and Thomas More.  

For the chant itself, we first ran through the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Mass XVIII, marking those tiny liquescent notes; then had a good stab at Credo III; and ended with the Agnus Dei, Ite missa est and Kyrie from the Missa de Angelis – observing the lateness of these chants and thus their more "modern" sound, talking a little as we went about the old tropes or farcings of the Kyries that gave de Angelis its name, and looking at the Latin, translating and discussing.  Most enjoyable.

But soft!  A note from Father led us to a thoughtfully-secreted bottle of wine, plus nibbles, in the adjoining parish room... we nattered away till late, when our priest, at last returning from a meeting, caught us still gossiping: "Time, gentlemen, please."

Singing well is praying twice, Augustine says.  What a good pleasure it is.

Resolution: must spend more time in good company.  God grant it!

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