MusicNotes Feb 25-26

February 25-26

Prelude- Morning Has Broken, traditional Gaelic melody, arr. Linda R. Lamb (b. 1944)

The MaryRingers, St. Mary's advanced handbell choir, will present this piece before the 10:30 Mass to help set the tone for Mass. As we enter into this new season, we feel a new morning breaking. The familiar hymn tune reminds us that we are beginning a new journey and entering, as Jesus proclaims in the Gospel, the "time of fulfillment." Linda Lamb's arrangement of the piece is an imitation of a sunrise, starting very softly and growing gradually to fullness, as the sun fills the sky with light. This also reminds us of our prayer in Lent, in which we ask God to open our hearts and take away that which is not of Him, in order to grow more fully in His love. The arrangement employs creative textures and techniques, including the use of chimes, a singing bowl, and mallets. Lamb is a handbell director in Lexington Park, Maryland, and has been composing for handbells for the past ten years.   

Psalm- Psalm 25:4-9, Anglican chant, John Blow (1649-1708)

The Psalm for this weekend will be sung by the choir at the 10:30 Mass. This short response to the first reading comes from Anglican chant, a 16th century tradition that was based on Latin plainchant. Anglican psalms, usually sung antiphonally by two choirs, added harmony to un-metrical texts, and followed the natural rhythm of the spoken words. We invite you to follow along with the text of this psalm in your Worship hymnal as we all respond to the word of God.      

Anthem- Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley, American Folk Hymn, arr. William Buthod (b. 1981)

The choir will sing an arrangement of this old American hymn to reflect the mood of this weekend's Gospel lesson. As Jesus is sent out into the desert, he is alone for forty days to face Satan and wild beasts. This arrangement is minimal, employing sparse accompaniment and unison singing to invoke a feeling of isolation and desolation. The ending, however, is hopeful, as we know that God was with Jesus in the desert, sending his angels to minister to Him, and as we know that "the kingdom of God is at hand." This early American song is also commonly sung during the end of Holy Week, and has become popular in many Christian traditions and beyond.    

Dialogues/Acclamations/Litanies- English Plainchant and Kyrie orbis factor

To help signal the transition to the new season, we will be singing a different set of Mass parts during Lent (Kyrie, Gospel Acclamation, Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Lamb of God). The words will be the same, but most of the tunes will come from the plainchant found in the new Missal, and, for the Gospel Acclamation, the Gregorian chant tune to the Kyrie orbis factor. The melodies will be simpler and shorter than the ones we were using in the last season, but they will help us focus on the words and remind us to come closer to God; to simplify our lives in ways that allow God to work through us. Chant can sometimes seem foreign to our ears. It sounds very different from every other kind of music we hear on a regular basis, but it also forms the backbone of the history of Catholic music, and is an important part of our tradition. When sung with heartfelt joy and reverence, chant can be quite beautiful and powerful, and it can bring us deeper into prayer.

Will Buthod
Director of Music
Church of St. Mary
(918) 749 2561, ext 120
1347 E. 49th Pl.
Tulsa, OK 74105

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