13 December 2009

Vespers of our Lady

Grateful thanks to a kind and painstaking correspondent who found me musical texts for these Vespers. We accordingly did them and (yes, I know this is not how one should talk about the worship of Almighty God) they were much enjoyed by all. And grateful thanks, too, to Cantors, Choir, Musical Director, and Servers.

Our congregational booklets at S Thomas's were produced in 1925 by the Society of SS Peter and Paul and are in that Society's distinctively baroque and triumphalist style. It is born upon me that singing this service is a tradition going back to the League of Our Lady, founded in 1904 by that great ecumenist and protector of the Catholic Revival, Lord Halifax (and probably beyond that, to the guilds of the late Victorian Ritualists). And to the Hermeneutic-of-Continuity Catholicism of the Walsingham Pilgrims' Manuals before the Spirit of the Council laid a sometimes rather dead hand on the jolly times.

I had never before heard the Roman melodies for the Antiphons fitted to the Authorised Version's translation of the Song of Songs. Lovely ... indeed, exotic; dare I say sensuous. " ... my spikenard sendeth forth the perfume thereof ... his left hand is under my head ... arise, my love, and come away ... How fair and pleasant art thou in thy delights, O Holy Mother of God". I devoutly hope and trust that those involved in developing the worship of the Ordinariates will adhere to the Anglo-Catholic custom of translating the scriptural quotations in Roman Rite by way of the Authorised Version. It's a very valuable part of the Patrimony.

Is there a politically-incorrect implied antithesis in the phrase "I am black but comely"?


Rubricarius said...

Sounds good.

Choral Office truly is part of the very best of Anglican praxis and something very much to be encouraged.

Nebuly said...

I am surprised that you approve of Lord Halifax who

'had a particular objection to the growing Anglo-Catholic practice of saying the Prayer of Consecration inaudibly, largely to disguise the interpolation of material from the Roman Canon'

Yates, Anglican Ritualism in Victorian Britain, p 338