Archive for the ‘Chant’ Category


Ash Wednesday is fast approaching.  Here at St. Alban’s there will be no Bible study that morning, as there will be Confessions starting at 10:30 a.m.  In addition, there will be Confessions heard from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Clergy will be here the previous day, Shrove Tuesday for those wishing to make their Confession before Lent actually begins.

There will be two Masses with Imposition of Ashes-Noon and 6:30 p.m.  Matins will take place as usual at 8:00 a.m.

If you are looking for a particular discipline to take on this Lent, I suggest coming to Matins daily on weekdays.  There are some differences during the penitential season, notably the use of the Lenten Prose in the sung service.   You can hear a version of it much like we chant on the YouTube here:  Lenten Prose

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Today’s feast, known originally as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is a relatively ancient celebration. The Church at Jerusalem observed the feast as early as the first half of the fourth century, and likely earlier. The feast celebrates the presentation of Christ in the temple at Jerusalem on the 40th day after His birth.

Inspired by the words of the canticle (“a light to lighten the Gentiles”), by the 11th century, the custom had developed in the West of blessing candles on the Feast of the Presentation. The candles were then lit, and a procession took place through the darkened church while the Canticle of Simeon was sung. Because of this, the feast also became known as Candlemas. While the procession and blessing of the candles is not often performed in the United States today, Candlemas is still an important feast in many European countries, and we should look to recovering this great feast day this side of the pond.

O Lord Christ, yourself the temple of the heavenly city, and its light, and its surpassing splendor; Grant thatwe who in this earthly house offer to you our worship, may be brought in peace to the vision of your glory in heaven; where, with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and ever. Amen.

This morning’s sung Matins at St. Alban’s had some estraordinary hymns in addition to our readings from the Church Fathers. In addition to the Nunc Dimittis, our office hymn was the Plainchant version of  Templi sacratas pande (Mode II):Plainchant



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thomasbelievingAt daily Matins here at St. Alban’s, we customarily sing a hymn from The Hymnal Noted edited by The Rev. John Mason Neale and The Rev. Thomas Helmore.   Reprinted by the Lancelot Andrewes Press, this is a gem that brings a richness to the daily office particularly on saints’ days.  This is certainly the case on this Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle and as we enter the last days of Advent.  If you are used to chanting your offices, these hymns should not prove difficult.  However, even if you are a beginner, these should be easy to get your arms around with just a little practice.

Apart from the music adding a joyful noise to the office, the words of these hymns give a theological shape to morning and evening prayer, as well as bit of poetry.  So, even if you are alone or are not yet ready to sing, there is a real benefit to including just the words to your prayers.  If you’d like to know more or to practice, St. Alban’s is having a music and choir festival on January 23rd beginning at 8:00 am.  There is no charge, but folks may wish to place a love offering in the basket to help us cover costs for what promises to be a wonderful day.   Now, for this morning’s hymn, number 65, Veni, veni, Emmanuel. (note some of the different words).

1. Draw nigh, draw nigh, Emmanuel
And loose Thy captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear;
Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel
Is born for thee, O Israel!

2. O Rod of Jesse’s stem, arise,
And free us from our enemies,
And set us loose from Satan’s chains,
And from the pit with all its pains!
Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel
Is born for thee, O Israel!

3. Thou, the true East, draw nigh, draw nigh,
To give us comfort from on high!
And drive away the shades of night,
And pierce the clouds, and bring us light!
Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel
Is born for thee, O Israel!

4. Key of the House of David, come!
Reopen Thou our heavenly home!
Make safe the way that we must go,
And close the path that leads below.
Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel
Is born for thee, O Israel!

5. Ruler and Lord, draw nigh, draw nigh!
Who to Thy flock in Sinai
Didst give, of ancient times, Thy Law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel
Is born for thee, O Israel!


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