Month: June 2011

Russkaya Cappella- Concert in the Cathedral 5 May

We are a group of local singers, with a variety of church affiliations and none, who love singing Russian music. We have sung for Russian and Romanian Orthodox services, as well as for a wedding at Turnbull Hall and for the Russian Consul-General in Edinburgh. We thought it a great privilege to be asked to give a concert as part of the celebrations marking the re-opening of St Andrew’s Cathedral, in an extension of Lentfest into Eastertide. We arrived in high spirits. Most of us were setting eyes on the magnificently renovated interior for the first time, and as we did so our spirits rose even higher. But light, impressive interiors are one thing. Sensing that a space is designed for holy things is another. And our perception that this space was set apart in that way was overwhelming. To us as musicians, the splendid acoustic for unaccompanied choral singing, that hallmark of church singing down the centuries, complemented the sense of a sacred space. Inspired in these various ways, we did our best to convey the various moods of Russian Orthodox music for Easter, the greatest Christian festival of them all. We proceeded from hypnotic litanies via the exuberance of the many-times repeated ‘Christ is risen!’ to the more reflective movements of (for instance) Bortnyansky’s ‘Cherubic Hymn’. Some folksongs for spring were also sung. We relished the warmth...

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The St Mungo Singers 1971 – 2011

The St Mungo Singers 1971 – 2011 (This is an ongoing report) The St Mungo Singers were founded in 1971 by Frs McGinty, Trainer and Fitzpatrick and Kathleen Donnelly to promote liturgical music in the Archdiocese of Glasgow. We began by supporting Music Conferences – at St Aloysius’, Garnethill, at Cardross College, at Bellarimine School – and were given our name The St Mungo Singers by Archbishop Scanlan. Fairly soon we realised that there would be many advantages in having a larger liturgical choir and so we decided to gain more support by a performance of The Mass of St Patrick, by Philip Green, with Canon Sydney McEwan singing the Mass in St Mary’s, Calton. It worked really well. We visited about 70 parishes within 5 years, and our first memorable Archdiocesan event was the welcome for the Papal Legate, Archbishop Bruno Heim, at the request of Archbishop Thomas Winning. The Archbishop suggested that we find or devise an Entry Processional based on the medieval ‘Laudes’ or Litany form , and, given the nature of the occasion, it seemed appropriate to use ‘feed my lambs, feed my sheep’ as the response! Since then we have sung at a great many Archdiocesan events, including funerals for priests, ordinations, consecrations, visits of the Nuncio, parish jubilees, the Wayside Club, Archdiocesan Lourdes Days, RCIA & Pentecost . . . . A high...

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Funeral of Fr. Jim Kirby

The funeral of Fr. Jim Kirby, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, was held in St. Michael’s, Parkhead on 1 June. Fr. Jim had retired early due to ill-health and spent his last days in Ayr with relatives. At the Vigil, Mgr. Peter Smith presided, and some of the St. Mungo Singers provided musical support in leading the singing of the entrance hymn Be Thou My Vision, the Psalm (Ps. 29), Gospel Acclamation and Litany, and the final hymn How Lovely on the Mountains. On the following day, Archbishop Conti concelebrated the Funeral Mass with a large number of priests from the Archdiocese. Before the Mass began, the St. Mungo Singers sang the affirming Introit for All Souls “Just as Jesus died and rose”. [audio:just-as-jesus.mp3] As Archbishop Conti welcomed congregation and clergy, he asked that they remember in their prayers Mgr. Owen Gallagher who had died at the weekend. He also invited all present to consider the service as an opportunity to reflect on the mystery of life, death and resurrection. Appropriately the Psalm for the Mass continued this resurrection theme, being the Easter Psalm 117. Mgr. Smith, who had first met Fr. Kirby when the latter was in his first parish as a curate, gave the homily. He reflected that Fr. Jim had been born on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, a suitable starting...

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Glasgow Champagnat Mass 2011

The Champagnat Mass, St Mungo’s, Townhead Monday 6th June 2011 Glasgow’s annual Champagnat Mass took place in St Mungo’s, Townhead, a parish with more than a century of association with the Marist Brothers. Carmelite Fr Joseph Chalmers presided and preached, and spoke very movingly of Fr Chapagnat’s story and his effect on so many throughout the world even to the present day. Brother Joseph McKee, Vicar of the Marist Brothers, recalled the table round which Fr Champagnat gathered people and of his very modern instinct for ‘inclusivity.’ The St Mungo Singers supported the large congregation of Marists and their friends, Jane McKenna played the organ, Dorothy Gunney sang Psalm 97 and Dr Noel S Donnelly played the Clarsach. The Mass was followed by traditional hospitality in St Paul’s Halls. Pre-Mass: Mary the Dawn and Christ the Light of Day, Mary the Gate and Christ the Heav’nly Way, Mary the Root and Christ the Mystic Vine, Mary the Grape and Christ the Sacred Vine, Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest, Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest. Woman of love who Son of God conceived. Woman of faith, “blest since you have believed.” Woman of sorrows, standing by the cross, Woman of prayer with Church at Pentecost. Mother of Christ, our brother, friend and king! Mother of God, with you to God we sing! A new Lourdes Hymn Hail,...

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Pope Benedict on the Continuity of Sacred Music

Benedict XVI Underlines Continuity of Sacred Music Says Tradition Rightly Lives Alongside Progress MAY 31, 2011 Benedict XVI is underlining the continuity of sacred music that stretches back to the “authentic and glorious tradition” begun by St. Gregory the Great. In a letter address to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, grand chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, the Pope called the centenary of its foundation an “important event,” and a “reason for joy for all the cultivators of sacred music.” Placing the foundation of the institute in context, the Pontiff recalled that Pius X founded the institute in 1911, eight years after publishing an instruction on sacred music issued “motu proprio,” titled “Tra le Sollcitudini” (Among the Cares). With the instruction, Benedict XVI recalled, Pius X “carried out a profound reform in the field of sacred music, returning to the great tradition of the Church against the influences exercised by profane music, especially operatic.” The German Pope continued: “This masterful intervention needed, for its realization in the universal Church, a center of study and teaching that could transmit, in a faithful and qualified way, the lines indicated by the Supreme Pontiff, in keeping with the authentic and glorious tradition that goes back to St. Gregory the Great. “Hence, in the span of the last 100 years, this institution has assimilated, elaborated and transmitted the doctrinal and pastoral contents of...

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