As people entered St Michael’s they were greeted by: Isla Johnston (AGAP Admin Assistant), Paul Mellon (Actor / Lecturer at James Watt College), Brenda Scott (Actor / Retired Teacher), Andrew Carnegie (Actor / Drama Student), and a festive atmosphere was created by the playing of Theresa Irving, Clare O’Neill, and John Allen on Clarsach, violin and Whistle, and then when Bailie Catherine McMaster, representing the Lord Provost of Glasgow, had been welcomed and taken to her place at the front, the choirs sang Bruckner’s Locus Iste – ‘This place, created by God …
The entry procession with Mgr Peter Smith, Fr Frank Kennedy, Fr Frank O’Rourke and Fr Peter Banyard SJ was accompanied by the Entry Song: Grace to you and peace which then linked with the hymn: Be Thou my vision
After the welcome the Penitential Rite included the De Angelis plainsong Kyrie and was succeeded by the old Bellahouston Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo
The Liturgy of the Word for the feast included 1st Reading: Second Book of Samuel 5:1-3 read by Bailie Catherine McMaster, with Ps 121: May the house of the Lord be at peace, and the 2nd Reading: St Paul to the Colossians 1: 11-20 read by Tommy Canning.
The Gospel Acclamation was taken from the version used at the Papal Mass at Bellahouston in September – though this time there was no gaelic: Alleluia, go make disciples of all the nations. I am with you to the end of time.
The Gospel was from Luke 23: 35-43 and the homily was given by Mgr Peter Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, representing the Archbishop. For the Profession of Faith the best-known of the plainsong settings, Credo lll, was sung by choir and many of the congregation.
The Intercessions were read by Dr Gerry Carruthers (Head of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow), Dr Suzanne Bunniss (Creative Director of FireCloud), Sarah Bookless (Artist), Amanda Jack (Actor in AGAP plays), Robert Wilson (Actor in AGAP plays) and ended with the sung : God our Father, hear our prayer.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
During the Preparation of Gifts: as the gifts were taken to the sanctuary by Ginelia and Ian McLean (AGAP volunteers – costume design,etc.) the choirs led the congregation in the Vaughan-Williams arrangement of the Old 100th : All people that on earth do dwell
At the Eucharistic Prayer Mgr Smith led us in singing the Preface Dialogue and Preface – The Lord be with you: And also with you. Lift up your hearts… . . . and the Schubert Sanctus and Memorial Acclamation were sonorous and full bodied while the plainsong Doxology: Through him, with him, in him ……… was completed by a very satisfying Amen.
Music for the Communion Rite included the Bellahouston Lamb of God, Be still and know that I am God, a lovely Gaelic Air on Clarsach, Whistle and Violin, and then led to the congregational Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast. The Thanksgiving included the Ave Verum (Mozart) and before Mgr Smith imparted the Blessing of Aaron the choirs sang: God to enfold you. Christ to uphold you. . .
After the Blessing the Creative Director of the Archdiocesan Arts Project, Stephen Callaghan, thanked all those who have contributed to the day’s celebration and supported the artistic and cultural life of the Archdiocese throughout the year, including Archbishop Conti for all his support and pastoral care of the Arts Project, Mgr Peter Smith and all the clergy for celebrating the Mass today, the St Mungo Singers, St Paul’s choir (Shettleston), the Cathedral Choir, St Maria Goretti (Ruchazie) Choir, St Joseph’s (Tollcross) Choir, the instrumentalists and cantors and members of other choirs and parishes of the Archdiocese of Glasgow for their continued support, the schools that took part in this year’s Art Competition: Heart Speaks Unto Heart, the ‘Art for the Terrified’ Class who provided artwork for the hall, Fr Paul Murray and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and parishioners of St Michael’s Parish, and St Michael’s Primary School for the Altar Servers. Before he invited people to join with him in the AGAP prayer he said: “Opportunities to collaborate like this and put our art at the service of society are exciting and are in keeping with the teachings of the Church on the social vocation of the artist. So often we forget that we are a community of believers, co-workers for the Kingdom of God. We sometimes operate in a way that suggests “you in your small corner and me in mine” rather than an inclusive, outreaching to our brothers and sisters. I say this constantly: if art is the vehicle by which we explore what it means to be human – with all the complications of light and dark that this implies – then we, my brothers and sisters, have not only an interest in but a duty to proclaim by our art that we learn best what it means to be human from the God who became human and lived amongst us and, literally, loves us to death!”
The Mass concluded with a resounding ‘Hail, Redeemer, King divine! Priest and Lamb, the throne is thine’ and the Instrumentalists played as people made their way out to the hall.
Copyright & Acknowledgements: Grace to you ã Gerry Fitzpatrick 1991. Be thou my vision: Words: Irish 8th century, tr. Mary Byrne versified by Eleanor Hull. Ps.121: Words & Music Noel S. Donnelly. © Copyright 2005 Kevin Mayhew Ltd. Be still and know that I am God: Author unknown. Soul of my Saviour: Ascribed to John XX11(1249-1334), tr Anonymous Public Domain. Seed, Scattered and Sown ã Dan Feiten. God to enfold you: from “Love & Anger” (Wild Goose Publications, 1997) words & music by John L Bell copyright ã 1997 WGRG, Iona Community. Hail Redeemer: Patrick Brennan. All hymns are covered by the Christian Copyright Licence and Calamus and have been reproduced under CCL Licence 27398 and Calamus 0269.
The style of music played and sung before and at the Mass could be seen as an expression of the richness of our culture, looking back, being in the present and looking to the future: the haunting lyricism of the Celtic Airs on Clarsach, Violin and Whistle, the plainsong of the Kyrie and Credo, the Bruckner and Mozart motets, the skilful arrangement of the Schubert Sanctus, and Vaughan-Williams setting of the Old 100th, the contemporary styles of liturgical music seen in Noel Donnelly’s setting of Psalm 121, Gerry Fitzpatrick’s Entry Song and Alleluia, Francis Duffy’s Bellahouston Gloria and Agnus Dei, John Bell’s ‘God to Enfold You’ and the enduring ‘Golden Oldies’ which were appropriate for the occasion, Soul of my Saviour and Hail Redeemer – all combined both to give voice to the assembly and facilitate awareness of God’s presence among us.
The vestments of the Celtic Saints, designed and created by Netta Ewing and ‘The Sacred Threads’ added much visual splendour to the beautiful sanctuary of St Michael’s, Parkhead, and the presence of so many of the artistic community in the congregation made the liturgy in the church something pretty unique. Afterwards,members of the parish community generously provided the tea and buns and madeira cake in the hall which were warmly welcomed and enjoyed, and were an introduction to the awarding of prizes and certificates to many young people who had taken part in various artistic enterprises in the past year. The Annual Schools Art Competition 2010 was on the theme “Heart Speaks Unto Heart” and was judged by renowned sacred artist, Tommy Canning. The Junior and Senior Awards for Excellence in the Expression of Faith Through Art went to Ian McComish of St Aloysius College, Glasgow, and Hannah Harkins of Our Lady’s High School, Cumbernauld. Pupils from St Margaret Mary’s Secondary School, Castlemilk, and St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock also received awards. Stephen Callaghan was assisted in these presentations by Mgr Smith, Bailie Catherine McMaster and Tommy Canning.