One of the few Feasts often to occur within Lent, the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary this year will be celebrated at St Michael’s on Wednesday 25th March with Sung Mass at 7.30pm. Our Celebrant will be Fr Nigel Guthrie. N.B. This Wednesday there will be Matins at 9.30am but no Low Mass.
Music – Hymns 185: 188: 161(t385?), Mass for 4 voices, by William Byrd.. Gabriel’s Message (trad Basque).
In 2016 the Mass Setting was “Missa Aeterna Christi Munera” (the Eternal gifts of Christ) by Palestrina; and Motet the 5-part “Ave Maria” by Parsons. While in 2017 we combined the Annunciation with Mothering Sunday.
In 2015, Wednesday 25th March, our music was more festive than in the rest of Lent, and included, as Communion Motet, “A Hymn to the Virgin” by Benjamin Britten, a macaronic carol with alternating English and Latin medieval text, written when he was only 16 years old. The Mass Setting is Missa Dixit Maria by Hans Leo Haßler.
Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) houses a fine late 15th Century painted and gilded Annunciation panel from the Tyrol region of Austria, but the image displayed here is one of the South Aisle Windows from St Michael’s.
Lady Day is the first of the four traditional English quarter days, and was effectively a “New Year’s Day” in England until 1752. A vestige of this remains in the start of the UK Financial Year moving from 25th March in 1752 to 6th April in 1753, after 12 days had been deleted from September 1752 to bring Britain in line with the Gregorian Calendar of most of the rest of Western Europe which had shifted 11 days in October 1582. For presumably liturgical and legal reasons, the dates of the Quarter Days remained unaffected.
St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Dinham Road, Mount Dinham, Exeter, EX4 4EB