The hardest but most rewarding time of the Christian Year, especially when we share and observe it together as unworthy but faithful disciples. We walk with Jesus from Adulation, through Companionship, Betrayal, Suffering and Acceptance to Resurrection; a real emotional roller-coaster, to use the current parlance. Please join us as often or occasionally as you are able.
Sunday 9th April, Palm Sunday, 10.30am (N.B. earlier start) Sung Mass with Blessing and Procession of Palms. Sung Passion Gospel. Mass Setting: Wood in Phrygian Mode. Motet: Hosanna to the Son of David – Weelkes. Celebrant & Preacher is Ven David Gunn-Johnson.
Monday in Holy Week, 10th April, 10am, Low Mass & short homily by Fr Christopher Durrant.
Tuesday in Holy Week, 11th April, 10am, Low Mass said by Ven David Gunn-Johnson.
Tuesday in Holy Week, 6pm, Plainsong Vespers and Meditation. Choir Practice, 7-8.30pm.
Spy Wednesday, 12th April, Morning Prayer (BCP) at 9.30am, Low Mass at 10am. Fr Christopher.
Wednesday 12th April at 6pm, Spy Wednesday when Judas arranged to betray Jesus, the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross are prayed, with the singing of the devotional poem Stabat Mater Dolorosa to music by Pergolesi.
Maundy Thursday, 13th April, 6pm, Plainsong Vespers and Meditation. Start of the three day Holy TRIDUUM.
Maundy Thursday, 13th April, Sung Mass at 7.30pm. Fr Christopher. We especially remember Jesus and his Disciples in the Upper Room, the Foot-washing, how the Last Supper became the First Holy Communion, the words of Jesus to his followers, and the Betrayal.
The Mass Setting is Martin Shaw’s Anglican Folk Mass, and the Anthems are Ubi Caritas and Tantum Ergo by Maurice Duruflé.
At the end of the service, the High Altar is stripped, the Blessed Sacrament carried to the Altar of Repose in the Lady Chapel, and the Watch is kept there through the night recalling Christ and his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane and then before Pontius Pilate.
Friday 14th April at 10.30am, Good Friday Liturgy. Reproaches, by former St Michael’s member, Chris Upton. Veneration of the Cross. Crux Fidelis, attr. King John IV of Portugal.
Crux fidelis, inter omnes arbor una nobilis: nulla silva talem profert, fronde, flore, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet.
Faithful Cross, among all, the one noble tree; no other forest offers such leaf, flower and seed. Sweet the wood, sweet the nails, sweet the weight it bears.
Part of a 6th century hymn by Venantius Fortunatus written for the procession that brought a part of the true Cross to the Frankish Queen Radegunda in 570. Interestingly, she is a patron saint of Jesus College, Cambridge, which was founded on the site of the 12th century Nunnery, and has a chapel in Exeter Cathedral named after her.
Although King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656) was an accomplished musician and composer, the Crux fidelis attributed to him cannot be traced to earlier than mid-19th century France. His extensive library was destroyed with much else in the tragic Lisbon earthquake of 1755.
Good Friday, 8pm, Tenebrae. An ancient service sung in Latin and English from the West Gallery to plainsong and polyphony by Lassus (1532-1594) and Palestrina (1525-1594), ending in darkness and silence to symbolise Jesus’ descent to the dead. Readings from Books of Lamentations & Psalms. Fr Christopher Durrant.
Saturday 15th April, Holy Saturday 8pm – The Easter Vigil. We kindle the New Light, prepare and bless the Paschal Candles for St Michael’s and St David’s, hear the Exsultet, the proclamation of Christ’s Resurrection, and renew our Baptismal Vows. Fr Christopher Durrant. This Service is followed from about 9.40pm by a Bring&Share, Sweet or Savoury, Buffet Party.
Setting: Mass in C&F by C V Stanford. Anthem: Since by man came death – from Handel’s Messiah.
Out of the stillness of dark before dawn, In the still and the quiet and the damp of the night,
The morning star glimmers alone in the sky: Signal of day, herald of light.
Deep in the stillness of anguish and fear Lie hopes that were shattered by death and by doubt,
The husk of a dream lies empty and crushed, Mind seeks for meaning, heart flickers out.
Out of the stillness the dawn comes again Darkness is vanquished and hope is renewed
The sun has arisen, never to set, A new day is dawning with heaven suffused.
Death with its terrors at last overcome By one burst of light, by one gift of love.
Wholeness and healing and hope in his arms, The sun has arisen with life for the world.
A Poem by Jonathan Draper, Dean of Exeter.
Easter Sunday, 16th April at 10.45am. Fr Christopher Durrant. Festal Sung Mass and Blessing of the Easter Garden.
All at St Michael’s wish you a Happy and Blessed Easter. Christ is Risen; He is risen indeed!
Introit: This Joyful Eastertide, Charles Wood.
Setting: Spatzenmesse (Sparrow Mass), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Motet: Hallelujah! from George Frideric Handel’s Messiah.
This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Dinham Road, Mount Dinham, Exeter, EX4 4EB