…is perhaps the busiest time of the Christian year, but, as Fr David Walford said in a recent Sermon, it is activity that should lead us deeper into prayer, love of Jesus, and the silence and restraint that were our Lord’s strength in his Passion. As Fr David Hastings preached, in our secular world we need to reclaim time and space for the sacred and holy, and that is what St Michael’s offers.
There’s a touch of “Wolf Hall” musically for the first few weeks of Lent with the Plainsong of the Sarum Rite and Missa de Angelis, and indeed Martin Shaw’s strangely named Anglican Folk Mass, an Edwardian take on Merbecke’s 1550 work for Cranmer’s Prayer Book, giving way to motets and canticles mainly in English by Farrant, Tallis and eventually Purcell. For more information about Cranmer’s First Liturgy in English, explore from this link.
Monday 16th February, 7.30pm, starting at the City Gate Hotel, sees a pre-Lent Pub Crawl, with moustaches and optional fancy-dress, arranged by St Michael’s Social Committee.
Shrove Tuesday, 17th February, 6pm Vespers & Meditation, 7pm Choir Practice, 8.30pm Pancakes in church.
Ash Wednesday, 18th February, is marked with Matins at 9.30am and Low Mass with Ashes at 10am, and in the evening at 7.30pm by Sung Mass with Imposition of Ashes.
Setting: Mass for Four Voices by William Byrd and Anthem: Versa est in luctum by Alonso Lobo, My harp is tuned for lamentation, and my flute to the voice of weeping. Spare me, O Lord, for my days are as nothing.
Sunday 22nd February, Lent 1, 10.45am. Mass features Cranmer’s Litany of 1544 sung in procession, Plainsong Sarum Mass and Farrant’s Hide not thou thy face from me O Lord.
Tuesday 24th February at 6pm, in place of Vespers, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, Mass for St Matthias’ Day sung with Plainsong Propers and Hymns. All welcome, as we are able to use the St Clement Chapel for worship again following a big tidy-up now that the Organ build is finished.
A reminder that Stations of the Cross are prayed on Wednesdays in Lent at 6pm (except 25 Mar, Annunciation), and Vespers continue to be sung on other Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6pm.
Wednesday 25th Feb at 7.30pm, the St Michael’s Lectures welcome Dr Clare Bryden (Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter) to talk about Particulart: Or the art of knitting, chemistry, meditation and gentle protest.
Sunday 1st March, Lent 2, 10.45am. Mass. The full Anglican Folk Mass by Martin Shaw and O Nata Lux by Thomas Tallis.
Sunday 1st March, 6pm. Evensong and Benediction will be more penitential, with Tallis Responses & Canticles, Allegri’s sublime Miserere and Plainsong Benediction Hymns.
The nest box camera should also be back online on the Peregrine Falcons page of the website at the beginning of March, hoping for egg laying around the Spring equinox.
Sunday 8th March, Lent 3, 10.45am. Plainsong Missa de Angelis and Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, by Henry Purcell.
Friday 13th March at 7.30pm, the Recital@StMichael’s is a Schools’ Recital. A programme of chamber music performed by young musicians from Exeter School and the Maynard School. Tickets: £5/£3.50, please support.
Sunday 15th March, Lent 4 is Laetare or Mothering Sunday using the Rose Vestments, 10.45am. Missa “O quam gloriosum” by Victoria and Ave Maria by Parsons.
Tuesday 17th March at 6pm, in place of Vespers, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, Mass for St Patrick’s Day sung with Plainsong Propers and Hymns. All Welcome.
Wednesday 18th March at 7.30pm. St Michael’s Lecture by Dr Morwenna Ludlow (Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter). On Theological Writing as Art & Craft; Is Writing a Theology Book a bit like Making a Pot?
Sunday 22nd March, Passion Sunday when the Crosses and Statues are covered. 10.45am. Mass in A minor, by Casciolini and the Anthem, Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, by Lotti.
Wednesday 25th March please try and come to the Feast of the Annunciation. Sung Mass at 7.30pm. Missa “Dixit Maria” by Hans Leo Hassler. Anthem: Hymn to the Virgin, by Benjamin Britten.
Thursday 26th March Concert at St David’s Church in aid of their Transformation Fund, given by Exeter Police and Community Choir at 7.30pm, with refreshments. Tickets £5 on the door.
Sunday 29th March, Palm Sunday, 10.30am (N.B. earlier start and the clocks will have gone forward an hour overnight!) Sung Mass with Blessing and Procession of Palms. Sung Passion Gospel. Mass in D by Leighton. Anthem: Pueri Hebraeorum, by Victoria.
As Canon John Thurmer often said, homo sapiens is primarily a story-telling species, so it is always good for us to re-tell and re-enact the story of salvation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Mirrored here may our lives tell your story, one might say.
The website also has details of services for Holy Week and Easter at the start of April.