March 2016 at St Michael’s

With Easter so early this year, in the West at least, every Sunday is a named one this month – Mothering, Passion, Palm & Easter. Please join with us to share in our Lord Jesus’ Passion and celebrate His Resurrection.

Our nest box camera is back on the Peregrine page (you may need to “Allow Abode Flash”) hoping for egg laying around the Spring equinox, the Music List for March to May is online via the usual links, and our Interpretive Display Panel is in place.
Writing on the Wall
Sunday 28 February, Lent 3, 10.45am. We sing the full Merbecke from his Praier Booke Noted of 1550, and Panis Angelicus arranged by our own Dr Nigel Browne from music by Cavalli.

Sun 28 Feb, in Exeter Cathedral at 6pm, take the opportunity to hear Exeter Bach Society’s liturgical performance of Bach Cantata 41 – Jesu, nun sei gepreiset (Jesus, now be praised),

Monday 29 February, a day once every four years to remember St Oswald, not the 7th century King of Northumbria commemorated on 5 August, but the 10th century Danish nephew of Archbishop Oda of Canterbury, who became a Benedictine monk at Fleury in France, then reforming Bishop of Worcester and Archbishop of York, and died 29 February 992 while washing the feet of the poor.

Tuesday 1 March at 6pm, CBS Mass at St Michael’s Mount Dinham with plainsong & hymns for St David’s Day. This is followed at 7pm up at St David’s Church by the Launch Event for their HLF sponsored Repair and Transformation Project to which all are welcome.

Plainsong Vespers and Meditation take place at 6pm on other Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout, and Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 6pm on Wednesdays 2, 9, & 16 March. Low Mass is said on Wednesdays at 10am, preceded by Morning Prayer.
Thursday 3 March, 7.30pm at St David’s Church, Robert Pocock talks about General Alexander Cavalie Mercer, Hero of Waterloo, whose recently restored grave is in St David’s Churchyard. Free entry.
BVM with flowers
Sunday 6 March, Lent 4 is Laetare or Mothering Sunday using our Rose Vestments, 10.45am. All welcome; posies will be blessed & presented. Mass in the Dorian Mode, by Tallis; “View me, Lord, a work of Thine” by Lloyd.

Sun 6 March at 6pm, this Choral Evensong & Benediction falls right in the middle of Lent and will feature music suitable to the Season. Singers who enjoy a good Choral Evensong are welcome to join us at 4.45pm to rehearse the music.

Today is also the 50th Anniversary of the closure of the Somerset & Dorset Railway.

Thursday 10 March, 7.30pm at St David’s Church, Dr Todd Gray talks about the Veitch family, famous Exeter horticulturists. Free entry.

Sunday 13 March, Passion Sunday when the Crosses and Statues are covered. 10.45am Sung Mass. “Missa Brevis” by Lotti; “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” by Ogden.

Wednesday 16 March at 7.30pm. St Michael’s Lecture. Revd Dr Barry Norris, “Reflecting on the 2016 Primates Gathering: What does it means for Anglicanism?” All welcome, entry free.

Saturday 19 March at 7.30pm, Exeter University Singers give a Concert of a cappella music. Their programme of ‘Songs from the British Isles’ will include pieces by Parry, Elgar, Byrd and others. Admission £5 non-students, £3 students.

Sunday 20 March, Palm Sunday, 10.30am (N.B. earlier start). Sung Mass with Procession of Palms. Sung Passion Gospel. Darke in F; “When I survey the wondrous Cross” by Wilby.

Wed 23 March at 6pm, Spy Wednesday when Judas arranged to betray Jesus. The traditional 14 Stations of the Cross are prayed along with the singing of the devotional poem Stabat Mater Dolorosa to music by Charpentier.

Maundy Thursday, 24 March, Sung Mass at 7.30pm. We 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. Wood in F; Ubi caritas, Mealor; God so loved the world, Stainer.
At the end of the service the High Altar is stripped, and you may wish to watch at the Altar of Repose for part of the all night Vigil.

Friday 25 March, Good Friday Liturgy 10.30am. Reproaches, by Upton. Veneration of the Cross. Crux Fidelis, attr. King John IV of Portugal.
Tenebrae Candelabrum
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). This profound and beautiful service takes us into the depths of Christ’s sufferings through Scripture and Music, ending in darkness and silence to symbolise Jesus’ descent to the dead.

Saturday 26 March, Holy Saturday 8pm – The Easter Vigil then brings us back from darkness into holy brightness. We kindle the New Light, prepare and bless the Paschal Candles for both St Michael’s and St David’s, hear the Exsultet, the proclamation of Christ’s Resurrection, and renew our Baptismal Vows. Stanford in C&F; Out of the Stillness, Shephard.

Easter Sunday, 27 March at 10.45am (N.B. Clocks will have gone forward 1 hour overnight!), Festal Sung Mass and Blessing of the Easter Garden. Introit – Sing out this Eastertide, Keitch; Mass in G, Schubert; Haec Dies, Byrd.
Orthodox Easter
St Michael’s wishes you a Happy and Blessed Easter. Christ is Risen; He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

In case you were wondering, the intricacies of Julian & Gregorian Calendars and Paschal Moons mean that Orthodox Easter is on 1st May this year, a full 5 weeks after the West.

Sunday 3 April, Low Sunday, 10.45am. Sung Mass. Darke in E, Easter Anthem by Billings, and maybe an Easter Bonnet parade afterwards.

Sunday 3 April at 6pm – Choral Evensong & Benediction. Canticles: Stanford in C. Anthem: S S Wesley ‘Blessed be the God and Father’.

Monday 4 April please come to the Feast of the Annunciation transferred from Holy Week. Sung Mass at 7.30pm. Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, by Palestrina; Ave Maria, by Parsons.

And finally, interesting thoughts from Br Michael’s Lecture that for Jesus the Passion started alone (while his 3 closest disciples doze) with his mental agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Thy Will, not mine be done) and with the Crown of Thorns as a symbol of both inner and outer suffering, before his eventual Easter victory.
Moon over Stonehenge
For a lighter view of Lent, revisit last year’s St Pythag’s Lent Course with a few words of wisdom leavening the humour; it’s probably less obscure that Archdruid Eileen’s Lenten Study on Genesis (the rock band).

Richard Barnes.