Saturday 7th November at 1.30pm, there will be a special Sung Mass at St Michael’s at which Michael Lester will be formally admitted and consecrated as a brother of the Anglican Order of Preachers, becoming a friar of this Dominican order. It would be good if friends from St Michael’s could be there to support Michael in this important step, and to welcome visitors. All are welcome to this service, as always.
Many thanks to Fr Andrew Atkins and his congregation at St Peter’s, Lamerton, for the warm welcome, cakes and appreciation for the 20 choir, servers and supporters from St Michael’s who took Choral Evensong & Benediction to their beautiful church on Sunday 18th October.
Special thanks to organist Gabrielle for stepping in to accompany the Purcell Canticles and Ireland Anthem at short notice on the versatile 14 stop Walker organ installed in 1880, shortly after the church was rebuilt following a fire.
The seasonal poet in me offers an Autumn morning poem penned at the end of September:-
Ploughed fields like brown cord trousers.
Harvest moon turning red, like the blood
Shed for us, with us, as us, on the other side of the Year.
Morning breath wets the beard like Asperges,
Then rises like the sweet-smelling Incense,
Awakening the Matins chime of your faithful, fallen, Autumn people.
This season of Remembrance of Easter vigilance,
Resurrection of All Souls’ faithfulness,
Requiem embrace of your welcoming outstretched arms,
Reliquary of loves sacrificed on the Altars of Duty.
Brick-coloured leaves lay and nourish the foundations,
Of my empirical faith in the Space-time physics of the Father,
The compassion, company, compulsion of the Begotten,
The decaying ripples of the Spirit’s disturbing, distributing breath.
See “Events” for more details on some of the following:-
Sunday 1st November is All Saints’ Day, 10.45am, Sung Mass with the briefest Missa Brevissima by Casciolini, and white-robed Motet, O Quam Gloriosum, by Victoria.
Sunday 1st November at 6pm Evensong and Benediction for All Saints’ Day with more heavenly music. Responses: Radcliffe. Psalm: 148, 150. Office Hymn: 245. Canticles: Dyson in F. Anthem: And I Saw a New Heaven, by Bainton. O salutaris & Tantum Ergo: Liszt.
Monday 2nd November sees our All Souls’ Day Requiem Mass at 7.30pm. This year we sing a full liturgical setting of the Missa Pro Defunctis a 4, written around 1583 by Tomas Luis da Victoria. This beautiful a cappella setting of the Requiem texts alternates Plainsong Cantor with 4-part polyphonic Choir. The Motet is Justorum Animae, by William Byrd, and the service will conclude with the Russian Kontakion for the Departed.
Saturday 7th November at 1.30pm, there will be a Sung Mass at St Michael’s at which Michael Lester will be formally admitted and consecrated as a brother of the Anglican Order of Preachers, becoming a friar of this Dominican order. It would be good if friends from St Michael’s could be there to support Michael in this important step, and to welcome visitors. All are welcome to this service, as always.
8th November is Remembrance Sunday with special music and sermon at our 10.45am Mass, and an Act of Remembrance. The Setting is the Mass in F by Herbert Sumsion (1899-1995), who served at Gloucester Cathedral, Chorister and Organist, for 60 years. From 1917 to 1919 Sumsion was in the Queen’s Westminster Rifles and spent time in the trenches in Flanders. The Anthem “Greater Love hath no man than this” by John Ireland (1879-1962) actually pre-dates the Great War by 2 years.
Sunday 8th November at 7.30pm, St Michael’s is delighted to host the Exeter College Music Academy Concert to launch their Chris Wilson Award. Performing will be internationally renowned Czech musicians Jan Škrdlík on Cello and Petra Besa Pospíšilová on Piano, in a programme including pieces by Boccherini, Beethoven and Saint-Saens. Tickets are £15 (£5 for students); the profits will go towards funding the Award.
Sunday 15th November, Trinity XXIV and 2 before Advent. 10.45am with the beautiful Mass for Four Voices by William Byrd and Cantique de Jean Raçine by Gabriel Fauré.
Tuesday 17th November at 6pm. CBS Mass for the Feast of St Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln (1200). All welcome.
Sunday 22nd November is Stir-up Sunday and Christ the King. 10.45am with the majestic Mass in C & F by Stanford and Above All Praise and All Majesty by Mendelssohn.
Wednesday 25th November at 7.30pm, St Michael’s Lecture. Are we now a Religiously Illiterate Society? asks RE Advisor Graham Langtree.
29th November is Advent Sunday when we start our 10.45am service with The Litany sung in procession; this is Cranmer’s first piece of English Liturgy published in 1544. The Setting is Kenneth Leighton’s austere Mass in D from 1965, and the Motet is Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, composed by Edgar Bairstow in 1906.
Note that our beautiful candlelit Advent Procession at St Michael’s is on Sunday 6th December at 6pm. Prayers, Readings, Hymns and Carols illuminate the 7 “Great O” Antiphons of the Advent Hymn “O come, O come Emmanuel”. The service culminates in a choral setting of the Magnificat, and is followed by mulled wine and mince pies.
Finally a reminder that, during term-time, a small group is meeting informally in Church to pray & sing Matins at 8.30am Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays for half-an-hour or so. All are most welcome to join: to sing or to listen. Vespers is also sung at 6pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Thus St Michael’s is flourishing in many ways, but, as Fr Tom has made clear in his St Francis Sermon and Stewardship Leaflet, to keep our church afloat financially we also need to consider where it comes in our priorities. Donations via the myDonate option on the website are also gratefully received.