October at St Michael’s

During term-time, a small group is meeting informally in church at 8.30am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays to pray and sing Matins for about half-an-hour. You would be most welcome to join them to sing or to listen. For details contact Michael Lester michaellester1279@outlook.com .

Michaelmas was celebrated in style with about 60 at Sung Mass followed by Drinks & Nibbles. Our Guest Preacher, Ven David Gunn-Johnson, told us of the Archangels of God from their Hebrew names in the Bible and Apocrypha, Gabriel (strength), Uriel (light), Raphael (healing) and our Michael (who is like God?) . The Mass Setting was by Josef Rheinberger – Liechtenstein’s famous contemporary of Queen Victoria. The Motet: Faire is the Heaven, by Sir William Harris – A high point of 20th century Anglican music from an Organist of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, setting a 16th century poem by Edmund Spenser.
Scalene Angel
September was a month of Welcome with our new Bishop of Crediton installed in the Cathedral and our new Curate ordained deacon. I’m sure every Church says it is “welcoming” in its website and notices, but we need to make sure we are in practice too…

Recently on the Ship of Fools website, a “Mystery Worshipper” made a telling report on Holy Trinity Brompton, home of the Alpha Course, finding it so full of its own success and activity that there was no welcome, no help with their pushchair, and the Worship Group was so loud and dominant that it seemed to be the focus of the congregation’s worship (and applause!) rather than God. See http://shipoffools.com/mystery/2015/2906.html

Indeed, it’s a feature of most reviews that the quality of Welcome counts more to a visitor than Sermon, Music, style of Worship, and even Heating. The ministry of welcome, both before and after our services, is really important, so thanks to those who do it so well at our churches.
October Events slide
Both our welcome and our music serve the Liturgy and help us all to worship God. We hope to welcome new and returning choir members and congregation at this time; during October we have:-

Sunday 4 October, we will keep the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. 10.45am Sung Mass with Missa L’Hora Passa by Ludovico da Viadana (1560-1627) and the Motet “Laudans Exsultet Gaudio” by Giovanni Croce (1557-1609). Plus “All creatures of our God and King” and “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”.
South Aisle Window - St Francis
Also, being 1st Sunday, 6pm Choral Evensong and Benediction – Smith Responses: Psalms 125, 126; Office Hymn: 242. Canticles: Walmisley in D minor, a Victorian take on the Faux-bourdon with unison T/B alternating with SSA trio. Anthem: O Lord the Maker of All Thing, music by Mundy, a prayer attributed to King Henry VIII. We might use the Elgar and Fauré settings of the Benediction Hymns.

Remember also Tues 6 Oct, William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Reformation Martyr, 1536.

Sunday 11 October, Trinity XIX, 10.45am Sung Mass. Missa Aeterna Christi Munera by Palestrina. Motet: Lead Me Lord, by SSWesley.
Tuesday 13 October at 6pm. CBS Mass for the Feast of St Edward the Confessor, King of England (June 1042 – January 1066). All are welcome. Plainsong Mass with Propers and Hymns for the day.

Saturday 17th October at 7pm in St James’ Church Hall – a Food & Quiz Evening for all from St David’s, St Michael’s and St James’ and friends to get together. Tickets, £7, from Tony Pugh.

Sunday 18 October, Harvest takes precedent over St Luke today, 10.45am, Sung Mass. Missa Brevis, by Lotti. Motet: God Looks on Nature, by Graham Keitch from a poem by John Clare. Gifts suitable for the Food Bank collection would be especially welcome.
In the afternoon of Sun 18, the Choir heads out into rural West Devon to sing Choral Evensong & Benediction at 6.30pm at St Peter’s Church, Lamerton, one of the churches now ministered to by Fr Andy Atkins, our former Curate, a few miles north-west of Tavistock. You are welcome to join us.

Wednesday 21 October at 7.30pm, St Michael’s Lecture. Idir Ouahes, a PhD student in the History Department of the University of Exeter, researching the French Mandate rule in Lebanon & Syria, will discuss “Christians in Syria”. All welcome.

Saturday 24 October, St Michael’s is hosting “YOUR FAITH, YOUR FINANCE AND THE COMMON GOOD”, a conference taking place from 10.30am to 4pm. It is being run by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility and will look at the role of money in our personal life, our churches, our society and the wider world. Tickets can be booked online at Eventbrite, visit: www.bit.ly/1JuEyay for details.

Sunday 25 October, Trinity XXI, 10.45am Sung Mass. Mass in F, by Harold Darke. Motet: O Lord Increase Our Faith, by Loosemore.
Martin Luther Statue
Remember also Sat 31 Oct, not just Hallowe’en, but Martin Luther, Translator of the Scriptures, Reformer, 1546.

Sunday 1 November is All Saints’ Day, 10.45am, Sung Mass. Missa Brevissima, Casciolini. Motet: O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria.

And at 6pm Choral Evensong and Benediction, featuring Dyson in F Canticles. Anthem: And I Saw a New Heaven, Bainton.

Please note. Monday 2 November there will be our All Souls’ Day Sung Requiem Mass at 7.30pm featuring the Missa Pro Defunctis a 4, by Tomas Luis da Victoria. This beautiful a cappella setting of the Requiem texts alternates Plainsong Cantor with 4-part polyphonic Choir.

Congratulations to Paula who visited 25 churches in Exeter, very few of which were actually open, for the Devon Historic Churches Trust sponsored walk. Thanks to Richard Parker for arranging our Exhibition, and to all who spent long hours manning the church during the Heritage Open Days. There was a small but steady stream of visitors with about 40 on Saturday. All admired the beauty and presence of the church, and several tried the organ under Nigel Browne’s supervision. Thanks also to all who made our Parish Mass with Combined Choir to welcome Fr Christopher Durrant so enjoyable.

Richard Barnes.