Feast Days & Special Services

The Usage of St Michael’s is a generic calendar of Feast Days, observed here; traditional forms of worship based on the Sarum Missal are used within the cycle of the Church’s seasons. This calendar is outlined in the list of Feast Days for the year, further down this page, with examples of music for full choir, organ and occasionally string quartet.

The Usage can be downloaded as a PDF here. It was compiled in 2014 by Canon John ThurmerCanon Emeritus of Exeter Cathedral and Honorary Assistant Priest of the Parish of St David’s with St Michael & All Angels, Exeter.

Special Services

BAPTISM

Holy Mass and Baptism at St Michael’s …

Order of Service for Baptism within the Mass

MARRIAGE

MARRIAGE

Couples at St Michael’s often choose a full Nuptial Mass for their Wedding service. Others choose a simpler marriage service or blessing. Our experienced Choir and Organists will provide traditional or contemporary music to lead your congregation and lift your hearts.

Read more about weddings at St Michael’s

FUNERAL

A Funeral at St Michael’s can vary from a Prayer Book or Common Worship Service to a full Requiem Mass with Incense and Asperges. The Choir of St Michael’s can provide singers as required.

Feast Days for 2021

EPIPHANY January 6th

Sung Mass, the Magi arrive at the Crib
Choral Evensong and Benediction

Liturgical colour: WHITE ~ a Feast of Our Lord

Mass Settings:
Missa Aeterni Christi Munera Palestrina
Mass in F, Sumsion
Mass in E, Harold Darke

Motets:
There Shall a Star from Jacob come forth Mendelssohn
O God who by the leading of a star, Attwood
We Three Kings, Hopkins arr. Alex West

Music for Evensong:
Responses, Radcliffe
Short Service, Gibbons
The Lamb, John Tavener

CANDLEMAS February 2nd

Sung Mass with Candle Blessing and Procession
Choral Evensong and Benediction
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, celebrated 40 days after Christmas

Liturgical colour:  WHITE ~ a Feast of Our Lord

Mass Settings:
Mass in C, Ireland
Mass in F, Darke
Missa Brevis “Laetatus Sum”, Dr Nigel Browne
Mass in F, Charles Wood

Motets:
When to the Temple Mary went, Eccard
Lux Aurumque, Eric Whitacre
Nunc Dimittis, Gustav Holst.

Music for Evensong:
Canticles, Collegium Regale, Herbert Howells
Anthem, Abendlied, Josef Rheinberger
O Salutaris & Tantum Ergo, Chris Upton

ASH WEDNESDAY February 17th

Sung Mass with Imposition of Ashes
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent and takes places 46 days before Easter.
This follows the PASCHAL full moon each year.

Liturgical colour: PURPLE

Mass Settings:
Mass in the Dorian Mode, Thomas Tallis
Mass in A Minor,
Casciolini
Mass for Four Voices,
William Byrd

Motets:
Lord, let me know mine end, Maurice Greene
Remember not Lord our offences, Henry Purcell
Hide Not Thou Thy Face, Farrant
Versa est in luctum, Alonso Lobo
Thou knowest Lord the secrets of our hearts, Purcell

MOTHERING SUNDAY March 4th (LAETARE SUNDAY)

Sung Mass; 4th Sunday in Lent
Mothers are presented with posies of spring flowers, distributed during the service, followed by Simnel cake and drinks

Liturgical colour: ROSE RED

Mass Settings:
Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, Palestrina
Missa O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria
Missa de Angelis, Plainsong

Motets:
Ave Maria Gratia Plena, Parsons
The Lord bless you and keep you, John Rutter
Oculi Omnium, Charles Wood

PASSION SUNDAY March 21st

Sung Mass; 5th Sunday in Lent
Marked with the Veiling of Crosses and Statues

Liturgical colour : PURPLE

Mass Settings:
Sarum Plainsong Mass
Mass in the Dorian Mode, Thomas Tallis
Missa Brevis Antonio Lotti
Mass in A minor, Casciolini

Motets:
O grosse Lieb, J S Bach
Song of Christ’s Glory,
Grayston Ives
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? arr. Ogden
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, Antonio Lotti

THE ANNUNCIATION of OUR LADY March 25th

Sung Mass to celebrate the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the Mother of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah and Son of God, marking his incarnation.

Liturgical colour: WHITE ~ a Feast of Our Lord

Mass Settings:
Missa de Angelis
Missa “Ave Maris Stella”(Hail, Star of the Sea), T L de Victoria
Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, Palestrina
Missa “Dixit Maria”, Hans Leo Haßler

Motets:
Gabriel’s Message, trad Basque
Ave Maria, Parsons
The Lord bless you and keep you,
John Rutter
Hymn to the Virgin, Benjamin Britten
Magnificat, Sweelinck

Hymns:
161(words 385), 185, 184

HOLY WEEK - PALM SUNDAY March 28th

Sung Mass with the Blessing & Procession of Palms and Sung Gospel of the Passion

Liturgical colour: PURPLE

Mass Settings:
Upton in C minor, Upton
Mass in the Phrygian Mode, Wood
Mass in F, H Darke
Mass in D,
Kenneth Leighton

Motets:
Drop, Drop Slow Tears, Gibbons
Motet: Hosanna to the Son of David, Weelkes
Pueri Hebraeorum, T L de Victoria
When I survey the wondrous Cross, Wilby

SPY WEDNESDAY March 31st

Spy Wednesday, Stations of the Cross with Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Liturgical colour: PURPLE 

Settings:
Stabat Mater Dolorosa, for Soprano and Alto soli, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Stabat Mater Dolorosa, by Charpentier for female voices
Via Crucis, Franz Liszt

MAUNDY THURSDAY April 1st

Mass of the Lord’s Supper, with Foot Washing
At the end of this service the High Altar is stripped – followed by the Watch through the Night

Liturgical colour: PURPLE

Plainsong Tenebrae is sung during the Watch through the Night

Mass Settings:
Mass in A minor, Casciolini
Anglican Folk Mass,
Missa Brevis, Lotti

Motets:
Ego Sum Panis Vivus (I am the living bread), Byrd
O Vos Omnes (O all ye that pass by), T L deVictoria
Ave verum corpus, Elgar
Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein, Bach
Ubi Caritas, Tantum Ergo, Maurice Duruflé
Ubi caritas, Mealor

GOOD FRIDAY April 2nd

Good Friday Liturgy with Veneration of the Cross

Liturgical colour: BLACK

Music:
Reproaches, Upton
Crux Fidelis, attr. King John IV of Portugal

Good Friday Tenebrae. The nave is lit with candles which are gradually extinguished during the service of Liturgy and music, meditating on the Passion and Death of Our Lord.

The Psalms and Responds of the Lamentations of Jeremiah are sung to plainsong, elaborated with polyphony by Orlando di Lassus (1532-1594)  and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)

HOLY SATURDAY April 3rd

Easter Eve – Vigil and the First Mass of Easter with the Ceremony at the Font : the Blessing of the New Fire and Lighting of The Paschal Candle, Sung Exsultet, Renewal of Baptismal Vows, and First Mass of Easter.
The service is followed by a party.

Liturgical colour: WHITE ~ Feast of Our Lord

Mass Settings:
Stanford in C&F; Motet: Since by man came death, by Man came also the Resurrection, Handel’s Messiah.

Hymn: Light’s Glittering Morn  (Words: Unknown author, possibly 4th Century (Aurora lucis rutilat); translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale in The Hymnal Noted, 1851)

For 2016 – Setting: Stanford in C&F; Motet: Out of the Stillness, Shephard.

For 2015 – Setting: Fitzwilliam Mass, Alex West; Anthem: Lift up your heads, Handel

For 2014 – Setting: Mass in F, Charles Wood. Motet: Out of the Stillness, Richard Shephard

EASTER DAY April 4th

Sung Mass for Easter Day

Liturgical colour: WHITE

Festal Mass and Blessing of the Easter Garden

Music for 2018. Introit: This Joyful Eastertide, Charles Wood; Setting: Missa Brevis in D, W A Mozart; Anthem: Hallelujah Chorus, G F Handel.

For 2017 – Introit: This Joyful Eastertide, Charles Wood; Setting: Spatzenmesse, W A Mozart; Anthem: Hallelujah Chorus, G F Handel.

For 2016 – Introit: Sing out this Eastertide, Keitch; Setting: Mass in G, Schubert; Motet: Haec Dies, Byrd.

For 2015 – Introit: Surrexit Christus Dominus, Michael Praetorius; Setting: Kleine Orgelmesse, Haydn; Anthem: Easter Anthem, Billings

For 2014 – Introit: This Joyful Eastertide, Charles Wood; Setting: Mass in G, Franz Schubert.  Motet: Haec Dies, William Byrd

ROGATION SUNDAY May 9th

Rogation Procession, Sunday before Ascension

Sung Mass with procession around Mount Dinham, praying for God to bless our work and the fruits of the Earth in their seasons

Liturgical colour, WHITE

Music – Missa Brevis, Lotti; Motet: If ye love me, Tallis.

For 2016 – Missa “Entre Vous Fille” Lassus; Motet: Thou visitest the Earth and blessest it, Maurice Greene(1696-1755).

Music for 2015 -  Setting: Bairstow in E flat. Anthem; Greater Love hath no man, John Ireland.

Music for 2014 – Setting: Missa Brevissima, Casciolini

Motet: God looks on nature with a glorious eye, Graham S Keitch.
Words by John Clare (1793-1864). World premiere performance.

ASCENSION DAY May 13th (Thursday)

Ascension Day is 40 days after Easter
Plainsong Matins is sung from the Gallery, followed by breakfast  

Liturgical colour: WHITE ~ a feast of our Lord

Mass Settings:
Mass in C & F, C V Stanford
Little Organ Mass,
Haydn
Spatzenmesse, Mozart

Motets:
God is gone up, Finzi
Worthy is the Lamb, Handel
O clap your hands together all ye people, Gibbons
Ascendit Deus, Philips
Coelos ascendit hodieC V Stanford

PENTECOST (WHITSUNDAY) May 23rd

50 days after Easter
Sung Mass 

Liturgical Colour : RED

Mass Settings:
O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria
Mass in F, Charles Wood
Missa Brevis “Laetatus Sum” Dr NIgel Browne
Mass in F, Rheinberger

Motets:
If Ye Love Me, Tallis
Exultate Deo, Palestrina
Come Holy Ghost, Attwood
Litany to the Holy Spirit, Hurford (words, Herrick)
If Ye Love Me, Stopford

TRINITY SUNDAY May 30th

Sung Mass  Liturgical Colour, WHITE

Music -Missa Brevis, Lotti. Hymn to the Trinity, Tchaikovsky.

For 2017 – Missa O Quam Gloriosum,Victoria; Benedicta sit Sancta Trinitas, Agazzari.

For 2016 – Setting: Little Organ Mass, Haydn; Duo Seraphim, Guerrero

For 2015 – Mass in F, Charles Wood. Anthem – Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas, Agazzari.

For 2014 – Setting: Mass in F, Charles Wood. Motet: Duo Seraphim, Guerrero (Two Seraphim, words from Isaiah 6, with 3 intertwining 4-part choirs representing the Holy Trinity)

CORPUS CHRISTI June 3rd (Thursday)

Sung Mass with procession of the Blessed Sacrament with “chuppah” (canopy) around Mount Dinham. A young server or member of the choir scatters fresh petals ahead of the procession from a small basket.
Held on the 
Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

Liturgical Colour: WHITE ~ Feast of Our Lord

Mass Settings:
Mass in A minor, Casciolini
Mass for Four Voices, William Byrd
Missa Inter Vestibulum, Guerrero
Mass in the Dorian Mode, Thomas Tallis
Mass in F, Rheinberger

Motets:
Ave Verum corpus, Elgar
Ave Verum Corpus, William Byrd
O Sacrum Convivium, Guerrero

MUSIC SUNDAY June

Sung Mass with Viennese Mass Setting (accompanied by Strings in previous years).

Date chosen by Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) -

Liturgical Colour, GREEN

Music – Hymns 336, 420, 368. Missa Brevis in D, Mozart. Ye choirs of new Jerusalem, Stanford.

For 2017 – IntroitCantate Domino”, Pitoni; Hymns: 336 : 484 : 420; Setting: Missa Brevis ‘Laetatus Sum’, Dr Nigel Browne; Motet: Jubilate Deo, Gabrieli.

Music for 2016 – Setting: Missa Sancti Nicolai, Mass No. 6 in G major, Franz Joseph Haydn. Motet: 8-part Jubilate Deo (Psalm 100), Giovanni Gabrieli. A week earlier than usual to coincide with Her Majesty the Queen’s Official 90th Birthday.

Music for 2015 -  in a departure from the Viennese – Setting: Missa “Ego flos campi”, Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (ca. 1590-1664), a Spanish composer in what is modern Mexico. Anthem: Lauda Jerusalem, Monteverdi (1567-1643).

Music for 2014 – Setting: Little Organ Mass, Franz Joseph Haydn.  Motet: Insanae et vanae curae, Haydn

SEA SUNDAY July, 2nd Sunday

The Second Sunday in July has been kept as Sea Sunday with Sermon and Prayers reflecting on the worldwide work of the Mission to Seafarers.

Mass Settings:
Mass in 5 parts, William Byrd

Motets:
Jesu Dulcis Memoria,  T L de Victoria

Hymns:
“God is working his purpose out … as the waters cover the sea”
“Eternal Father strong to save … for those in peril on the sea”

ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY August 15th

Sung Mass

Liturgical Colour:  WHITE ~ Feast of Our Lord

Mass Settings:
Missa Ave Maris Stella, T L de Victoria
Mass for 4 Voices, Byrd
Missa Super Dixit Maria, Hans Leo Haßler (1564-1612)

Motets:
Ave Maria, Parsons
Ave Maria, attr. Jacob Arcadelt (1505-68)

MICHAELMASS

Procession, Sung Mass and Party for our Patronal Festival.

For 2018, our 150th Anniversary, those who can are invited to meet at St David’s Church at 4pm for Prayers and a Procession at 4.30pm down St David’s Hill to St Michael’s Church for our Solemn Sung Mass commencing at 5pm.

Introit: Locus iste – Bruckner. Mass in C & F and Motet: And I saw another Angel – both by C V Stanford.

Liturgical Colour, WHITE

Music for 2017 – Introit: Holy is the True Light – Harris. Setting: Missa Aeterna Christi Munera – Palestrina. Motet: Exsultate Justi – Viadana.  Hymns: 191 (T238) : 190(ii) : St Michael’s Hymn.

Music for 2016 – Introit: Angeli Archangeli, Andrea Gabrieli. Setting: St Nicolas Mass, Franz Joseph Haydn. Motet: Faire is the Heaven where happy soules have rest, Sir William Harris. The occasion of Fr Christopher Durrant’s first Celebration of the Eucharist.

Music for 2015 – Setting: Mass in F, Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901). Motet: Faire is the Heaven, Sir William Harris (1883-1973).

Music for 2014 – Setting: Missa “O quam gloriosum”, Victoria (1548-1611). Motet: And I saw another angel, Stanford (1852-1924).

DEDICATION SUNDAY (after MIchaelmas)

The Sunday after our Patronal Festival, in 2019 was be observed as Michaelmas again, in honour of the 150th Anniversary of Consecration, rather than  Dedication Sunday.

Music – Setting: Darke in F. Motet: O Glorious Prince St Michael – Graham Keitch (World première).

Music for 2017 – Setting: Mass for Five Voices – Byrd. Motet: Locus Iste – Bruckner.  Hymns 205 : 302 : 206.

Music for 2016 – Setting: Mass in F, Rheinberger.  Motet: Locus iste a Deo factus est, Bruckner.

Music for 2015, which was kept as the Feast of St Francis of Assisi.

Hymns: 451 : 263 (omit *) : Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.
Setting: Missa L’Hora Passa, Viadana. Motet: Laudans Exsultet Gaudio, Croce.

6pm Evensong & Benediction – Smith Responses. Psalm: 125, 126. Office Hymn 242. Canticles: Walmisley in D minor. Anthem: O Lord the Maker of All Things, Mundy.

HARVEST SUNDAY

Sung Mass, Harvest Thanksgiving with shared Harvest Loaf, also Bountiful Table of Baking, Produce & Preserves.

Liturgical Colour, GREEN

Music for 2018 - Setting: Mass in F – Harris. Motet: Thou visitest the Earth – Greene. Hymns: 259 : 262 : 493.

Music for 2017 - Setting: Mass in F – Harris. Motet: Thou visitest the Earth – Greene. Hymns: 259 : 260 : 262.

Music for 2016 – Setting: Mass in C, Ireland.  Motet: O Lord increase our faith, Loosemore.

Music for 2015 – Setting: Missa Brevis, Lotti. Motet: God Looks on Nature, Graham Keitch.

Music for 2014 – Setting: Mass in F, Harold Darke. Anthem: Litany to the Holy Spirit, Peter Hurford

ALL SAINTS DAY

Sung Mass of All Saints – transferred to previous Sunday for 2017

Liturgical Colour, WHITE

Music – Setting: Missa O Quam Gloriosum – Victoria. Motet: Give us the wings of faith -Bullock. Hymns: 224 : 197 : 84.

Music for 2017 – Setting: Missa O Quam Gloriosum – Victoria. Motet: O Quam Gloriosum – Victoria. Hymns: 197 : 231 : 227(T184).

Music for 2016 – Setting: Missa O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria.  Motet: Holy is the True Light, Harris.

Music for 2015 – Setting: Missa Brevissima, Casciolini. Motet: O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria.

plus 6pm Evensong & Benediction – Canticles: Dyson in F. Anthem: And I Saw a New Heaven, Bainton. O salutaris & Tantum Ergo: Liszt.

Music for 2014 – Setting: Missa “O Quam Gloriosum”, Victoria

Anthem: And I saw a new heaven, Bainton

ALL SOULS DAY

Sung Requiem Mass, moved to the nearest Sunday this year

Liturgical Colour,  BLACK

Music – Hymns: 396 : 524 (Dies Irae) : 526 (Contakion). Setting: Requiem – Gabriel Fauré. Motet: Justorum Animae – Stanford.

Music for 2016 – Missa Pro Defunctis a 4, Victoria. Motet: Justorum Animae, Stanford. Russian Contakion of the Departed.

Music for 2015 – Missa Pro Defunctis a 4, Victoria. Motet: Justorum Animae, Byrd. Russian Contakion of the Departed.

Music for 2014 – Fauré Requiem, Justorum Animae Byrd 

Music for 2013 – Fauré Requiem

Music for 2012 & 2011 – Duruflé Requiem

REMEMBERANCE SUNDAY

Sung Mass

Act of Remembrance is observed at 11am, or at the end of the service.

Music – Hymns: 489 : 334 : 417 : 488. Setting: iassa L’Hora Passa – Viadana. Motet: For the Fallen – Guest.

Music for 2017 – Hymns: 417 : 354 : 488 : 489(v1-2). Setting: Mass in the Phrygian mode – Wood. Motet: For the Fallen – Keitch.

Music for 2016 – Setting: Mass in F, Sumsion.  Motet: Requiescat in pace, Noble.

Music for 2015 – Setting: Mass in F, Herbert Sumsion. Motet: Greater Love hath no man than this, John Ireland.

Music for 2014 – Setting: Anglican Folk Mass, Martin Shaw. Motet: For the Fallen, Graham Keitch

CHRIST THE KING

Sung Mass

Liturgical Colour: RED

Also traditionally known as Stir-up Sunday, from the Prayer Book Collect and the making of Christmas puddings, the last Sunday before Advent is a celebration of Christ the King, Jesus as the just ruler over all the Universe.

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Music – Missa Aeterna Christi Munera – Palestrina. Motet: Christus factus est – Bruckner. Hymns 443, 345, 433(om*).

Music for 2017 – Hymns: 332 : 345 : 352. Setting: Mass for Four Voices – Byrd. Motet: Above all praise & all majesty – Mendelssohn.

Music for 2016 – Setting: Mass in A minor, Casciolini.  Motet: Te Deum Laudamus in E, Horatio Parker.

Music for 2015 – Setting: Mass in C & F, Stanford. Motet: Above All Praise and Majesty, Mendelssohn.

Music for 2014 – Setting: Mass in E, Harold Darke. Motet: I saw the Lord, Sir John Stainer.

ADVENT SUNDAY

Litany by Cranmer (1544) and Sung Mass

The Litany published in 1544 is the earliest officially authorized vernacular service in English.  The 1st candle of the Advent wreath is lit.

Advent Sunday is the Sunday nearest to 30 November and the start of the Christian Year.

Liturgical colour, PURPLE

Music for 2017 – Setting: Mass in F, Darke.  Motet: O Thou the Central Orb, Wood.

Music for 2016 – Setting: Mass in F, Charles Wood.  Motet: O Thou the Central Orb, Wood.

Music for 2015: Setting: Mass in D Leighton. Motet: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, Bairstow.

Music for 2014: Setting: Missa Papae Marcelli, Palestrina. Carol: This is the Truth sent from above, Vaughan Williams

ADVENT PROCESSION

The Advent Procession uses Prayers, Readings, Hymns and Advent Carols illuminating the Great O Antiphons which comprise the Advent Hymn “O come, O come Emmanuel” and concludes with the Magnificat (and in former years the service of Benediction).

This usually takes place on the 2nd Sunday of Advent to avoid clashing with the Cathedral’s Advent Service a week earlier.

GAUDETE SUNDAY

Sung Mass

The 3rd Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday, from the Introit words “Rejoice in the Lord alway”; the Rose Candle of the Advent wreath is lit.

Liturgical colour, ROSE RED

Music for 2017 – Setting: Mass in F, Charles Wood; Motet: This is the Record of John, Orlando Gibbons.

For 2016 – Setting: Mass in A minor, Casciolini; Motet: E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come, Manz.

For 2015 – Setting: Mass in E, Harold Darke; Motet: Rejoice in the Lord Alway, Anon.

For 2014 – Setting: Mass in E flat, Bairstow; Motet: This is the Record of John, Orlando Gibbons.

MIDNIGHT MASS December 24

Sung Mass and Blessing of the Crib, by candlelight, preceded by Carols from the West Gallery

Liturgical colour: WHITE/GOLD

Mass Settings:
Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, Palestrina
Missa O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria
Mass in F, Charles Wood
Missa O Magnum Mysterium, Victoria

Motets:
O Magnum Mysterium, Victoria
In Dulci Jubilo, R L Pearsall
A babe is born, I wys, arr. Bainton

CHRISTMAS December 25

Sung Mass with Prayers at the Crib

Liturgical colour:  WHITE/GOLD

Mass Settings:
Mass in F, Harris
Mass in F,
Harold Darke
Mass in C & F, 
C V Stanford

Motets:
In the Bleak Midwinter, Harold Darke
Born Today, Sweelinck
Motet: O little one sweet,
J S Bach