13 January 2012

Chant Training Day in St George's Cathedral Southwark

2011 07 02_0351
(Updated: full schedule below.)

The London coordinator of the GCN is organising a Chant Training Day for Saturday 11th February, in Cathedral: the Catholic one, St George's Cathedral, Southwark. It will be led by the Cathedral's Director of Music, Nick Gale, and will follow a chant Mass in the Cathedral in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes: it is the anniversary (and the feast) of her apparition there. It will conclude with Vespers.

Mass is at 10.30 am; the chant training will begin at 11.15. Vespers will be at 4.30pm.

Singers will be divided for part of the day between more and less experienced groups, to enable everyone to get the most out of it.

Gregorian Chant Training Day with Nick Gale and Mark Johnson
(Gregorian Chant Network)

11:45 Course begins, registration, plenary session with Nick Gale
 13:00 Lunch (bring packed lunch)
13:45 Chant Course afternoon sessions (Nick Gale and Mark Johnson)
15:30 Break 15:45 Rehearsal for Vespers
16:30 First Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday
17:00 Ends

Fee: £15; reduced to £10 for LMS members.

To register interest for the Gregorian Chant Training Day please email 

lmssouthwarknorth AT gmail DOT com

Contact (replace AT with @ and DOT with .)

06 January 2012

A Mass for St Hildelitha and St Cuthberga

St Hildelitha and St Cuthberga are wonderful examples of the extraordinary religious women produced by the Anglo-Saxons, along with St Hilda of Whitby and St Ethelberga of Ely. St Hildelitha founded a convent at Barking, which St Cuthberga joined; St Cuthberga later founded a 'double monastery' (of monks and nuns, on the same site but with separate enclosures) at Wimbourne and led a group of nuns on St Boniface's German mission. They are celebrated together, in the 1962 Calendar, in Brentwood diocese on 3rd September. Here's a stained glasss window showing St Cuthberga.

Their Mass is 'Virgines laudent nomen Domini', a Mass for 'All Virgins' (ie not only martyrs) which in 1914 was for some reason restricted to 'Certain places': that is, it stopped being used for saints in the Universal Calendar. This means that it is not to be found in the Liber Usualis; it is still in the Graduale Romanum, however, which has a section at the back for Commons used in Masses for Certain Places, and I have assembled a booklet from the Graduale scanned by the Church Music Association of America. Here they are.


The chants are ancient, but only in Brentwood Diocese on 3rd September, if you are lucky enough to be able to attend a Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form, are you likely to hear them in a liturgical setting, at least in England and Wales.

This concludes my series of English and Welsh feasts for the time being. All of these chants, and a couple more, are to be found on the LMS website here.

03 January 2012

Bl Richard Whiting and Bl John Beche in the 1962 Missal

Another set of Chant Propers for feasts celebrated in specific dioceses in England and Wales, to be found in the same supplement for the English Benedictine Congregation where I found the Mass of the English Martyrs, is a set for the Benedictine martyrs. Richard Whiting was the Abbot of Glastonbury; Hugh Farringdon the Abbot of Reading Abbey, John Beche the Abbot of St Werburgh Abbey, Chester. These three great men were martyred by King Henry VIII. The Benedictines celebrated their feast, and that of 'four other Benedictine monks, martyrs', on December 1st.

On the same day, various dioceses throughout England celebrated martyrs special to themselves. In Birmingham it is the Martyrs of Oxford University, in Nottingham St Ralph Sherwin, in Northhampton and Portsmouth it is St Edmund Campion and Companions. As far as chants go, these feasts all use one of the standard Masses for Martyrs, 'Intret in conspectu'. In Westminster, however, they celebrate Bl. Hugh Farringdon & Companions, and in Brentwood Bl John Beche, using the same Mass as the Benedictines: 'Vineam de Aegypto'.

I have created a booklet of these chants, and you can download them here.


Pictures: Blessed Hugh Farringdon on the left, and Bl John Beche on the right.