The last week was Holy Week and probably the busiest of any church musician’s year. Mine was no exception. It began with a leisurely Monday off being terminated by a rehearsal for the Chrism Mass. The choir met for one rehearsal of music we had never seen but since the singers were all competent choir members and music directors it all went rather well. The following day was the Mass itself and we were joined by the brass and timpani along with other assorted instrumentalists. Here they still sing ‘Ecce sacerdos magnus’ for the arrival of the bishop. At 6ft 5in he certainly is ‘magnus’. They don’t seem to understand the idea that a bishop might be humble, vulnerable or even Christ-like! After the Mass I was asked two questions by the Choir Director: whether I’d play for future diocesan events and would I consider a commission for the Diocesan 50th anniversary. I was open to both although unless they come up with a text soon I think the latter is unrealistic. Nice to be asked though.
After lunch I returned to work which ended with the final rehearsal of the bilingual choir which would sing at Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil.
I spent Wednesday relaxing by the pool and most of Thursday likewise. I’d worked hard to ensure that I had some down-time during the week so as to conserve my energies for the various liturgies. Holy Thursday went very well indeed and finished with sung Night Prayer during the adoration period.
Good Friday came as something of a relief as the choir comprised my English-speaking singers. The menu for this liturgy was restrained as befits the liturgy. In addition to the usual hymns we sang my antiphon ‘we adore your Cross’ and ‘Reproaches’ as well as Chris Walker’s ‘God so loved the world’.
The Vigil went extremely well lasting over three hours with 8 full initiations. We had decided that the Vigil would be for Elect only but one Candidate crept in for pastoral reasons! I introduced one new idea. At the start between each of the ‘lumen’ Christi’ dialogues we sang John Bell’s ‘Kindle a flame’. It worked rather well, I thought.
My favourite song of the night was ‘Every little thing we do’ but my arrangement of the Exodus Psalm caused a whoop of delight from the congregation!
This all finished at 1140 and I was home by 1230 in the morning. I had to be up at 4.45 for the ‘sunrise Mass. It was a little too early for the sun this year which kind of defeated the purpose! By 2pm I had completed 5 Masses and went for dinner with some friends from church. I returned home briefly to watch Chelsea lose to Spurs and then went out again for the evening Mass.
On my way home I stopped off at the local bar for a drink or two and was so tired I only managed one, went home and only managed a glas of wine before sleep came upon me.
I awoke this morning somewhat refreshed for a meeting with my contractor. He’d brought with him the guy who would do the porcelain tile floor to the ground floor. I was delighted that he agreed to get the work completed while I was away on a cruise in two weeks time.
I have the rest of the day at home so I will not worry if sleep comes upon me once more!