For those who may be interested, here are the places I’m singing over the next few weeks:
April 7 (i.e. tomorrow)
11am: Service at Wesley (148 Lonsdale St, Melbourne). I’m singing Ich will dir mein Herz schenken, by JS Bach, which is a soprano solo from the St Matthew’s Passion and is very lovely. The service will be a communion service, and the sermon will be good. And they have activities for children.
April 14 (Palm Sunday)
8:55am: Mass at St Joseph’s West Brunswick (Cnr Hope and Melville). This is a sung mass, and I’ll be part of a quintet. The singing is always excellent; the musical choices are varied, and I have no idea what they are at this point. Service starts in the primary school next door with palm leaves and a procession, and usually includes a participatory reading of the year’s Passion chapter, so it’s quite interactive service. Sermons are unintelligible from the balcony and the bits I can hear are not promising.
11am: Palm Sunday service at Wesley. This is a choir service, with no communion. The sermon will be good and will undoubtedly exhort us to go on the March for Refugees. There will be activities for children. (Having said that, I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to do two consecutive Palm Sunday services, and then possibly attend the march for refugees afterward. I’m going to be a wreck.)
April 18 (Maundy Thursday)
8:00 pm: Mass at St Joseph’s West Brunswick. Quintet, sung Mass. Washing of feet, and then time for contemplation in the side chapel afterward. Mostly plainchant. It’s quite a lovely service if you’ve never been to one (but sadly not a patch on what the Anglo-Catholics used to do, which was really dramatic and moving).
April 19 (Good Friday)
9:30am: Good Friday service at Wesley. I’m singing as a soloist, two short pieces. The first piece is Jesus in Gethsemane by C.P. Bach, and I’m rather pleased with myself, because the translation into English is my own. But really, why sing dramatic word pictures about the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus before Pilate if nobody can understand them? The second piece is In deine Hände, by J.S. Bach (Aiming to maximise Bach family interactions here). This is always a really beautiful service, probably my favourite of Holy Week. The liturgy is lovely and moving, there is a responsive reading of the Passion, and Alistair’s sermons are always excellent.
10:30am: Way of the Cross procession, Melbourne CBD. I’m helping lead this procession again – it’s an ecumenical procession with Taize chant and prayers which stops at most of the churches on the Eastern side of the city, which represent the Stations of the Cross. We tend to collect the congregations as we go – I think most people will walk for two or three stations and then stop, so that’s an option if you want a taste but not a feast.
3:00pm: Good Friday Vigil at St Joseph’s West Brunswick. Quintet, sung Mass, adoration of the cross, and I think another responsive reading of the Passion.
After which I go home and get to watch Jesus Christ Superstar and eat fish and chips because that is what you do on Good Friday if you have just sung four services in 20 hours.
April 20 (Holy Saturday)
7:00pm: Easter Vigil at St Joseph’s West Brunswick. This is a nice, traditional Easter Vigil, but with an early start time. We begin in darkness, outside, with a brazier, and then light the Easter candle, and each other’s candles from this. So the first part of the service is entirely lit by candles, which is very pretty. Unless it’s windy like last year and we can’t keep anything lit. Another quintet Mass, and quite a long one (maybe 90 minutes), since we have the Litany of the Saints to get through, as well as all the other important Easter stuff.
April 21 (Easter Sunday)
11:00 am: Easter Sunday service at Wesley. Choir service, with communion. Again, this will be a nice service, with activities for children.
But wait, there’s more…
6pm Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Park.
9am Mass at St Joseph’s Port Melbourne
10:30am Mass at Mount Carmel Middle Park
I’m cantoring all these Masses, which essentially means I lead all the music – psalms, Mass, etc. You never quite know which of the Carmelites will lead any of these Masses, but Father Hugh almost always does the 10:30 one. Theology is interesting and depends a bit on who you get. Sometimes, it is *very* strange and includes warnings against Spies in the Catholic Church. Usually it’s pretty good.
And that, my friends, is one reason that you won’t be seeing a lot of me on this blog in April.