Thursday, 17 May 2012

Ascendens Christus in Altum Alleluia

Having been used to a pattern of feasts based on the BCP kalendar (for example, our friends at Bourne St mark the Ascension tonight), one of the little adjustments we have had to make as new Catholics is the keeping of solemnities such as today on the following Sunday. 

This caused a little confusion amongst us this morning as we sorted out plans for when to attend an Ascension mass, it being a Holy Day of Obligation, even if that obligation is transferred in England and Wales to next Sunday. 

Just to cause a little extra complexity, I had travelled this morning from Paris, where it is a French public holiday, marking indeed the Ascension.  On this Solemnity last year, while still an Anglican, I attended mass at my Paris parish church, S Pierre de Chaillot, mentioned before on this blog in respect of this year's Ash Wednesday liturgy.  Yet, this year, I was speeding on the Eurostar over to a country where the obligation had been transferred, and could not make the 11am Extraordinary Form Mass being celebrated at St James's..... Sunday it will have to be.

Whenever you mark the Ascension, a most blessed feast day to you.   Two pieces of music to help you celebrate today, the first a setting by Victoria of Ascendens Christus in Altum, the last Responsorium of the Second Nocturn of Matins for the Ascension; the second some well known Anglican Patrimony, a staple of Anglican cathedrals and colleges, the Finzi setting of God is gone up, the text coming from a meditation by Edward Taylor.   My search for a top quality recording on youtube of the Philips setting of Ascendit Deus continues: last year I had hoped to find one for the St Mary's Bourne St Facebook page, but to no avail, and no success this year either.  Let's hope for something for next year. 

Ascendens Christus in altum, alleluia.
Captivam duxit captivitatem, alleluia.
Dedit dona hominibus, alleluia.
Ascendit Deus in jubilatione,
et Dominus in voce tubae, alleluia.
Dedit dona hominibus, alleluia.

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