Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Sarum Candlemas 04: The Statio

On Sundays and feasts, the Sarum use preceded High Mass with a procession round the church, usually visiting all the side altars and censing them. It concluded at the great Rood suspended over the entrance to the chancel, where there was usually also a screen. Here there would be a versicle and collect, sometimes a sung antiphon, and, in parish churches, the 'Bidding Prayers' in English.
You can hear the end of the chants on this clip followed by the Responsory Videte Miraculum in Thomas Tallis' incomparable setting. For all I know, this is the first time since the Reformation that this has been sung in its proper context.
The camera seems to be intently studying the Rulers' haircuts for quite a while—enjoy the glorious music. Then it pans round the congregation; eagle-eyed viewers might spot the eminent Greek-Rite scholar and priest Serge Kelleher; Fr Uwe Michael Lang (not at this stage, I think, even a Catholic); the conductor and musicologist Andrew Carwood in the narthex and, later to appear, the philosopher Professor Michael Dummett.
The versicle and collect sung, the procession reforms and makes its way to the altar for Mass.

R. Videte miraculum matris Domini, concepit virgo, virilis ignara consortii. Stans onerata nobili onere alia et matrem se lætam cognoscit, quæ se nescit uxorem. V. Hæc speciosum forma præ filiis hominum castis concepit visceribus, et benedicta in æternum nobis Deum protulit et hominem. R. Stans onerata…
Behold the miracle of the mother of God, a virgin conceived, though she knew no man. She stands burdened with a noble burden, and she knew herself to be a joyful mother, who did not know herself a wife. V. This form, beautiful above all the sons of men, she conceived in her chaste womb, and this blessed woman bore for us the one who is both God and man forever. She stands burdened…

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