Click the title page image to view sample pages from the organ/vocal score.
Antiphons for the Chrism Mass
for Cantor, SATB Choir, Assembly, and Organ
with optional Brass Quintet and Timpani (2015)
Not yet premiered
I. Entrance Antiphon: Jesus Christ Has Made Us Into a Kingdom
II. Communion Antiphon: I Will Sing for Ever of Your Mercies
About Antiphons for the Chrism Mass:
Antiphons for the Chrism Mass (2015) is a setting of the Entrance and Communion antiphon texts for the Chrism Mass of Holy Week, as found in the Ceremonial of Bishops.
The Chrism Mass is an annual celebration at the diocesan Cathedral, at which the Bishop presides and consecrates the Holy Oils (Oil of Catechumens, Oil of the Sick, and Holy Chrism) that will be used in the local parishes during the year. It is traditionally celebrated on the morning of Holy Thursday, so that the oils may be presented in the parishes at the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper (although, in more geographically spread dioceses, it is often held several days earlier to facilitate the delivery of the oils to the parishes and travel of the priests). The Mass is a celebration not only of the oils, but of priesthood, both the ministry of ordained priests and the priesthood of Jesus in which all the Baptized share. The texts of the two Antiphons in this piece reflect that.
The setting of the Entrance Antiphon offers two options of verse texts that can be sung by the Cantor and Choir, from Psalm 4 or Revelation 4. The verse text of the Communion Antiphon is taken from Psalm 89. Both Antiphons are designed to accompany lengthy processions, owing to the usually large number of priests and faithful in attendance at an annual Cathedral celebration such as this, but the antiphon melodies are easily learned to facilitate sung participation by all. The Entrance Antiphon also includes an optional longer interlude for use between verses. The verses for the Entrance are also set to alternate between the Cantor and Choir in a kind of antiphonal dialogue. This can also be done with two Cantors, or one Cantor can simply sing the verses through without any alternation. The verses for the Communion Antiphon are set for Choir, but may also be sung by Cantor alone.
While these pieces are intended for use at the Chrism Mass specifically, their use is not limited to this celebration. The Entrance Antiphon would be of use at any celebration of either the ministerial Priesthood or of lay service in the Church. The Communion Antiphon would work well as a Communion piece at any Mass, or even as a reflective piece in thanksgiving for the mercy of God.
Click on the title page image above for some sample pages from the organ/vocal score. You may also wish to click on the text below the image to view sample pages from the full score, which also includes brass and timpani.
While this piece has not yet been premiered, I have included MIDI audio renderings of the score to give you a sense of the piece. As always, bear in mind that electronic choral/vocal samples are unable to interpret lyric texts, so you will not hear any of the text of the piece, only "ah's".