Mount Calvary Church

Eutaw Street and Madison Avenue

Baltimore, Maryland

A Roman Catholic Parish of

The Personal Ordinariate of St. Peter

Anglican Use

Rev. Albert Scharbach, Pastor

Rev. Robert Kirk, Celebrant

Dr. Allen Buskirk, Choirmaster

Midori Ataka, Organist

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Chair of St. Peter

8:00 AM Said Mass

10:00 AM Sung Mass

Brunch to follow in undercroft


Organ Prelude

Praeludium, Johann Krieger
Organ Postlude 
Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, setting by Gordon Young
O thou, the central orb, Charles Wood (1866-1926)
O Thou, the central orb of righteous love, Pure beam of the most High, eternal Light Of this our wintry world, Thy radiance bright Awakes new joy in faith, hope soars above. Come, quickly come, and let thy glory shine, Gilding our darksome heaven with rays Divine. Thy saints with holy lustre round Thee move, As stars about thy throne, set in the height Of God’s ordaining counsel, as Thy sight Gives measured grace to each, Thy power to prove. Let Thy bright beams disperse the gloom of sin, Our nature all shall feel eternal day In fellowship with thee, transforming clay To souls erewhile unclean, now pure within. Amen.

Charles Wood (1886-1926) wrote a considerable amount of church music and most of it is still in use today simply because it is well written and enjoyable to sing. Much of it is skilfully crafted, and this is amply demonstrated in the anthem O Thou, the central orb where the organ part which accompanies the melody sung by the basses shows careful handling of the chromatic counter-melody.Wood spent much of his life in Cambridge at the University and wrote the chimes for the Gonville and Caius College clock. Like Stanford, Wood collected and published Irish folksong (both were Irish), and he succeeded Stanford to the post of Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge in 1924. Wood only began church music towards the end of his life and much of it was published posthumously.

Tu est Petrus, William Byrd (1540-1623)
Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church.
English composer William Byrd’s well-known six voice motet Tu es Petrus comes from the Mass for Sts. Peter and Paul as found in the second book of Gradualia published in 1607 (the motet itself may possibly have come from an earlier time). After serving in the Protestant Royal Chapel for most of his adult life, Byrd retired from active musical service and moved to an area of relative Catholic concentration, where he composed and then, somewhat remarkably, published, three full Latin Masses and, compiled in two books of Gradualia, over 100 Latin motets, including this one.
Rich imitation abounds throughout the piece, and the opening is an appropriately fugal construction using two separate but related subjects as announced by the second soprano and alto in the first bar. Presently the other voices join in (altering the second subject by the insertion of a rest after the word “Tu”) and come quickly to a C major cadence as the second portion of text takes off. This much longer second section is not only of intense musical interest but also of some historical import, as Byrd engages in a fair bit of the kind of late-sixteenth century Italian “madrigalism” (basically, text-painting) that was at the time not so well appreciated in England. As Christ describes building his church upon the “rock” of Peter (a pun on the name Petrus, which relates to petram, Latin for rock) Byrd represents both the construction of the church and the sturdiness of its foundation by using an ascending octave gesture and a deep two note pedal-point (to the word “petram”), respectively. Often this ascending gesture is set in parallel thirds, and it appears, imitated throughout the six voices, almost twenty-five times. A thrilling climax is drawn when the bass rises a full minor tenth in support of the soprano’s high E, only to fall back down an eleventh! Such wide intervallic spans are by no means common throughout the music of Byrd’s day, and the occasion is one to be relished. For the concluding Alleluia portion Byrd applies the by-then well-worn techniques of fauxbourdon (which sound, to the modern ear, like parallel first inversion triads) before coming to a thick plagal cadence.
Firmly I believe and truly (NASHOTAH) forms part of  John Henry Newman’s The Dream of Gerontius (1865). As an Evangelical, Newman (1801—1890) rejected the doctrines of purgatory and the intercession of saints, but as part of his conversion (1845), he came to a realization of the fullness of the communion of saints: those striving on earth, those being purified by the divine fire, and those in heaven moved by love to pray for those on earth and in purgatory. The poem (Greek Geron: old man), relates the journey of a pious man’s soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory. As the priests and assistants pray the prayers for the dying, Gerontius recites this creed and prays for mercy. Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Deus is from the Good Friday liturgy and is alluded to in the line “him the holy, him the strong.”
#393 Faith of our fathers (ST. CATHERINE) by Frederick William Faber (1814–1863), in its original form, spoke to Catholics of their history, and conflicts (‘living still/in spite of dungeon, fire and sword’; ‘Our Fathers, chained in prisons dark,/Were still in heart and conscience free’), as well as their aspirations. Faber wrote the hymn at a critical time for Roman Catholics in the British Isles: in England: Catholic Emancipation and the restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy were key issues; meanwhile Ireland was still suffering from the devastation caused by the Great Famine, and was wrestling with the inequities occasioned by British rule.
From all Thy saints in warfare (KING’S LYNN) is by Horatio Nelson (1823—1913), nephew of Admiral Horatio Nelson. He became 3rd Earl Nelson in 1835. In 1857 he and John Keble, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, compiled the Sarum Hymnal. This hymn was published in 1864. It honors the saints while carefully avoiding mention of any intercessory role.
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