|Chavagnes College Chapel|
I was always struck by the story of my own dear St Bede, that when a terrible disease struct his monastery, and only one monk and the Abbot remained, they did not do the very human thing of lessening the burden of the Office, but rather they said more.
The tempting thing to have done on these 'low' Sundays would have been to say Mass with no music. Our organist was not here either.
What we did was quite extraordinary. The first Sunday saw three people in the congregation with me saying Mass and Mr McDermott serving. Last Sunday the congregation doubled.
We sung Mass. On Sunday Mass is the Ordinary Form in Latin with English readings. We sung the Missa de Angelis, (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei), the Dominus Vobiscum, prayers, preface and consecration.
And it was not difficult, it was not too much for us. At times all we had was one voice, but that is all you need. Too often I have heard, and I myself have believed, that this whole Gregorian Chant thing is too difficult, to hard to do, with hours of practice needed. It's rubbish.
You can do it, and do it easily. I'm memorising the Asperges and the Vidi Aquam, so that when I come back to the diocese even if no one knows it, I will blast it out to the rafters!