Friday, November 4, 2011

All Souls, A Funeral and thoughts on All Saints on Sunday!

Four members of Holy Trinity Scholar Cantorum
My guess on the music at Holy Trinity was correct, good Latin plainsong that you can sing along with in many instances....Pater Noster, for example.  What was particularly good to hear was the Dies Irae, the first part during Solemn Vespers and the second part during the Offertory.  No organ as it is All Souls.

The funeral at the Anglican Cathedral of St Dunstan in Benoni was rather strange.  For a start the church was full and the sound system was either not switched on or didn't work so you couldn't hear anything other than the odd word from the Dean, the Very Rev William Mostert who had a booming voice.    We sat through a Eulogy and four Tributes and heard not a word!  The hymns were "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Onward Christian Soldiers".  "Jerusalem" (not William Blake!) was sung between the two Readings.  We also sang the Lord's Prayer and there was the committal.  The Anglicans have an excellent funeral service in their Prayer Book, I wonder why it wasn't used?

This Sunday sees one of those strange mix ups the Catholic Church has got itself into transferring major feasts to the Sunday following.  All Saints is four days after All Souls.  Almost as bad as making a mockery of the Twelve Days of Christmas by moving the Epiphany!   I do hope that sense prevails in the future and these Feasts get put back in their proper place.  The argument is that more people will be there to celebrate them if they are on a Sunday.  Do you really think they will notice?  I don't think it matters with some feasts like the Assumption, that hasn't been moved here, but when the move has other ramifications I think it's silly.

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