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The Third Sunday Series: Choral Mass Settings


We are excited to relaunch our Third Sunday Series, which has been on hold since Covid, only this time with a difference. It will feature choral settings of the Ordinary of the Mass rather than Evensong settings, ranging from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. This wonderful repertoire of music—not heard often enough today—was begun by Guillaume de Machaut, who composed his Messe de Nostre Dame in 1364, intended to be sung regularly in Reims Cathedral in France. This groundbreaking step ensured that the Mass would never be the same again. The genre has attracted a wide variety of composers—of many faiths—over the centuries, all keen to make a contribution to the repertoire. Latin Masses in England continued until 1547 and the reign of Edward VI. Then, following the Reformation, Anglican composers set the Service of Holy Communion, originally in unison—as in the Merbecke setting we sing during Lent—and later using polyphony. Latin returned under Edward’s half-sister Mary I from 1553–58 but, following her death, the Anglican Church finally came into its own under the third sibling, Elizabeth I, the most pragmatic of the three. For some time, the composing emphasis focused on settings of the canticles heard at Morning and Evening Prayer. However, the nineteenth century saw the composition of many settings of Holy Communion with organ accompaniment, a tradition that continues to this day. It also saw the rise of the Oxford Movement—a tradition we proudly continue today at Advent—where Latin Mass settings were again encouraged at the Anglican Mass. The selections at our Third Sunday Series will be drawn from both Latin Masses and Anglican settings of Holy Communion, giving true musical voice to our twenty-first century calling as Anglo-Catholics.


Paul Ellison


High Mass is at 11 am each month. 

The Propers of the Mass are sung in Latin to Gregorian Chant.

A Reception follows in Lathrop Hall


Third Sunday Series Choral Masses, 2023–24


October 15      The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

November 19 The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Communion Service in C, John Ireland

December 17 The Third Sunday of Advent III (Gaudete)
Missa Tertia, Hans Leo Hassler 

January 21       The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Missa Susanne un jour, Orlandus Lassus

February 18     The First Sunday in Lent 
Communion Service in A Minor, Harold Darke

March 17         The Fifth Sunday in Lent (Passion)
Missa Pange Lingua, Josquin Desprez

April 21           The Fourth Sunday of Easter
Communion Service Collegium Regale, Herbert Howells

May 19            The Day of Pentecost
Mass for Five Voices, William Byrd,

June 30            Ss. Peter & Paul (the fifth Sunday!)
Missa Tu es Petrus, G. P. da Palestrina

A bonus Mass to welcome delegates to San Francisco’s hosting of the 2024 National
Convention of the American Guild of Organists

Rector: Fr Paul A. Allick
Schola Adventus

Jennifer Ashworth, Lauren Carley, David Alban, James Monios
Director: Dr Paul Ellison 

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