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The Third Sunday Series: Choral Mass Settings


We are excited to relaunch our Third Sunday Series, which was 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 nearly 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, 2024

April 21           The Fourth Sunday of Easter
Missa O quam gloriosum, Tomás Luis de Victoria

May 19            The Day of Pentecost
Communion Service in F, Harold Darke

June 30            Pentecost VI (on the fifth Sunday!)
Missa Papae Marcelli, G. P. da Palestrina

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


Following the summer break, the series will return on October 20, 2024.


Rector: Fr Paul Allick

Schola Adventus

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

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