Michæl McFarland Campbell

Always telling the story

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

When to the temple Mary went: the music from my youth

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That first piece, When to the temple Mary went by Johannes Eccard was a favourite of mine when I sang in the parish choir of my home parish church of St Patrick, Kilconriola (Ballymena). This evening, I did not expect to be listening to it, let alone writing a blog piece about the music at all. How did this come about?

Well, earlier today I was contacted by a contact with whom I have had no contact for at least eleven years. However, as a result of the contact made on Facebook earlier, this evening I have been exploring some music on Youtube. 

The first piece was Roger Quilter’s Where the Rainbow Ends, played on the piano by John Kersey. 


From there, I moved on to Roger Quilter’s Non nobis Domine, which I know I sang but once, but it brought back so many memories. 

And then Greater love hath no man by John Ireland. This was a great favourite when I sang in my home parish choir from the age of seven until my early twenties. In my time, I had sung the Treble, Bass, and Tenor parts. Each of them came back to me as I heard the music. 

Sumsion’s They that go down to the sea in ships came to mind as well, having sung it on a Royal School of Church Music Choristers’ Course, and then whilst at school, having attempted to learn the organ part. 

Church music has been part of my life since the age of seven. In recent years, I have not had the opportunity to sing any of it as there is no choir in the parish here, and even before that, I was not singing in any choir at all. I must admit that I do miss singing these great pieces, and I wonder if they are still sung in my home parish church, however, I fear that with the current incumbent, this is most unlikely. 

More music that I remember singing in that choir includes:

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G, by C.V. Stanford

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in Bb, by C.V. Stanford

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C, by C.V. Stanford

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Collegium Regale, by Herbert Howells

Communion Service in F by Herbert Sumsion

Communion Service plainsong by John Merbecke

A Celtic Eucharist by Martin White

Communion Service by William Matthias

Anthems included:

A Gaelic Blessing, John Rutter

Above all praise, Felix Mendelssohn

Ave verum corpus, William Byrd

Ave verum corpus, Edward Elgar

Ave verum corpus, W.A. Mozart

Awake, thou wintry earth, J.S. Bach

Blessed be the God and Father, S.S. Wesley

Call tor remembrance, Richard Farrant

Cantate Domino, Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni, ed. R.R. Terry

Come, Holy Ghost, Thomas Attwood, ed. Lionel Dakers

Come, ye faithful raise the strain, R.S. Thatcher

Evening Hymn, H. Balfour Gardiner

God be in my head, H. Walford Davies

God be in my head, John Rutter

God so loved the world, John Goss

If we believe, John Goss

If ye love me, Thomas Tallis

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, J.S. Bach

King of glory, King of peace, J.S. Bach

Lead me, Lord, S.S. Wesley

Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, [? Thomas] Mudd

Let us now praise famous men, R. Vaughan Williams

Locus iste, Anton Bruckner

Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake, Farrant

My eyes for beauty pine, Herbert Howells

My shepherd is Lord, Harrison Oxley

My soul, there is a country, C. Hubert H. Parry

Never weather-beaten sail, Charles Wood

O gladsome light, O grace, Louis Bourgeois, set by Claude Goudimel, ed. Henry G. Ley

O how amiable, R. Vaughan Williams

O Lord, increase our faith, Henry Loosemore

O Lord, the maker of all things, William Mundy

O Lorde, the maker of al thing, John Joubert

O Saviour of the world, John Goss

O thou, the central orb, Charles Wood

Praise, O praise, Martin How

Pray that Jerusalem, C.V. Stanford

Rejoice in the Lord alway, Henry Purcell

So they gave their bodies, Peter Aston

The strife is o’er, Henry G. Ley

This is the record of John, Orlando Gibbons

Thou visitest the earth, Maurice Greene

Turn back O Man, arranged by Gustav Holst

Turn thy face from my sins, Thomas Attwood

Wash me throughly, S.S. Wesley

When to the temple Mary went, Johannes Eccard

Zadok the Priest, G.F. Handel

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

January 9th, 2022 at 12:35 am

Sunday after Ascension: choice of hymns

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This morning’s service from the Church of St John the Evangelist, Monasterevin, in Portarlington Union of Parishes had music that was played (by me) using plainsong hymns from Hymns of Prayer and Praise (published for The Panel of Monastic Musicians by The Canterbury Press Norwich). The choice of hymns from this book was to assist in preventing singing by the congregation as this is currently not allowed.

The music in advance of the service was for the hymn,

Great Jerusalem, our city,
Named the vision of God’s peace,
Now in heaven they build your fabric
With the living souls from earth;
Even now the angels crown you
As a bridesmaid crowns the bride.

Fresh from heaven’s bridal chamber
As a bride she comes from God,
In her youth prepared and ready
For her marriage with the Lord;
All her streets, her walls and ramparts
Fashioned from the purest gold.

All her gates with pearls are gleaming,
All her gateways open wide,
Welcoming and calling homeward
Those who fro the love of Christ
In this world have drunk his chalice,
Meriting his own reward.

All her stones are bruised and hammered,
Polished, carved to perfect form,
Truly laid by craft of builder,
Each in its appointed place;
Planned, foreseen to stand for ever
In the temple walls of God.

Glory give to God and honour,
Always, everywhere, most high,
Father and the Son together
With the glorious Paraclete;
Theirs be power and theirs be worship
Now through all eternity.

Words: Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, altered, from Urbs Ierusalem beata (8th or 9th century) © 1995 Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, Coalville, Leicester, LE67 5UL

At the Offertory, the hymn was

O Jesus, Saviour, Lord of all,
What mind will ever span
The measure of your mighty love,
O Saviour, Son of Man?

What loving mercy held your heart
That you should bear our sin?
Should let yourself be crushed by death
That our life might begin?

You broke the power of sin and death,
You tore the gateway wide;
And all who welcome you were led
Back to the Father’s side.

May this same love surround us now
To free us from all harm,
That we may soon meet face to face
Within our Father’s home.

O Jesus, be our joy this day,
Our comfort in this place;
May this your risen life be ours
That we may know your peace.

Words by Ralph Wright OSB, from Iesu, nostra redemptio (7th or 8th century). © 1989 GIA Publications Inc., 7404, Mason Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60638.

During the communion, I played the tune Pange lingua in the Sarum form of melody to the words of

Hail our Saviour’s glorious body,
Which his virgin mother bore;
Hail the blood which, shed for sinners,
Did a broken world restore;
Hail the sacrament most holy,
Flesh and blood of Christ adore.

To the Virgin, for our healing,
His own Son the Father sends;
From the Father’s love proceeding
Sower, seed and Word descends:
Wondrous life of Word incarnate
With his greatest wonder ends.

On the paschal evening see him
With the chosen twelve recline,
To the old law still obedient
In its feast of love divine;
Love divine, the new law giving,
Gives himself as bread and wine.

By his word the Word almighty
Makes of bread his flesh indeed;
Wine becomes his very life-blood:
Faith God’s living Word must heed.
Faith alone may safely guide us
Where the senses cannot lead.

Come, adore this wondrous presence;
Bow to Christ, the source of grace:
Here is kept the ancient promes
Of God’s earthly dwelling-place.
Sight is blind before God’s glory,
Faith alone may see his face.

Glory be to God the Father,
Praise to his co-equal Son,
Adoration to the Spirit,
Bond of love, in Godhead one;
Blest be God by all creation
Joyously while ages run.

Words: James Quinn SJ (1919–2010), altered, from Pange lingua gloriosi corporis, St Thomas Aquinas? (1227–74). ©1969 The Continuum International Publishing Group, The Tower Building, 11 York Road, London, SE1 7NX.

After the Blessing, seeing as it is the month of May, I played a plainsong tune “Stella Maris” for the hymn “Ave maris stella”.

Star of sea and ocean,
Hail most blessed Virgin.
Mother of our Saviour,
Joyful gate of heaven.

In the angelic greeting
Is our new beginning:
Eva turned to Ave,
Sign of peace indwelling.

Loose the bonds that bind us,
Flood with light our blindness,
Drive away all evil
Turning us to goodness.

Be for us a mother:
So may he, Incarnate,
Finding us before you,
Hear our prayer and save us.

Holy matchless Virgin
Blest beyond all telling,
Mary, pure and gentle,
Be our inspiration.

Grant that we may journey
Safe to heaven’s gateway,
And, with endless praises,
There may we see Jesus.

Father, Son and Spirit,
Three in one we praise you,
Honour and adore you,
God with us for ever.

Words: Peter Allan CR and John Harper, from Ave, maris stella (8th century) © 2011 The Panel of Monastic Musicians.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

May 16th, 2021 at 6:12 pm

Carol Service from Portarlington Union

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A couple of weeks ago, a small group of parishioners gathered in the Church of St John the Evangelist in Monasterevin to record a Carol Service for this year. We had to keep it small because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. And although we could listen to carols, we weren’t able to sing them.

You can watch the service here via Youtube. The Order of Service is below.

Download the Order of Service here.

Order of Service

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

December 24th, 2020 at 5:34 pm

School Carol Service with a difference

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The first year the Carol Service of my old school, Balllymena Academy, was in St Patrick’s Parish Church was the year after I left. I remember three of us re-joining the “back row” of the choir to sing the familiar carols and other music that the choir was singing. It was lovely to be back among the senior choir and to do so.

This year, that Carol Service is not possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the musical members of Ballymena Academy have put together an online Carol Service via Youtube.

I am so pleased to see that the musical traditions of the school are continuing. Hopefully, the carol service in St Patrick’s will be back next year. I hope all members of the school community past and present have a very happy socially-distanced Christmas.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

December 16th, 2020 at 3:42 pm

Lockdown gives time to study: Liturgical Theology course from The Liturgical Institute

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This time of lockdown has given many people opportunities for some extra study. I am pleased to say that I am one of them. I have just completed a five hour course in Liturgical Theology from The Liturgical Institute of the University of St Mary of the Lake, Illinois, USA. The course had five classes:

  • Defining Liturgy
  • Liturgical Theology
  • Liturgical Sacraments
  • Liturgical Asceticism
  • Liturgical Mysticism

Instructor: Dr David Fagerberg

Dr David Fagerberg holds a B.A. from Augsburg College (1972), M.Div. from Luther Northwestern Seminary (1977), M.A. from St. John’s University, Collegeville (1982), S.T.M. from Yale Divinity School (1983), and M.A., M.Phil., and PhD. from Yale University (1991). He taught in the Religion Department of Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, from 1988-2001; the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary 2002-03; he has been at Notre Dame since 2003. His area of study is liturgical theology – its definition and methodology – and how the Church’s lex orandi (law of prayer) is the foundation for her lex credendi (law of belief). He also has interests in sacramental theology, Eastern Orthodoxy, linguistic philosophy, scholasticism, G. K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis.


There are other courses in the series and I am thinking of looking at completing more of them. Although the courses are well and truly from a Roman Catholic point of view, it is useful for me generally within the other Christian communities in which I play the organ or with whom I worship.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

July 18th, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Third Sunday after Epiphany

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This morning, I am playing for the Eucharist in the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare at 10 a.m.. The four hymns that I have chosen for the service are:

  • 362 – O God beyond all praising 
  • 219 – From heav’n you came, helpless babe 
  • 593 – O Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end; 
  • 199 – The people that in darkness walked 

They are all from the Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition, published 2000. The service will be Order Two from the Book of Common Prayer, 2004 of the Church of Ireland.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

January 26th, 2020 at 8:00 am

Posted in Christianity,Music

1 December 2019 – Advent Sunday

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This morning I am playing for Mass at The French Church (St Paul’s, Portarlington) for Advent Sunday. It is the beginning of the Church’s Year. They hymns I have chosen link to the readings (Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary) and also for Advent in general.

  • Opening Hymn: ICH 118 – Behold, the mountain of the Lord
  • For Psalm 122 – ICH 506 – Pray that Jerusalem may have
  • Gradual Hymn – ICH 140 – The Lord will come and not be slow
  • Communion Hymn – ICH 127 – Hark, what a sound, and too divine for hearing 
  • Final Hymn – ICH 135 – O come, O come Emmanuel

There were two changes of tune from that set in the Irish Church Hymnal: Hymn 506 was sung to St Columba, a firm favourite with the congregation; Hymn 140 was sung to Kingsfold, three double verses seems not as long as six verses.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

December 1st, 2019 at 8:00 am

Posted in Music

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The Kingship of Christ – 24th November 2019

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This morning I played the organ for the Eucharist for the Kingship of Christ in the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare.

The four hymns were:

  • 34 ICH, O worship the King
  • 90 ICH, Hail Redeemer, King divine
  • 231 ICH, My song is Love unknown
  • 259 ICH, CHrist triumphant, ever reigning.

During the Administration of the Communion I played Sweet Sacrament Divine.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

November 24th, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Music

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