Tuesday 7 November 2006

Stanford's Communion Service

Stanford's settings of the Evensong Canticles are so ubiquitous that I was surprised to find references to his Communion settings. These are less frequently performed and at first, I had assumed that he never wrote any. I finally got around to acquiring a copy of his Communion Service in C and it makes fascinating reading.

It is perfectly aligned to the traditional Anglican communion service from the Book of Common Prayer. There is no Kyrie as such, just the responses Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. to the 10 commandments. The Credo and Sanctus are pretty much as might be expected, but there is no Agnus Dei and the Gloria comes at the end.

As anyone who knows the Book of Common Prayer will understand, this is very much the structure of the standard Anglican service period. The institution of a Eucharistic service on the lines of the modern Mass is very much a modern thing.

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