Since I was impressed enough with last Sunday's music at St. John the Baptist, I figured I'd go there for Midnight Mass as well (my daughter Jessica came with me this time). When we got into the church, Jessie said to me, "Now THIS is what a church should look like!" (Description of the church here) There was the organist, a trumpet, a flute, and a couple of singers. We got there about "twenty of" (and yes, Midnight Mass was at MIDNIGHT, not 11 PM, not 10 PM --- MIDNIGHT, where it belongs!). I didn't recognize all of the pre-Mass recital, but did manage to catch such titles as Of the Father's Love Begotten (a 3/4 metrical arrangement), Il Est Ne, le Divin Enfant (good choice, especially since there's still some French Canadian blood still looming there), Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella, Ding Dong! Merrily on High, and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (which was the very last). All of these sounded great, especially in a beautiful edifice like St. John's.
At midnight came the 12 bell tolls, followed by the reading (chanting would have really been cool) of the Christmas Proclamation, neither of which I've experienced before, but it was really cool. Procession included a pit stop to the manger to place the Newborn King. Mass music went thus:
Cantique de Noel (one verse each, French, then English)...Adam
O come, all ye faithful..."Adeste Fideles"
Gloria...Schutte/"Mass of God's Promise" (the verses were ok, but since the refrain was an altered text, I wasn't too impressed)
Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord...Alstott
Celtic Alleluia...Walker/O'Carroll (I'm not a fan of the Celtic Alleluia, but at least Paul made it actually sound decent)
The First Nowell...Trad. English
Mass of Creation...Haugen (Paul and I got talking after Mass and he had found out that I saw the cantor Sunday and told her "excellent selections, except for Mass of Creation, of course", so he said "I hear you don't like Mass of Creation". I then went and told him how I successfully weaned Holy Name out of it, and the interview/audition at Holy Ghost in '04 where the pastor said "If I hear "Mass of Creation" one more time so help me..." - all in fun friendly fire)
It came upon a midnight clear..."Carol"
Silent night, holy night..."Stille Nacht"
Hark! the herald angels sing..."Mendelssohn" (he played it in G - YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!)
In the peace of the newborn King,