Sunday 24 March at 10.00am
Opening songO praise our great and gracious Lord
Lord, have mercy(Farrell)
Responsorial psalmThe Lord is compassion and love (Geoffrey Boulton Smith)
Gospel acclamationPraise to you, O Christ + verse 3 (Farrell)
Preparation songGod of mercy and compassion (Michael Hodgetts)
Holy. HolyA Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Memorial acclamationA Parish Mass (Peter Jones)
Lamb of GodAston (Peter Jones)
Communion songTurn to me (John Foley, SJ)
Recessional hymnGuide me, O thou great Redeemer

Choosing music for Mass each week is like the head of the household in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 13:53) “who brings out of his treasure things that are new and fresh and things that are old and familiar” — the best of the old and the best of the new, if you like. The best old hymns are easy to spot: they are the “classics”, like today’s final hymn: ‘Guide me, O thou great Redeemer’. The best new ones are more difficult: who’s to say which ones are best and likely to become classics in their own right? Here at Holy Redeemer we regularly use songs by Bernadette Farrell — ‘Christ, be our light’ and ‘O God, you search me and you know me’ — which will probably live on and become classics. (I often remind the choir that you don’t have to be male, German, and dead to be a good composer!)

Old hymns sometimes need a bit of help. Some of the more experienced of you might have done a double-take at spotting ‘God of mercy and compassion’ at today’s Preparation of the Gifts. Perhaps you remember verse 2:

By my sins I have deserved
Death and endless misery,
Hell with all its pains and torments,
And for all eternity.

Nothing wrong with the theology but not, perhaps, the right tone for today’s less robust sensibilities. Fear not: we shall be singing a new version of the words — to the traditional tune — by Michael Hodgetts. Michael is a historian, a lecturer at Maryvale, and Historical Director at Harvington Hall near Kidderminster.

Truth insistent and demanding,
love resented and ignored,
life beyond all understanding,
give us peace and pardon, Lord.

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Third Sunday of Lent (C)