Paul Ellison leading Schola Adventus at last year’s Palm Sunday celebration (from the Church of the Advent Web site)
This Sunday will mark the beginning of Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday. Paul Ellison, Director of Music at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King, has prepared a rich selection of both processional and vocal music for six of the services that will be held between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The vocal resources will be those of the church’s resident professional choir, Schola Adventus. Here are the specifics regarding those selections:
March 25 (Palm Sunday), 11 a.m.: This is the service for the Blessing of Palms, a Procession, and a High Mass celebration. It will include a plainsong incantation of the Passion text from the Gospel of Mark. Vocal selections will be by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giammatteo Asola, and Orlande de Lassus.
March 28 (Holy Wednesday), 6:30 p.m.: This will be a Choral Tenebrae service with music by Victoria and Manuel Cardoso.
March 29 (Maundy Thursday), 6:30 p.m.: This is the service the celebrates the Stripping of the Altar. There will again be a Procession and High Mass celebration. The music for the Procession will be Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 654 chorale prelude on the hymn “Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele” (adorn yourself, O dear soul). This is the fifth chorale is the collection of eighteen known as the “Leipzig” chorales. Vocal music will be by Felice Anerio, William Byrd, and Maurice Duruflé.
March 30 (Good Friday), 6:30 p.m.: This is the day of the Solemn Liturgy, which will be a plainsong incantation of the Passion text from the Gospel of John. There will also be a celebration of the Mass of the Presanctified. Music will be by Victoria, Sebastián de Vivanco, John IV of Portugal, Giovanni Maria Nanino, and Pierre de Manchicourt.
March 31 (Holy Saturday), 10:30 p.m.: This will be the night of the Great Vigil followed by the First Mass of Easter. The postlude will be Jean Langlais’ “Incantation pour un jour saint” (incantation for a holy day). Vocal music will be by Anerio, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Heinrich Isaac. A hosted reception will follow this service.
April 1 (Easter Sunday), 11 a.m.: Holy Week will conclude with a Procession and High Mass. The Langlais organ composition will again be performed as postlude. Vocal music will be by Victoria, Byrd, and Ferdinando di Lasso, son of Lassus. There will also be a singing of Charles Wood’s arrangement of the traditional Dutch hymn “This joyful Eastertide.”
The Church of the Advent of Christ the King is located at 261 Fell Street, between Franklin Street and Gough Street. The entry is diagonally across the street from the SFJAZZ Center. There will, of course, be no admission fee for any church service; but those attending the service are kindly requested to leave something in the collection plate.