On Saturday 9 December, seven potential Latin Mass choir members – three men and four ladies – met under the direction of Fr Verrier, who is a music graduate and before his ordination taught music in schools. He began with a prayer that our efforts might glorify God and that humility would form part of our disposition. He went on to give the history of the part played by a choir at the Latin Mass and how it is a privilege rather than a right for lay people to sing. We then warmed up our voices and got on to the actual music, working through the ‘Missa Angelis’ which forms the basis of a Sung Mass. All those numbers and mysterious signs in the notation – which looks very different from classical music notation – were explained. We sang with a reasonable degree of accuracy, considering that Gregorian chant was new to most of us and that we had not sung together before. Finally Fr Verrier explained which parts of the Mass are sung by the priest, which by a small group and which by a larger group, including the congregation.
By this time, a fascinating two hours had passed! After a closing prayer and a blessing, we went our separate ways.
We hope to sing for the first time on Sexagesima Sunday, 4 February 2018. Fr Verrier will not be with us, as he is moving to Warrington after Christmas, but we will find ways of building on what he has started. Please contact Barbara Kay, who has volunteered to be secretary to the choir, on firstname.lastname@example.org for details of future practices.