The Gregorian Chant Group  is an informal group meeting on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30 to explore the wonderful repertoire of plainchant.

Ths week we will begin with the psalm which is our current focus, Ps. 126 (125) with its lovely antiphon ‘Then were we made like those who dream,’  and imitate the practice of very early Christian psalmody by singing the antiphon between each verse.
The recording of the Regina Caeli we listened to last week (and sang along to) is by the Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis, an amateur group of men and women in Milan who are dedicated to singing plainchant.  You can hear them on youtube.
Our listening focus remains the 11th century sequence ‘Victimae Paschali Laudes,’ with a brief summary of the other sequences still in the repertory, including the ‘Stabat Mater,’ the ‘Dies Irae’ and ‘Veni Sancte Spiritus,’ also known as ‘The Golden Sequence.’
We’ll finish as usual with the Compline antiphon ‘Salva Nos’ and may have time to take a look at how it will eventually accompany the ‘Nunc Dimittis.’
On the Gregorian menu over the next few weeks will be the following:
Psalm 126 (125) – those who sow in tears will reap in joy
Nunc dimittis, paired with its antiphon ‘Salva nos’
Regina Caeli – the Marian antiphon for Eastertide, short and easy, full of alleluias
and we’ll be listening to the 11th century Easter sequence ‘Victimae Paschali laudes.’
 Chant is the ancient traditional music of the Church, and consists of a single melodic line, needing no instrumental accompaniment.  Much of the music is as simple as it is beautiful, and is also easy to read even if you have no previous musical experience.

Times, seasons, moments of life and the Church year will provide us with endless opportunities to sing a variety of psalms, antiphons, hymns and canticles in English and Latin.

There are many beautiful and exciting chants for us to sing this year, and here are some of the highlights:

For Candlemas, February 2nd, the Nunc Dimittis in Latin with its special Candlemas antiphon ‘Lumen ad revelationem.’
For the Anunciation on March 25th, Ave Maria, the ancient prayer beloved of Christians for centuries in both East and West.
For Lent, the Lent Prose ‘Attende Domine’ with its penitential lyrics but surprisingly cheerful tune.
Then for Easter, the stunning Medieval sequence ‘Victimae Paschali’ with its wide melodic range and dramatic sung dialogue between Mary and the disciples describing the Resurrection.
And lastly, for Pentecost, one of the best known and most loved gregorian hymns, ‘Veni Creator Spiritus.’

The venue is the Parish Hall, on the corner of Angus St and Goodwood Rd. Parking is available in the car park of Holy Cross Church opposite St George’s.

New members most welcome. Please contact Sarah Clay (Director of Music) 0488 133 645 sarahanneclay@gmail.com