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Today’s music was chosen with two central themes in mind:

First, to recognize National Truth and Reconciliation Day, Sept 30th, I chose to include my mass setting Missa Terra Nova. It was first conceived around the theme of Truth and Reconciliation, reflecting - hopefully - the vision we all strive for in the biblical text A New Heaven and a New Earth. The Kyrie simply hints at earthy tones and sounds in our humble request for forgiveness. The Sanctus, especially in the introduction, sets up an other worldly, universal celebration of the whole company of heaven. Earth Teach Me, sung during communion, also seemed to fit this occasion well, with the amazing text from the Ute Nation. 

Secondly, this week on Wednesday Oct 4th, we celebrate St Francis Day, marking the end of the Season of Creation. To honour this occasion I include a very simple Gregorian Agnus Dei from Missa Cum Jubilo. I include it here, because I have a very fond memory of my Vancouver Children’s Choir singing this mass setting while on tour in Italy in 2018. One of our highlights was when we visited Assisi. We sought permission, many months prior to our visit, to sing in the Basilica. It was a lovely sunny Sunday morning, when we all lined up at a gate as instructed. We waited for our turn to warm up and settle into one of the many chapels on the main level, where most visiting choirs are permitted to sing at a mass. We were greeted at the gate by a very friendly (American) Franciscan monk. We followed him, not into the Lower Church as it is called, but he took us way around the back and up a very long and steep set of stairs. He brought us into the worship space - it was the Upper Basilica space for high mass. The more famous (and totally STUNNING) frescoes were in this Upper level as well. The clergy were very friendly and inviting, allowing us to sing the whole Missa Cum Jubilo, plus an Ave Maria during communion in an amazing acoustic! We didn’t need to worry about singing at the wrong time in the liturgy as it was in English, the celebrant also being American. They even gave us a certificate at the end of the service. St Francis Day has never been the same for me after that extraordinary experience.