The kings of Arabia and the Isles shall bring presents


Sunday evening, January 2, at 5:00 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa with present the annual Epiphany Procession, based on York Minster's traditional service. The service begins with a candlelight procession. Two separate groups enter from the north and south ambulatories, proceed down the aisles to the back of the church, then join together and process to the choir stalls. The smaller of the two groups, a four-voice schola cantorum, represents the wise men, the larger, made up of Trinity's choir, represents Everyman.

I'll be part of that smaller group, singing two responsories by Palestrina, along with three other men from Coventry Chorale. The pieces alternate between plainsong intonations by a cantor (me, this year) and responses in four-part polyphonic harmony. We rehearsed a couple of nights ago, and it sounds wonderful in Trinity's beautiful Gothic Revival sanctuary.

Ours is a relatively small part of the service, which also includes anthems sung by Trinity's choir, hymns sung by the congregation, and readings from Scripture appropriate to the feast of the Epiphany, which marks the manifestation of God's glory in Christ, as seen in the presentation of Christ in the temple, the visit of the Magi, Christ's childhood visit to the temple, and Christ's baptism.

Although Trinity isn't my home church, it's where I've done a lot of singing over the years: Lessons and Carols as part of Holland Hall School's Concert Chorus and Madrigal Singers, weekly rehearsals and semi-annual performances for 15 years with Coventry Chorale. When Trinity started the Epiphany service, Coventry provided the singers in partial thanks for allowing us to rehearse and perform at the church. (By the way, I'm on an indefinite sabbatical from Coventry -- I miss it, but the busyness of politics and maintaining this blog made the weekly rehearsal commitment too much to keep.) There is no better setting in Tulsa for the performance of sacred choral music or the drama of the Anglican liturgy.

The Epiphany Procession is a beautiful service and a fitting close to Christmastide. If you're in Tulsa, I hope you can join us.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 1, 2005 8:16 AM.

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