Chant Workshop: The Ceremony of the Star
Saturday 19 January 2013, 10.30am-4.30pm
at St Agnes’ Church, Ullet Road, Liverpool L17 3BA
Liturgical dramas were types of plays usually based on a Bible narrative, and performed in a church setting. An addition to the official liturgy, they were performed in Latin, sung to Gregorian chant or other simple monody.
In the shadow of the feast of the Epiphany, celebrated on 6 January, we will study and perform one of the liturgical dramas for which Rouen and other French Cathedrals were famous: the Ceremony of the Star Officium Stellae, from 13th century Rouen.
The Officium Stellae followed the singing of the office of Terce. Three clerics, robed as kings, arrive from north, south and east and meet before the altar, their servants carrying the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Antiphons are sung, a procession is formed, and the Magi go to a place where the virgin Mary, attended by two midwives (priests wearing dalmatics) invites them to worship the Christ-child. The three kings present their gifts, and the clergy and people make their offerings while the Magi fall asleep, to be warned by an angel to avoid Herod by returning home another way.
The Ceremony originally preceded the Mass of the Epiphany, and we will study the chants of the Epiphany Mass. If time allows, we will also look at music for the Feast of Candlemas (February 2nd). The event will conclude with a performance of Officium Stellae and the Epiphany music.
The day will be led by Philip Duffy, Associate Director of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, and former Master of the Music at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.