About the Piece:
This started out as a fun attempt to try a gaelic mass, but soon evolved into something much more. As I started to write it I found myself using elements of the old (plainchant) and elements of the new (electronics). At that point the idea occurred to me: why not write a mass that not only spans time, but also borders? Philosophically speaking this meshed very well with the teachings of Jesus. He spoke of a world where boundaries of race and culture were abstract ideas. He preached a religion and philosophy that was for all people. I decided if I was going to write a mass, I wanted one that reflected the universal nature of Jesus’ teachings. Musically it is far eastern in most parts, but uses techniques and styles common to modern western music. My hope is that this mass conveys an underlying message of peace.. It is both a reflection of Jesus’ teachings and a plea for peace in the world.
I. Introit (Prayer of St. Patrick/Lao-Tse)
I arise today; through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity. Through the belief in the threeness, through the confession of the oneness, of the Creator of Creation. I arise today; Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism, through the strength of His crucifixion with his burial, through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension, through the strength strength of His descent for the Judgement Day. I arise today; through the strength of heaven: Light of sun, radiance of moon, splendor of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. I arise today; through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity. Through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness, of the Creator of Creation.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee we worship thee. We glorify thee, we give thanks to thee, for thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father, Almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayers. Thou that sits at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For thou, only art holy; for thou only art the Lord; thou only art most high O God, with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
IV. Gradual (Peace Psalm) taken from the Psalms of David:
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together. The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I have looked for him, he could not be found. Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war.
V. Gospel taken from the resurrection stories in the gospels.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds. God of God, light of light, very God of very God. Begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father: by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate by the Holy ghost of the Virgin Mary: and was made man. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate: suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the scriptures. And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead: His kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, Lord and giver of life: who proceeds from the Father and Son. Who with the Father and Son together is worshipped and glorified: Who spake by the Prophets. And in one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
VIII. Prayer of the Trinity (Prayer of St. Francis):
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hated, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts! Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!
XI. Agnus Dei:
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, Lamb of God who takes away the sins of world, have mercy on. Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world...
XII. Outro (Dona Nobis Pacem)
...grant us peace.
Barukh attah (Prayer before reading the Torah):
Blessed are you Lord, our God, King of the universe who chose us from all the peoples and gave to us His torah. Blessed are You Lord giver of the Torah.
Muslim peace Prayer:
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations. That we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy inclines towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust God, for the Lord is the one that hereth and knoweth all things. And the servants of God, most gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when we address them, we say “Peace”.
Important program notes:
In trying to write this piece I decided to focus on the offering as I sometimes see it; nerve wracking. I don’t have the money sometimes, but I feel it is good for me to give. In the end the offering becomes a source of relief when I realize that God doesn’t have a little ledger wgere he marks down the offerings we make. It is a gift that we freely give.
This piece is a tone poem with descriptive music for the different elements of the Nicene Creed created in 325 A.D. Each section describes elements of the central doctrines of the church including belief in God, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and the church. God, being the most abstract part of the Trinity, is represented with musical gestures rather then solid, understandable melody. Jesus, being made flesh, was born a jew. His music is a mixture of Jewish folk music ideas and the abstract harmonies of God (man and God). The Holy Ghost is represented with wind and elements from both of the other Trinity members. The church is made up of ideas from all of the previous ideas since the church is grounded solely in the Trinity
I wanted this piece to be a reflection of what communion was; a meal between friends. Throughout the meal Jesus took different elements and used them to metaphorically describe the sacrifice of Himself that He was going to give. Around the middle of the work there is an explosion of music that slowly peels away layers until only a single note remains. From this note a hymn emerges which reflects on the joy. Sometimes communion is viewed as a time to reflect on how bad you have been and how your sin forced Jesus onto the Cross. As this piece progresses we hear the words of Jesus when He explains His choice to die on the cross, the guilt that we sometimes feel about this sacrifice (shown in the explosion of music) being peeled away, and the joy of the grace we get when we realize that the cross was done out of love and given as a free gift.