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Music for the Feast of the Ascension at Church of the Advent is announced

Poster design for the coming Feast of the Ascension service
Poster design for the coming Feast of the Ascension service
courtesy of Paul Ellison

This Thursday the Feast of the Ascension will be celebrated at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King with a High Mass. As may be expected, the church’s resident choir Schola Adventus and Director of Music Paul Ellison will provide a diverse selection of compositions appropriate for the occasion. Indeed, Ellison will mark the occasion with two highly contrasting selections for the prelude and the postlude. For the former Ellison will play Olivier Messiaen’s own arrangement for organ of the first of the four “meditations for orchestra” (the composer’s words) entitled L’ascension (the Ascension). The full title of that particular selection is “Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père” (the majesty of Christ demanding its glory of the Father). The latter will be taken from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orgelbüchlein (little organ book), a collection of chorale preludes for hymns arranged according to the calendar for the liturgical year. The chorale prelude Ellison will perform will be the BWV 630 setting of the hymn “Heut triumphieret Gottes Sohn” (today the Son of God triumphs), which marks the end of the Easter section of the collection.

The ordinary of the Eucharist will be sung by Schola Adventus in a setting by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the Missa Aeterna Christi munera (Mass for the eternal gifts of Christ). The anthem for the service will be Luca Marenzio’s “O Rex gloriae” (O glorious king). Schola Adventus will also sing the Gregorian chants for the Propers of the Day.

This service will take place this coming Thursday, May 29. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. The church is located at 261 Fell Street, between Franklin Street and Gough Street. For those planning on driving, some parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the church. The church may be contacted at 415-413-0454 if there are any further questions.