Second Sunday of Lent
Highlights of the Week
One real highlight for me this week will be the anthem this evening (Sunday 12th) at Choral Evensong: Lo, the full final Sacrifice by Gerald Finzi. It is one of the choral ‘greats’ for the Lent and Passiontide season, and is substantially longer than many choir anthems, so not every cathedral does it every Lent. In different acoustics and with different directors, it can take 14 to 18 minutes to sing, but our Organist and Master of Choristers reckons that the Portsmouth interpretation will last perhaps 12-13 minutes.
The piece was Finzi’s first work to be written after the end of World War II, so the context adds to the resonance of the words which depict Jesus facing death and how his body, broken on the cross, brings life and freedom to the world. The text is based on two Eucharistic hymns of Thomas Aquinas which celebrate the power of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection as we share in the sacrament of Holy Communion. The English translations of Aquinas’ words that Finzi chose are by the metaphysical poet Richard Crashaw, a near contemporary of John Donne. The words stress how Jesus’ life-giving sacrifice is foreshadowed in the Old Testament (the sacrifice of Isaac, the Manna in the wilderness, the Passover Lamb) so his is the full and final Sacrifice, as in the title and the opening line.
Finzi’s family background was Jewish-Italian, and yet the Englishness of Anglican church music was a powerful influence, and he in turn has influenced many with the spiritual depth of his compositions. His word setting is dramatic and moving in turn: the vitality of the music for the phrase ‘Rich, royal food! Bountiful Bread! whose use denies us to the dead!’ depicts the power that the words allude to; while the beautiful duet towards the end is a poignant setting of the image ‘O soft self-wounding Pelican’ (alluding to the medieval idea that a pelican sustains its young by pecking its breast to draw blood, at the expense of its own life).
A profound source of refection and prayer and meditation for us all this Lent: ‘Live ever, Bread of loves, and be my life, my soul, my surer self to me.’ And the ‘Amen’ which concludes the piece is simply sublime.
The Reverend Jo Spreadbury
Canon Anthony is at St Faith’s, Havant and Canon Nick is at St Alban’s, Copnor this morning.
Service and Events Listings Please pick up a copy of The List and Events Listing for this month. and the Annual Theme booklet.
Cathedral Sing Members of the Music Department and Cathedral Choirs led a music outreach workshop at All Saints’, Botley for pupils from four local schools on Friday.
Finance and Investments Committee At its meeting this week Chapter formally appointed Caroline Willet as a member of the FIC. Caroline is a Chartered Accountant and Senior Lecturer in the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Accounting & Financial Management.
Bishop’s Lent Appeal ‘From Slavery to Freedom’ will help survivors of sex trafficking across the world, as well as local victims of domestic abuse. Leaflets and Gift Aid envelopes are available in the Cathedral.
Cathedral Staff Steve Hill and Rachel Richardson have now moved to Somerset. A temporary Finance Officer will be in office Monday to Friday mornings (email email@example.com) and Bradley Hill will be working full time until permanent arrangements are made. Cathedral diary requests should be directed to Liz in the Cathedral Offices through firstname.lastname@example.org. The Vergers’ Department has been joined by Graham Kidd as part-time Assistant Verger.
Mothering Sunday Posies The Flower Guild are looking for volunteers to help make posies on the morning of Saturday 25th March. If you would like to help, please contact Rosemary Fairfax through the Cathedral Offices.
Friends of Portsmouth Cathedral The Spring Newsletter will be sent to members this week. Details of membership of the Friends are available on the following link http://portsmouthcathedral.org.uk/get-involved/
Organ Stop A model of ‘Trompeta de Mar’ en chamade, the new Spanish trumpet solo stop, is on display in the Nave. If you would like to help fund this project or the new sound system please pick up a leaflet. Thank you to all those who have given; over £10,000 has been raised towards the organ stop in addition to the £18,000 pledged by the Portsmouth Cathedral Development Trust and over £1,700 for the sound system.
Skittles Evening 7.30pm Friday 31st March at the Royal Maritime Club. Tickets £10.00 including basket meal available from the Cathedral Shop.
Easter Lilies If you would like a loved one remembered through the donation of a lily to be used in our decorations at Easter, please fill in the leaflet (also available in the Cathedral) on the following link – Lily form.
Confirmation Classes This is the last week to join either the adult or young persons classes being run in preparation for the Baptism and Confirmation Service on Easter Eve, 15th April. Please contact Canon Peter for details.
Pompey Chimes This month’s edition includes details of ‘Thy Kingdom come’; the prayer movement that unites Christians around the world and includes a day of prayer in the Cathedral on Saturday 20th May, and a feature on how ‘We can encounter the divine in music’ based on the faith experience of our Organist, David Price. Please pick up a copy in the Cathedral or visit https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/pompey-chimes/
Friends without Borders Vigil from 7.45am this Tuesday 14th March. A Lenten vigil for refugees, with Michael Woolley, Chairman, Friends Without Borders for Portsmouth and Roger Pask, Chairman, Sanctuary in Chichester. Short “reflections” will occur every hour which will include readings, prayers, short homilies, and a simple presentation on the plight of modern day refugees. All are welcome at any point in the day to join in silent prayer.
Lunchtime Live 1.10pm this Thursday. Organ recital by Oliver Hancock. Light refreshments from 12.30pm. Free entry with retiring collection.
Lent Lunch 12.30pm Fridays in Becket Hall. All welcome after the midday Holy Communion to have a simple soup lunch provided by Foodcycle Pompey. Donations in aid of Foodcycle and the Bishop’s Lent Appeal.
Handel’s Messiah at St Mary’s, Fratton, 7.00pm next Saturday 18th March. Mozart’s arrangement of the famous oratorio, as performed in Portsmouth in 1812. Sung by the University of Portsmouth Choir, members of the Cathedral Choirs, St Mary’s Church Choir and soloists from the Royal College of Music with Solent Symphony Orchestra. Tickets £15.00 regular, £13.00 concessions, £6.00 under 16’s from the Cathedral Shop.
‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ our Annual Theme exploring ecology and the environment through science, faith, and the arts.
Lent Workshop 7.00pm, Wednesday 29th March. Our Annual Theme Curator Sharon Court will be helping us to use natural materials as a way to reflect during Lent. Clive Anderson’s lecture is being re-scheduled to later in the year.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
All those in need including: Frank, Dennis, Aidan, Jen, Caroline, Graeme, Pat, David, and Allan.
and those who have died: Marion Aldridge, Bob Higgins (Cathedral Memorial Service 11.30am Monday 20th March), Tricia Inkpen, Gillian Purcell (Cathedral funeral 1.00pm Monday 20th March), and Stuart Wilson RIP.
To download the full notices click Notices 12 Mar 17