Yesterday in the Birmingham Oratory we had a musical oratory for the birthday of John Henry Cardinal Newman. This is a tradition that was started by St. Philip Neri in Rome, and consists of a service of music recitals interspaced with preaching, hymns and choral music. St. Philip and his companions used to meet regularly to hold these events, and it was partly from them that the institute of the Oratory came into existence.
This year as it fell in Lent it was somewhat subdued, and hence the theme for was Lent in the writings of Cardinal Newman. For us in the choir we sang three motets: Miserere Mei by Byrd, Salvator Mundi by John Goss, and Adjuva Nos by Conseil. Ferverinos were given by Father Philip, Father Guy and Father Gregory, and the service ended with prayers for the sick entrusted to the Cardinal's intercession. Organ recitals were given by Dr. Francis Jackson, Organist Emeritus of York Minster.
Before this I also had to sing for the Missa Cantata for our St. Valentine, and as I expected I was on my own again! Nevertheless, I managed the propers well along with Mass IV, which turned out to be a great success. The Gregorian mass Cunctipotens Genitor Deus is one of my favorites!