Mass for Philadelphia


For unison congregation, organ, and optional cantor and optional descant.

The Association of Anglican Musicians commissioned me to write music for the Closing Eucharist of their National Conference in Philadelphia, June 17–22, 2012. The Mass for Philadelphia was first sung Thursday, 21 Jun 2012, at St. Luke and The Epiphany, Philadelphia. Assisting in the congregational singing was a massed children’s choir from churches in the greater Philadelphia area and Asbury Park, N.J., led by Diane Caruso. The organist was Michael Stairs.

My deepest thanks to Phillip and Heather Shade and the AAM for this commission.

Since then, I have tweaked, edited, and added sections to it, and it’s been used by both Lutherans and Episcopalians. A traditional Offertory text for Lutherans is from Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” This would be sung after the choir’s Offertory Anthem, when gifts and communion elements are presented. Sung at the breaking of the bread by Episcopalians is Christ Our Passover. Lutherans don’t normally sing there, but they will sing, for the post-Communion canticle, the Nunc Dimittis, or Simeon’s “Now Lord, let your servant depart in peace.” Episcopalians are very familiar with the Nunc at Evensong, of course, but not so much at the Eucharist. Lutherans will sing the Kyrie a bit more than Episcopalians, but the Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei are standard for both denominations. Thus for liturgical diversity! So now, Mass for Philadelphia has these sections:

Gospel Acclamation
Gospel Responses
The Great Thanksgiving
Christ Our Passover
Agnus Dei
Nunc Dimittis

Here’s a MIDI realization of the beginning of the Gloria, the page at the top. The organ sound in my notation program is ugly and seemingly (to me) unalterable, so a piano accompanies in the audio file below. The descant, again, is optional. The entire Mass is available for sale, which includes separate inserts as JPGs or PDFs for bulletins.


Posted on

24 February, 2018

Leave a Reply