November will be a busy month for Schola Adventus, the professional choir at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King. Music Director Paul Ellison has brought a knowledgeable perspective to the services, frequently drawing upon Gregorian plainchant for the Propers of the day and preparing Mass settings by major Renaissance composers. As always, the month of November begins with All Saints’ Day, followed by All Souls’ Day, both of which are occasions for major services. However, this year Advent will begin at the end of November, which will also be the month of the second of the two Music Memorial Sundays for 2015. As a result, Schola Adventus will have a lot of repertoire to prepare. Details, as they currently are available, are as follows:
Sunday, November 1, 11 a.m.: This will be the celebration of a Procession and High Mass for All Saints’ Day. The Mass setting will be by Tomás Luis de Victoria with thematic material based on his motet “O quam gloriosum.” The service will include additional music by Victoria, along with works by Johann Sebastian Bach and William H. Harris. A festive reception will follow the service in Lathrop Hall.
Monday, November 2, 6:30 p.m.: All Souls’ Day will be celebrated with a High Mass of Requiem. The Mass setting will be the Missa Pro Defunctis section of Victoria’s Officium Defunctorum, scored for six-part SSATTB chorus. This setting does not include the “Dies irae” sequence, which will be sung as plainchant, along with the other Gregorian Propers of the Day.
Sunday, November 22, 11 a.m.: Music Memorial Sunday will be celebrated with a Procession, High Mass, and Te Deum. The Mass setting will be by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The cantus firmus is based on “Aeterna Christi munera,” a hymn from the matins service on Apostles’ and Evangelists’ days. The service will also include Ellison’s own music, along with selections by Bach, William Byrd, and Luca Marenzio. Permanent donations can be made to music at Church of the Advent in lasting memory of those who have died. Funds so given will be placed in the Music Endowment Fund, and the names of the loved ones will be added to a permanent list that will be printed in the church’s bulletin on the day of the service.
Sunday, November 29, 6 p.m.: This will be the Advent Liturgy, consisting of a Candle Light Procession with Lessons and Carols. Music will be by Palestrina and Bach, as well as Benjamin Britten, Herbert Howells, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Villette, and David Wilcocks. The organist for this service will be George Anton Emblom. A festive reception will follow the service in Lathrop Hall.
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, which may be entered from Hickory Street. For those taking public transportation, the church is a short walk from the Van Ness Muni Station and a slightly longer one from the Civic Center BART Station. The church may be contacted at 415-413-0454 if there are any further questions.