A Mass for Companions

Read a letter to the parish from Dr. David Stevens, about his composition of A Mass for Companions which will be sung by the congregation starting Sunday, June 26 until Sunday, Aug. 7 when we will say goodbye to David as he begins his retirement.

Dear Friends,

During Lent, in the morning services, we sang the Mass for Companions which I composed for this past Spring. You, the congregants of St. David’s, have always inspired me and I was happy to have conceived service music that reflected who you are as a worshiping community-a singing community, a faithful community, a generous and sweet community.

A Mass for Companions is just that-music to be sung by us companions on our earthly journey. I wanted you to feel as if you could learn the movements easily and that is the reason I wrote it as a “call-and-response” mass. I heard many positive things about your experience and I wanted to extend the usage by transforming the mass into a “continuous” mass-one where a cantor was not always the leader of the music.

My colleagues encouraged me when I told them of my idea and my hope that the Mass might have a life at St. David’s after my retirement. This coming Sunday, through at least Aug. 7, the “continuous” version of the Mass will be the service music for our two morning services in the Historic Church. I wrote another Song of Praise-a Trisagion (Holy Lord, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy upon us!)-to take the place of the more penitent Kyrie. I, also, wrote an Alleluia for framing the reading of the Gospel and a Pascha nostrum (Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us).

Thank you for the opportunity to have written pieces to be used in our liturgies and to hear you sing this Mass. Blessings on all of you and I thank you for the rich time that I have had serving you at St. David’s!

Watch Dr. David Stevens teach A Mass for Companions to the congregation before Holy Eucharist on the First Sunday in Lent, March 6, 2022 (Timestamp: 0:41-12:50).
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