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St Bride Setting

St Bride Setting

The St Bride Setting

John L. Bell

The St Bride setting of the Kyrie (Lord have mercy), Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy), Benedictus (Blessed is the one) and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is offered for use at celebrations of Holy Communion where - for reasons of necessity or design – there is neither choir nor organ. All that is required is a cantor and the absolute minimum of rehearsal time. The Kyrie was taught to a crowd of 20,000 in under half-a-minute!


Take very slowly and deliberately, with as much tenderness or urgency in the cantor’s singing as the situation requires. The congregation simply hum in response to the first two phrases and sings the eleison after the third. If a large drum (bass, tom or bodhran) is available, it can add urgency by beating as indicated while the congregation hums.

Sanctus and Benedictus

Sing with liveliness, the congregation imitating each phrase exactly, though the entries for the second and fourth phrases are irregular. The Sanctus should be sung twice and the coda at the Benedictus should increase in volume.

Agnus Dei

A gentle and quiet piece in distinction from the above. If desired, it can be sung as a four-part canon at the bar.

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