Thursday, 16 June 2016

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Last Saturday evening the Schola Abelis, sang Vespers in Merton College Chapel in Oxford.

Fr Richard Biggerstaff, the Director of the St Barnabas Society, officiated.

We don't often do services in Anglican chapels, but Vespers is a rather different proposition from Mass. It was an opportunity for the Schola to tackle the somewhat different challenges of the Divine Office, compared to Mass, and to sing in the wonderful acoustic of Merton's historic chapel, as well as to honour St Barnabas and beg his interecession for the important work of the St Barnabas Society.

IMG_8964This supports Anglican and other ordained ministers who become Catholic, frequently losing their livlihoods in doing so. Go and support them through their website here.

The Schola Abelis is the only choir in Oxford focusing on Gregorian Chant. And though I say it myself, we sounded very good at Vespers. Anyone, from Town or University, who is interested in singing with us should contact us (). We don't expect previous experience singing chant - or anything else. I should mention that it is an all-male schola.

These days we are being looked after, in the capacity of cantor and trainer, by Will Dawes, a professional singer based in Oxford with an excellent knowledge of chant. Amusingly enough, he also directs an all-female liturgical choir. There is something for everyone in Oxford!

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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Trinity Term 2016 Term Card

Events in Trinity Term 2016


Saturday 28th May (5th Week)
Feast of Blessed Margaret Pole in the Archdiocese of Birmingham
Sung Mass in the Dominican Rite, Blackfriars 11am


Friday 3rd June (6th Week)
Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
SS Gregory & Augustine's, Woodstock Road, Oxford, 6pm


Saturday 11th June (7th Week)
Feast of St Barnabas
Vespers according to the 1960 Divine Office
Merton College Chapel, 8:30pm


Sunday 19th June (9th Week)
Fifth after Pentecost
Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite


SS Gregory & Augustine's, Woodstock Road, Oxford, 12noon

Friday, 5 February 2016

The Schola Abelis accompanies Candlemas

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The Schola Abelis accompanied Candlemas - the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary - in SS Gregory & Augustine's, Oxford, on Feb 2nd.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Hillary Term 2016 Term Card

Hillary Term 2016


3rd Week

Candlemas, Tuesay 2nd Feb


5th Week

Ember Saturday of Lent: 
LMS Pilgrimage to Caversham
Saturday 20th Feb


6th Week

Annual Mass in Milton Manor House
Saturday 27th February

Friday, 16 October 2015

Michaelmas Term events

The Schola is singing:


Sunday 18th October

Sunday Mass at SS Gregory & Augustine's, Woodstock Road



Saturday 7th November

Annual Requiem, St Benet's Hall, 38 St Giles, Oxford



Wednesday 25th November, tbc

St Catherine of Alexandria, SS Gregory & Augustine, Woodstock Road

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Last year's Requiem in St Benet's Hall

Friday, 13 March 2015

RIP Nick Gale

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Nick Gale, on the right, with the Schola Abelis in 2011, preparing a Requiem Mass.

Nick Gale, a former Director of Music at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, has died: tragically, in a road accident.

He was an enthusiastic teacher of chant, and led a training day for the schola back in 2011. He promoted a modern, scholarly approach to chant which gave 'shape' to the chants with crescendo and decresendo, with great respect for the text and its own stresses, and ignoring many of the editorial marks from the early 20th century editions which tend to slow the chant down.

Actually, he had so much to say about each piece of ancient chant that it was a challenge to remember it all!

We learnt a lot from him on that and other occasions. He will be missed.

Lux aeterna dona ei Domine. Requiescat in pace.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Hillary 2015 Term Card

In italics: Schola members can join others in singing at these events.

Christmas Vacation

Tuesday 6th January Epiphany
6pm SS Gregory & Augustine's, Woodstock Road, Oxford

Sunday 11th Jan
12 noon, Holy Trinity, Hethe


Hillary Term

1st Week
Sunday 18th Jan
12 noon, SS Gregory & Augustine's

3rd Week
Monday 2nd Feb: Purification (Candlemas)
6pm, SS Gregory & Augustine

4th Week
Sun 8th Feb
12 noon, Holy Trinity, Hethe

Wed 11th Feb: Our Lady of Lourdes
SS Gregory & Augustine's

5th Week
Sun 15th Feb
12 noon SS Gregory & Augustine's

Wed 18th Feb: Ash Wednesday
6pm SS Gregory & Augustine's

6th Week
Sat 28th Feb: Ember Saturday
LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham TBC

8th Week
Sun 8th March
12 noon, Holy Trinity, Hethe


Easter Vacation

Sun 15th March
SS Gregory & Augustine's

Wed 25th March: Annunciation
6pm SS Gregorgy & Augustine's

Sun 5th April Easter Sunday
12:15 SS Gregory & Augustine's, TBC

10-12th April: Greogrian Chant Network Chant Course
Oratory School, Woodcote