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Anthem or motet?

22 March 2013

Out of the question

Wartime prayer card: see Mrs Graham's answer

Wartime prayer card: see Mrs Graham's answer

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

Your answers

At my local cathedral, at choral evensong, an anthem is sung, while, at the sung mass, it is a motet. From recent services, I realise that I have been wrong to assume that the length of the piece determined its description. What is the difference - or is it on the Precentor's whim?

In origin, an anthem was written especially for a choir to sing during Anglican services, usually matins or evensong, when, after the third collect, the rubric states: "In Quires and Places where they sing here followeth the Anthem." It was normally sung in English. A motet is a piece that was sung at mass and was usually in Latin.

At various times, anthems have also been composed with Latin words, and motets have similarly been composed with English words. These days, they seem to be interchangeable.

John Ewington (General Secretary,
Guild of Church Musicians)
Bletchingley, Surrey

What is the likely provenance of  this wartime prayer card [Questions, 15 February], and the "Air Raid Chorus" it contains? Have your readers ever seen anything similar?

Seeing the "Safe but Sheltered" card, I remembered the card, published by Mowbrays, which hung above my bed during and after the war (right).

As a child, I liked the idea of saying a prayer for safety, as Big Ben struck, though I must have been very young, having been born just after the war started.

(Mrs) Sylvia A. Graham
Crook, Co. Durham

Your questions

I have noticed recently that some Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops and priests are wearing their stole on top of their chasuble rather than under it. What is the significance of this?

I have participated in many services with an ecumenical dimension, and have often seen Methodist and United Reformed Church ministers wearing cassocks, stoles, cassock-albs, and even copes, but never once have I seen any wearing a surplice or cotta. Is there some reason for this?  G. S.

This year the Feast of the Annunciation is transferred from 25 March to 8 April; should we therefore transfer Christmas Day to 8 January? R. P.

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG. questions@churchtimes.co.uk

We ask readers not to send us letters for forwarding, and those giving answers to provide full name, address, and, if possible, telephone number.


Sun 26 Jun @ 03:48
Photo story: Music and mission https://t.co/NjVA6RMLIy

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