Public singing feels very strange in the current Covid-19 world, and more so since the virus spread widely before Christmas. However, for the new year, Fr. Mark has asked for a sung Gloria (in Latin). We settled on the Gloria VIII (de angelis) plainchant taken from the Roman Missal, as it’s not overly complicated. I’m getting used to it now, but for the first week I found my vocal chords to be extremely ‘rusty’ as I’ve not sung in a public space for a good 9 months.
Singing by small groups is actually permitted by government guidelines (the Southwark Cathedral choir have been singing at Sunday Masses since before Christmas), so for safety we follow RSCM guidelines and sing from the organ loft with me facing away from the congregation towards the organ (it gets a thorough cleaning after Mass!) and our cantor (my wife) stood right at the back of the choir loft wearing a perspex visor. This puts us a good 3m from the front edge of the loft, and well above the congregation. I only use quiet stops on the swell for the chant accompaniment so we don’t need to sing too loudly.