It was in August 1986 that a search committee led by then Dean Jim Cruickshank invited Rupert Lang to come to Christ Church Cathedral from West Vancouver United Church. Rupert was uniquely qualified to be Cathedral Organist and Director of Music, having grown up in the Anglican Church (his father was a priest) and having studied at the Royal School of Church Music and at Cambridge University with the renowned organist and choral director George Guest. His first few years were tumultuous ones at the Cathedral as Dean Cruickshank introduced big changes to the liturgical life of the congregation by combining two morning services (9:30am and 11:15am) into one service at 10:30am. The two liturgies had very different musical styles and Rupert was charged with finding settings that might appeal to those who loved traditional music and those who loved contemporary song. Of course he did this by writing something new altogether and the mass setting Terra Nova which will be the mass setting at September 25 10:30am Celebration of the Eucharist was his effort to bring these worlds together. Even 20+ years later, to my ears, it sounds fresh and still intrigues listeners with its combination of melody and electronic music.
There's much more that can be said about Rupert - but he is the first to move 'out of the spotlight' preferring to see his role as enabling community song in service of the worship of God. After the 10:30am liturgy there will be a festive celebration in the Cathedral Chancel, and at 3pm the choir will offer Choral Evensong.
I am delighted that Bishop Michael Ingham will be with us to preach at evensong.