To say that the CMAA Colloquim so far is an astounding and encouraging thing would be to mislead by understatement.
The addresses by Dr Mahrt, the Masses and other liturgies led by Fathers Pasley, Haynes et al have been richly prayerful, and experiences of great beauty.
This latter not in spite of, but I might almost say because of the lack of ability, knowledge and experience of many of us.
I think those who grew up without the blessing of being one of an enormous passle (litter? ;oP) of brothers and sisters lack a basic metaphor for how the rest of life works.
It has been like a family treks from childhood, I vaguely know where we're heading, and why, but like my four year-old self on the beach at the Jersey shore or trudging through snow at Rigg's Christmas tree farm, I stumble, I turn the wrong way, I get tired and sulky and sit down in the middle of nowhere -- and there is a sister stretching out a hand to help me (drag me?) along, a brother to put someones shoe back on, another sibling to suddenly point excitedly to the now- in- sight goal, a parent to carry the one who just ran out of steam.
The psalms this morning at Lauds were particularly badly sung by most of us on the women's side and it was quite marvelous how the more skilled among us came to the aid of those like me.
By the way, I am having vocal difficulties so I decided not to go to this morning's chant class, because I would not have been able to shut up, (David is SUCH a fine, enthusiasm-generating chant master,) and I need to stop singing for at least a half day -- just giving a my-dog-ate-my-graduale excuse for being online.
I'm genuinely regretful, because our schola is singing the Sequence at this morning's Requiem Mass, and I know I'll likely never get the opportunity again.
Which brings me to the title of this post.
Yesterday's Mass was almost unbearable, it so gladdened my heart...
I'm the emotional equivalent of a piece of really stale filled chocolate, mind you -- crusty on the outside and virtually liquid on the in-, I tear up easily, at beauty, at sentiments of all stripe, but this was utterly different - at the dismissal I suddenly found myself weeping like Tonya Harding with a busted skate-lace, like Meryl Streep putting in an Oscar bid; weeping, weeping, weeping, scalding tears absolutely streaming down my face.
And every time we arrived at one particular phrase in the strophic closing hymn, (there were a few angelic voiced sopranos a row or two behind me,) the tears would start up again.
This is shaping up as quite a week.