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Monday, 3 November 2008

Et lux perpetua luceat eis

That may be the single most moving liturgy in which I have ever participated.
Thank you, Fr Phillips and the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, thank you, Fr Regis, for that magnificent homily, thank you Fr Talarico for priming the pump (the Mass on TV this morning was also very affecting, and his sermon was excellent, remembering the forgotten, connecting the souls in purgatory with the souls of 48 million Holy Innocents, very thought provoking,) thank you choir and orchestra, thank you whoever played the Barber Adagio.....
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

(Oh, and Himself reminds me, thank you, W A Mozart.... he says your setting of the requiem Mass sung AT an actual Mass, is on a par with the Grand Canyon, for sheer simple proof of the existence of God.)

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
And the one in my own skin....
And Souls of the Faithful Departed? when you get where you're going, could you spare a prayer for me?

At my Father's funeral when I was a kid, there were three or four organists in the loft, none could play long without tearing up to the point where they could not see.
I think that was the first time I'd ever heard the Barber.
It was perfect.
It was almost unbearable tonight.
I'd never seen the... catafalque? is that what it's called? before.
It was all very stirring.
The range of emotions... "covered" by the propers of the requiem are quite astounding -- and I'd never have encountered them before if I hadn't "been into" classical music. And I never before, well, before this year (for there was the CMAA Colloquium in June,) had encountered them in the context for which they are intended.
Why did the liturgical establishment of the past 40 years think they either needed to, or HAD THE ABILITY TO reinvent the wheel?

2 comments:

Dad29 said...

Yes, it's a catafalque.

Try the rest of the Requiems: Faure, Verdi, Britten, Durufle--even the Brahms or the "purposed" Britten...

Roger Wagner used to try to motivate his choral-seminar participants to "method-sing" the Kyrie. He'd ask them to imagine that they were suspended by a spider's thread above Hell--and the only way to avoid Hell was to sing Kyrie Eleison as though they actually meant it...

Of course, that was when there WAS Hell.

Scelata said...

Oh, I've sung them all, except the Britten, but never in context.
And the Berlioz, which for my money has the most hair-raising Dies Irae, talk about putting the Fear of God into you....
Well, of course, it and the Verdi would be impossible in the context of an actual Liturgy.
The Verdi rightly is called his greatest opera.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

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