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Thursday, 28 June 2012

"Peace be With You"

The CMAA Colloquium seems to reach new heights by the moment! So much that has been moving, exciting, illuminating....

(I am so very, very fortunate to be here.)
(If it weren't for the kind and gracious and generous Himself, I wouldn't be....)

Last night as I collapsed into my bed, (my wonderful bed.... Little America is a delight, and their staff outstandingly gracious,) I was startled to realize that it was only the second full day of the Colloquium, so much has been given us, and done for us. (My only quibble, I wish I could go St Joseph Cupertino one, or three better, to attend multiple break-out sessions - PLEASE presenters, if you can, get your hand-outs and summaries and outlines online for us poor souls who can only be in one place at a time!)

The Choristers of the Madeleine are a wondrous thing; Paul Ford, (I want a case of whatever vitamins he's taking....) gave  the most marvelous presentation, (seeing him and Mons Wadsworth together was truly a wonderful moment,)... oh, and I wouldn't be me if I didn't mention the outstanding output of Epic Brewing Company.
Memories of their Brainless Belgian would keep me warm through a Chicago winter.

And today's Mass offered such an excellent homily, erudite and scholarly but utterly accessible, (even to a scatter-brain like me,) NOT going over the same well-trod ground, as so many do, basically providing little but a rehash of the day's the Gospel story in other words.

Why do so many preachers think their only option for a text is the Gospel, or once in a rare while one of Paul's letters?

ANY text of the Mass is fit subject. Why not a collect once in a while? And Lord knows, we could pretty much all stand to have many parts of the Ordinary explained to us.

I had never thought about why a bishop's, or the Pope's greeting is different from a priests -- and to have it all tied in to the Saint whose memorial we observed, and the Introit and the Paschal mystery, and.... well, it was all just beyond what I could hope for.

Anyway, Fr Nicholls of the Birmingham oratory is a treasure, a treasure. (The fact that he has superb diction and a silky voice for the presidential chants ain't nothin' to sneeze at either.)

Oh, and speaking of chants, who sang the dismissal today? I don't think I recognized the voice of Fr Pasley who proclaimed the Gospel so stirringly, but whoever it was, his chanting was very fine.

And I haven't even mentioned the scholae, the polyphonic choirs, the brilliant directors, and the oft-times thrilling postludes. (We really have world-class organists at this thing.)

My knee is giving me trouble, (old football injury ;oD) and there are stairs a plenty at the Cathedral, and even sidewalks that seem relatively flat around here are a bit of an incline, so I've blown off the organ crawl last night, which I REALLY wanted to attend, and I'm on the verge of thinking I just can't bring myself to walk up to the tram, to get back to the Cathedral to hear what promises to be an awfully good recital.

Next year?

Oh, I almost forgot -- one of the finest things so far was a plenary address by Gregory Glenn, the Director of Music at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and founder of their stupendous choir school really exhilarating. Besides the nuts and bolts of at least a little of how he managed the extraordinary feat he has accomplished, (really, you must hear this choir,) his emphasis on why we do this, what the end of all this is was.... well, it was heart-filling.

Is that a word?

Well, my heart is full.

The Liturgy will save us.

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