Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Evangelical Power of Beauty

Over at Amy Welborn's "Charlotte Was Both" she has a post called 7 Quick Takes, which I take it is a regular feature. (Haven't visited her blog in quite a while and had forgotten which name was current, AAMOF.)

Tried to comment on one of the "takes," talking about the Colloquium, and mildly chiding the typical, (both of non-musicians and of instrumentalists,) mild slur of failing to acknowledge that singers are musicians whose instruments happen to be built in.

One of the other takes was about a concert, alas, not Mass, at the cathedral:

Speaking of music in our cathedral, this past Monday the cathedral hosted the debut performance of a new (independent) music group in town, the Highland Consort, specializing in Renaissance Polyphony. It was a stunning performance. We sat in the rear of the main center aisles, which were full, it seemed to me.
As I sat there, I listened and I also watched people listening. And I thought, “This is evangelization.“ Because why? Because there during that hour you have a few hundred people sitting in a Catholic church listening to Catholic sacred music (the program had all the lyrics in Latin and English – easily understood), and you could see people, as the music flowed over them, letting their gaze wander around the church.
They watched the ensemble, but that’s not all they saw. Their heads turned, their necks craned as they looked around at the saints in the stained glass, up at the ceiling painting, over at the paintings of the sacramental symbols in the sanctuary, at the altar, the statues of Mary, Joseph, St. John Vianney and St. Paul…there were not only in a church, but they were in the midst of the Church, surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, some silent, some beautifully audible, past and present, transcending time and space, surrounded by the proclamation of the Good News in visual art, music, symbol, structure and hospitality, and guess what….all were welcome.

Beautiful music, in a beautiful place.  It seems like such a simple concept, albeit not so simply applied, we must admit.
But the idea itself seems obvious -- why is it so hard to get some people to acknowledge it?

The last three words of the quote had me started on an altogether different post, but I resist the temptation.
Let me just say, the recently ended synod has given rise to posts, and editorials and articles all over - what about ME? why didn't the bishops mention MY situation? I don't want special attention, I just want a little special attention.

Feelings can't be argued with, if you feel "unwelcomed," you feel unwelcomed.

But there are people who make a hobby of it....

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