Sunday, September 1, 2013

Have we forgotten Beauty?

I've been made aware that the All Saints Parish Chant Schola has been temporarily moved to the Saturday of the first Sunday of the Month, for September (yesterday), October and November, hence: October 5 (Vigil, 27th Sun in Ordinary Time), and November 2 (Vigil, 31st Sun in Ordinary Time).

Apparently, the Chant Schola will be evaluated (via a survey) to see if they will be allowed to continue to serve the parish. Imagine that.

If you don't already know, this dedicated group of volunteer parishioners has been quietly singing and working for some time bring the beauty and reverence of Gregorian Chant to ASP. Recently, a Latin Mass Society was formed to bring the beauty and richness of our liturgical heritage to the parish on a regular basis.

Just for good measure, here is a first-installment article about the Traditional Latin Mass (sometimes called the Old Mass or the Vetus Ordo or the Extraordinary Form) from the folks at the New Liturgical Movement website. Whatever it is called, it is the Mass that is/was said for centuries by priests in the Roman Rite. From the article:

"But most memorable for me, though, were the times when someone would sort of stumble into our little chapel by accident, when Mass was going on, and I would hear weeping behind me.  Oft-times, I would have no server, and sometimes no congregation when I started the Mass, so I would simply be unaware that anyone had come in to the chapel. Until I turned around for the “Ecce Agnus Dei” at the people’s Communion, I did not know whose sobs I had been hearing.  After Mass, the explanation of these impromptu visitors was almost always the same:  “Father, I haven’t seen this Mass in thirty (or forty) years.  I have forgotten how beautiful it is.”  This was a Low Mass, without any of the grandeur of the Sung Mass or the Solemn High Mass.  But people remembered how intensely God-centered it was, how awesome it presented the Mercy of God and the call to holiness---how it invited one to such humility before the omnipotence of God...I heard the same thing from visitors to our Sunday liturgies, but over the years something dramatic has begun to happen.

One now hears these things from people who have no experience of the old liturgy at all from their earlier years.
(Emphasis mine)

The same thing is at work:  The beauty of the chant, the lingering odor of incense, which permeates one’s clothing and reminds one that they’ve been to Mass, the dignity and beauty and the color of vestments and altar furnishings, the “littleness” of kneeling to receive the Lord on one’s knees at Communion time---all these things tell of something great.

The Old Mass changes hearts."

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