Monday, May 04, 2009

Rome: Orchestral Mass for Pentecost

NLM says:

Kölner Dommusik (Cologne Cathedral Music) is reporting that by means of "a generous gesture of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI" the Papal Mass of Pentecost Sunday will honour the 200th anniversary of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn that same day (Sunday, May 31st), by way of the use of a Haydn orchestral Mass setting for that Mass.The music will be performed by the Cologne Cathedral Choir and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra and the latter report that the Mass setting will be Haydn's Missa Solemnis in B-flat major (Harmoniemesse).

So the Holy Father is celebrating a Mass accompanied by an orchestra, which is interesting, for those of my generation who were taught that "actual participation" meant you physically had to join in the ordinary of the Mass, the Kyrie, Gloria etc.

That is not going to happen in Rome this Pentecost, but a deeper participation, "in beauty" is going to take place. Listening to the Mozart Requiem as a teenager put to flight a growing agnosticism in me.

I believe because of beauty.


berenike said...

Mozart, Haydn, Rheinberger - inculturation. It should stay where it came from :-)

Ches said...

I must have sung the Dies Irae a hundred times - no joking - but it wasn't until I listened to Mozart's setting that I began to understand it.

Malcolm Kemp said...

I think it was Dostoeyvsky who said that the world will be saved by beauty. (Think of the fuss made over the bombing of Dresden because of its beauty.) We often confuse participation with busy-ness and action. Being still and lisgening with one's ears is a valid way of worshipping and participating but we are frightened of being still and letting our thoughts be influenced by what is going on around us in case we are led where we would rather not be led. Being still - rather lke being silent - makes so many people feel uncomfortable with and about themselves.

That is not to say that actively participating by joining in everything is not equally valid; surely there is a place for both. As a church musician I greatly value opportunities for worshipping without constantly having to be doing things and worrying about what happens next.

Crux Fidelis said...

Well said, Malcolm.