Good news to report from the ongoing efforts to bring greater reverence and beauty to the liturgy here in St. Louis. Last night I attended Vespers at St. Gabriel the Archangel parish in the city. The feast in the new calendar was that of the Holy Archangels. Hence, St. Gabriel's parish taking this as its patronal feast, instead of the traditional date of March 24-- St. Gabriel.
(As an aside, as I commented on another blog, this is one of the revisions to the calendar that irritates me the most. Instead of celebrating each Archangel's feast on his proper day, they are lumped together, diluting the opportunity for the faithful to venerate, and learn about, each in his turn. There seem to be enough empty days on a fairly denuded calender in the cycle B, year II, 23rd Wednesday near the last Sunday of Ordinary Time to give each one a feast, don't you think? But, back on point...)
This Solemn Vespers was a testimony to the fact that much is possible, right now, to increase the beauty and solemnity of the liturgy in the typical parish. Fr. Lockwood, an associate at the parish, led the Vespers and Benediction. The music was exceptionally well-done, composed in English by Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB, of the Archdiocese's Institute of Sacred Music. The music was well presented by the parish music director, choir, and cantors from the parish and the seminary.
Moreover, it was well attended, with about 200 people (maybe more, I didn't do a head count) and well-received. On the way out, I heard lots of positive comments, among all age groups. A very encouraging sign.
And another sign of the good work of Fr. Weber can be found today at New Liturgical Movement. The liturgy can always be celebrated correctly, with reverence, giving due worship to God. It is great to be in an Archdiocese that seems to be among the leaders of the restoration so badly needed.