30 September 2009

Wednesday Morning Recap

Good morning, everyone, from the high-tech nerve center of Saint Louis Catholic.

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.


Anonymous said...

The translation of the feast of St. Gabriel is one of the worst mistakes in the calendar, in my opinion; it formerly preceded Annunciation by a day, therefore showing us the relation of St. Gabriel to Our Lady's "fiat".

pfinley said...

Oh for the day when Fr Weber makes his way to the Northeast Deanery. Of course a truly modern mass is well rooted in the area. Not that a modern approach to worship is bad, in the right context. But honestly, chant is done at my parish once a year. It will be a struggle I fear in the deanery. I suspect if anywhere, it will be at Fr. Keller's parish, I hear he is doing wonderful things there.

To our Pastor's credit, he is Chanting the Preface to the Eucharistic prayer. I just wish we could get rid of some of the lollipop music, and I am a cantor, I can attest first hand, though I am not the music director. Unfortunately, the attitude is "Oh we have more people at mass from it"... which we really dont

And naturally, MORE people sing the chant responses then the happy clappy music. That goes without saying though

Anonymous said...

It's a 3 for 1 sale! I agree lumping the 3 of them is not right. Each deserves his own feast day. Our angel churches are not named in one big lump...arg.

the lollipop music...oh yeah. My husband and I are church music folks....Ray Repp, music issue, Glory & Praise (little paperbacks), gather etc. For a while we were "providing music" for both the Vat II Mass and the Latin Mass (when the Latin Mass shared the church). Now we are exclusive Latin Mass - Old St Patick's Oratory in KC. I do not miss the "oh the people want to hear this", when they would come up to me after Mass, "when will we do...or can you sing a Latin hymn". Mostly the oldy goldy kind requests. And yes, they chanted when I did a english chant Mass setting. More so than the Marty Haugen-das dribble.

Martha in KC