Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sung Mass


Last Sunday our College Schola under the direction of Bernard Kirkpatrick sang the 11.00am Mass at Parramatta Cathedral - its first Mass outside the College. The Schola is just visible in the photo above at the end of the "nave". Their singing was suberb and many in the Cathedral were were struck by the beauty and of their singing and the style of the music - Polyphony and Chant are now so seldom heard by Catholic congregations. The Schola was very well supported by staff and students in the congregation and "sanctuary". Afterwards we repaired to the park by the river for a BBQ. This is a date we should certainly repeat.
You will have noticed that I have placed the words nave and sanctuary in inverted commas - well, it is hard to identify either in Parramatta Cathedral. This new edifice was opened five years ago after a fire destroyed the old Cathedral and, although it fits into the Parramatta skyline, it is hard to see how the Church fits into it.
I concelebrated the Sung Mass and had the experience of what it would be like saying Mass in the entrance to a museum or a new railway station. This Cathedral was clearly built to express the secular and I wonder how its regular congregation will fare as the years pass by.

2 comments:

Sharon said...

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is supposed to be a reenactment of the worship of God offered in heaven. In earlier times the money of the people used to go to creating buildings which gave the congregation some impression of the ineffable beauty and majesty of heaven. When one stepped into those churches one immediately became aware that this was 'holy ground.'

I don't have this impression of many of the newer church buildings. I think that 'entrance to a museum or a new railway station' says it well as do the words of St Mary Magdalen 'they have taken my Lord away and I don't know where they have put Him.'

torchofthefaith said...

Dear Father

One word - Nihilism...

Funnily enough, this being the Feast of St. Josaphat we've just posted some pictures of the majestic Basilica dedicated to his honour over in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

We were blessed to visit this beautiful, House of God in 2004. The interior raises the memory, intellect and will to the Lord.

God Bless
Alan and Angeline