Thursday, March 5, 2015

The rich musical beauty of Lent

For years, we attended a parish where the music during Lent was sparse and nearly austere.  It was like being in the desert for the senses; the water of the Holy Water fonts was replaced with sand, no incense was used (well, to be fair, no incense was *ever* used in that parish...), and there was very, very little singing.

The parish we attend now is not that way.  Not at all.

I am so grateful.

Lent is enough of a desert.  We are mindful moreso of our eat and drink.  We practice personal sacrifice and mortification.  We give more than usual, and hopefully until it hurts.

And the liturgical beauty is incredibly, incredibly rich.

The Kyrie is chanted like this.  The men intone (sing first) the Kyrie, then the people.  Then the women sing the Christi Eleison, and then the people.  Then the men again, and then the people.  It's beautiful, and our whole parish sings with great fervor.

The Credo is chanted like this.  And yeah, it totally adds to the length of Mass.  By an entire five minutes.  And we like it!!

We always have a beautiful choral anthem: this past Sunday, we sang Morten Lauridson's O Nata Lux.  The week before, we sang one of the choruses from Handel's Messiah.

The Mass parts are chanted as well.  And the Pater Noster--the Our Father--is also chanted, like this.

And if I can put my hands on a link for the stunning choral Agnus Dei that we sing during Lent, I'll post that link here as well.

I cannot for the life of me think how in the world, with such a musical feast before our souls, how one would choose to go without.  There are surely enough sufferings to be had.  To have a taste of Heaven at the Mass...well, isn't that the point?

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