Monday, 22 October 2007

The Gate of Glory

The October sunshine catching the Baldacchino early yesterday morning.

2 comments:

Recusant said...

Have to say that the 10.30 Mass yesterday was a beautiful and wondrous thing.

I am always apprehensive about modern compositions but Judith Bingham's Mass setting was superb and mysterious. It gave exactly the right tone of transcendence and almost 'not-of-this-worldliness'.

As for James Macmillan's Offertory Motet. It physically moved me; an effect that was enhanced by the sunlight streaming through onto the altar and you, wreathed in clouds of incense, so that one felt that one was almost touching the divine.
You conducted the Novus Ordo (or Ordinary Rite as I suppose we must get used to calling it)superbly, as you always do. The only thing that could have improved it would have been if you could have been conducting the service at the High Altar, so that we could of all have been as one, facing towards and praising the Risen Lord.

James A said...

Yes indeed - Sunday's celebration did have a particularly prayerful intensity for all of the reasons given by recusant and the Cathedral remains an exemplar of Ordinary Rite done beautifully. Going forward for the Sacrament just as Mawby's Ave Verum reached a crescendo really did give a clear feeling of approaching the gates of heaven.

We must continually thank the Lord (and perhaps the vigilance of the present Administrator and his predecessors) that the Cathedral sanctuary has not been brutally 'reordered'.

Whilst the newer portable altar is appropriately sober and dignified, I too occasionally wonder about greater use of the High Altar under its magnificent baldacchino. It seems a shame that it is only dusted down for the LMS masses, when it is so splendidly the intended architectural and liturgical focus of the building.

That said, given that the Cathedral has an important role as a liturgical example for the country as well as the archdiocese, one can imagine that much, perhaps too much, would be read into its turning ad orientem.

Still, whether versus populum or ad orientem, one certainly hopes that other parishes may continue to learn from such beautiful liturgies as we had last Sunday!