Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday in Chicago

Yesterday we celebrated the Eucharist in the extraordinary form (Tridentine). It was interesting and not without a compelling beauty. However, I figure that I was about only one of two priests who were present who actually remember and had lived the old liturgy, even if in my case it was only for a brief time.

I felt that the priest who was doing it really didn't have it down pat. He was rather stiff, as were all of the younger priests assisting. Time and repetition will, I hope, remedy this. In the meantime, I found it distracting.

Yesternight, Father Frank Phillips, CR, pastor of St. John Cantius (see picture above) presented us with an overview of his experience in maintaining and fostering the treasury of the Church's sacred music at his parish. Frank and I had an all-too-brief sharing before the talk. Today, Michael and I are going to play hooky and go to St. John's for a tour. I've been there several times, but I want Michael to enjoy it.

This afternoon there is a session on reforming the role of the cantor at 3:45. If anything needs reforming in the musical life of the Church it is the cantor. I believe that I have it well-regulated at Holy Redeemer, but I am interested to hear what they have to say. I am like that woman in the story by Flannery O'Connor (can't remember the name of it offhand) who was described as one 'who never had any ideas of her own, but was always able to use those of others so well that she never felt the lack.' Like a little bee, I have gone through life taking a little bit here and there. There is hardly anyone that I've encountered from whom I haven't learned something. Some good, some not so good.

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