Heaven on Earth

Argent and I were both in attendance at our diocese’s only Tridentine Indult parish yesterday afternoon, me in the choir loft, her down below in the assembly. It was an incredibly moving experience for me to sing Mozart in its proper setting rather than as “special music” during Communion or the Presentation of the Gifts in our run-of-the-mill Pauline Mass. I’m not an emotional person, but I almost wept during the Sanctus/Benedictus when our choir’s beautiful soprano sang a solo that, in musical perfection, left no doubt as to the holiness of the Lamb of God, there present in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

I left completely confused as to why anyone could possibly prefer Haugen’s Mass of Creation to Mozart. I also left convinced, as I always am after going to a Tridentine Mass, that we lost something invaluable with the “reforms” of the ’60’s and ’70’s.

Check out Argent’s reflections on the Mass:

The Mass moves forward and then the drama of the altar began–the incense, the music, yes, it is indeed fitting and right, our duty and our salvation to give thanks to you, O Holy Father. Agnus Dei…Lamb of God we remember your Passion, your Sacrifice, You, Victim most Holy, most Perfect, Bread of Eternal Life. At the altar rail I knelt, knowing of my unworthiness to receive such a gift, humbled that my God should come to me as Bread upon my tongue. For this I am thankful for the veil that covers my head–I am in the presence of the holy.

I returned to my pew and knelt, such a simple action denied to us in my parish in obedience to diocesan norms, but so right after the gift of so great a magnitude. All too soon, the Mass comes to a close, Salve, Regina is chanted, the prayer that was my companion in my conversion into the Church. Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. The tears that had been held back finally trickled down my cheeks. Sweet Virgin Mary, bid me to go into the world again, your Precious Son within me, if only for this brief moment.

We emerge out into the late afternoon sun, the brisk breeze helping to lift the veil off my head. Father imparts a blessing as we shake hands. How do I return to my ordinary existence after that?


1 Response to “Heaven on Earth”

  1. 1 Argent May 9, 2007 at 6:58 am

    The choir sang beautifully. And you chanted ‘Salve’ very well. It’s one of my favorites.

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