Thursday, November 3, 2011

Witnessing the summit of civilization can be quite moving! Mass set to Mozart's Requiem at the Brompton Oratory

From A Reluctant Sinner:

Mozart's Requiem - the original manuscript
I was going to write about two of my favourite saints this evening, Martin de Porres and Winifred - both have their respective feasts tomorrow. But I cannot write - well, cannot write anything that requires effort. I am too dumbfounded to think. I need to go to bed. But before I retire for the night, I just want to share something with you.

This evening witnessed one of the most profound moments of my entire life. I beheld, in an immediate and very real way, the height of human civilization. I also tasted the eternal and awe-inspiring nature of our Catholic liturgy, made manifest in that way which makes it the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven. Where had I been, and what had I seen and heard? Well, I had attended the Brompton Oratory's Solemn Mass for All Souls, set to the orchestral version of Mozart's Requiem.

I go to the Oratory often, weekly in fact. Like many others, I am well aware that this church offers a liturgical standard that is rarely, if ever, found anywhere else in the world. I also know that the Oratory's Choir is amongst the best in the land. Of course, along with most men and women, I am familiar, too, with Mozart's Requiem - his religious master-piece, which was finished by Franz Xaver Süssmayr. It has inspired me since my youth. But, the combination of liturgical excellence and one of the finest musical compositions the world has ever heard meant that tonight even the Oratory's surpassed itself... (continued)

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