Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Can Dream, Can't I?

I’m dreaming of an episcopal ordination at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City, Oregon…

No harm in dreaming…except that it makes reality a little tougher to swallow, maybe.

Anyway…consider this:

The Cathedral is beautiful: there are those wonderful stained glass windows, and some remnants of the past glory of traditional architectural and artistic elements. There's a choir loft. It's even possible to have Mass celebrated ad orientem in the Cathedral.

Now, if we put a nice antependium on the altar, another degree of reverence would be added. We did that once, for a Mass in the extraordinary form:

It's a purple antependium, for the record!

As for the music: just over the hill in La Grande, only 45 miles away, there lives a world-renowned composer of sacred music who is also a professor of music at Eastern Oregon University. This is Dr. Leandro Espinosa. He was one of 60 artists from throughout the world chosen to submit a musical composition for the celebration of Pope Benedict XVI’s 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. See this news story about him.

Has this composer and professor of music ever been consulted about sacred liturgical music for the local churches? I’m thinking…not.

La Grande is also home to the Grande Ronde Symphony. And who do you suppose is the director of this symphony? Why, it’s none other than Dr. Leandro Espinosa!

The Grande Ronde Symphony has performed at the Cathedral annually for the past 7 or 8 years, I believe. At these performances, some of the compositions are sacred music; however, not everything the Symphony performs fits into that genre, which means that there are some aspects of their presentation in the Cathedral that do not meet the standards for “music outside of Mass in a Cathedral”. And this photo of the musicians packed into the sanctuary does make me cringe...

Nevertheless, they can provide sacred music, and seem to be willing to do so.

So I’m picturing an ordination with a symphony orchestra providing the Mass ordinary; and I know there are at least three women in La Grande who are able to sing Gregorian chant propers…not to mention that we could import a few members of the Schola of the Society of St. Gregory the Great!

Now I'm imagining an introit like this:

And so on...  

I can dream, can't I?

1 comment:

  1. I am still in shock as how we lost so much cultural wealth, the whole Christian heritage almost went to the dogs. God bless.


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