January 20, 2008

Kyrie Eleison

My favorite Kyrie in the entire world is the Kyrie from Charles Gounod's Messe solennelle e Sainte Cecile . During Advent just past, I listened to that Kyrie in a continuous loop in my car. When times get tough, I turn to the St. Cecile and listen to it over and over and over. Sure, the underlying violins can seem repetitively annoying at times but the way the voices just creep in and build, increase and retreat. Oh, I can't stand it! I'm no musicologist but I know what I like and I know what moves me.

Today, I got to hear the Mass "live" at St. Agnes in St. Paul. I saw it was on the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale's program for the Mass today and there was no way I'd miss the opportunity to hear it live.

It's at times like that, sitting there, quietly in the pew, with the music of the ages pouring into my heart, that I know exactly why so many from that parish have given themselves to Christ. No words are needed.

The Coadjutor Archbishop, John Nienstedt, was there as well. He sat in choir and he delivered the Homily. Today, was the celebration (a day early) of the parish patron, St. Agnes. His Excellency remembered the late Monsignor Schuler in his homily. He also reminded us to look to St. Agnes as a model of chastity and virtue in hedonistic times.

I needed all of it. I'm glad I was there.


Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Hey! I wanted to go to that Mass! I spoke with a seminarian from St. Agnes this last wee, and he invited me to go (to St. Agnes, not with him!) for Mass because of that music.

I was actually going to see if you wanted to go, figuring you would, but as it turned out, for different reasons I wasn't able to be down there for that.

Some other time though. Maybe during Lent...I would love to experience a solemn lenten Mass with its subdued tones.

January 20, 2008 3:55 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I'm jealous!

January 20, 2008 4:26 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...

I'm glad you liked that mass, which is a favorite of mine as well. Personally, I think the Gloria is even more breathtaking than the Kyrie. It's a lovely, lush piece - no surprise that he also wrote "Romeo et Juliette," which the Minnesota Opera is doing later this month. (I do have some question as to whether or not it's too long for liturgical use, but that's another question.)

Are you familar with the Kyrie from Bach's B Minor Mass? A profound piece, particularly the first and third movements (the two Kyrie refrains; the Christe is OK, but it doesn't have the impact of the other two). Of course, that's a remarkable piece anyway, witness the "Et Incarnatus Est" from the Credo. It has a solumnity and foreshadowing that is usually not present in this normally joyous movement. As someone once said, this movement was written from the perspective of Christ on the Cross, the Baby born to die for our sins; thus, knowing the fate that awaits Him, He sees it somewhat differently than we do.

Just a little classical music digression. But then, is there a better way for the senses to experience the glory of God?


January 20, 2008 6:41 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I'd love that. It's a date.

Adrienne: You can buy a CD of the St. Agnes Twin Cities Catholic Chorale doing the Gounod Mass from Leaflet Missal Company. leafletonline.com

Mitchell: I love the Gloria from St. Cecile too! Yes, the Mass is long but I don't think it's too long. Maybe it helps to be a music lover? That's probably a whole other post. I'm a Mass in B Minor fan too but I still like the Kyrie from the Gounod better. I enjoy the St. Matthew Passion. Too bad, he was a Lutheran. :-) Ah, Bach. I could talk Bach all day. Really.

January 20, 2008 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Tom and Katie said...

Which is why we never attend the 10AM concert at St. Agnes...

January 20, 2008 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful..

January 20, 2008 10:57 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

TomKat: I'm sure it was because you'd be mobbed-by the Knights that is.

Jackie: It was.

January 21, 2008 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, now you've gone and made me all homesick.... I missed being at the home parish today! But I'll be back in two weeks, singing up in the St. Agnes loft, and I guess I DID get to visit St. Agnes herself for Mass today. ;-)

January 21, 2008 10:54 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Thanks, Cathy - I forgot about the CD's that were available. I also have some Victoria picked out on Amazon.

January 21, 2008 2:06 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adrienne: I think you'd enjoy them!

QM: I'll trade places with you!
:-) Well, can I go without having to do all your homework?

January 21, 2008 7:54 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...


Gounod's Messe solennelle e Sainte Cecile is right up my alley!! I wish something like that was done here in Vegas.

I guess the Twin Cities is the place to be for serious liturgical music.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to contact the diocese tomorrow and inquire if performances like that one you attended are available here, and if not then why NOT???

January 21, 2008 7:57 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Tom: Good plan. Keep us posted.

January 21, 2008 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe we might make an exception to the homework rule...especially if you're not interested in the degree! ;-)

January 22, 2008 4:58 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

QM: Can I get the degree without the homework? No? I did not think so. *sigh* :-)

January 22, 2008 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can take the classes without the homework...does that count?

January 23, 2008 12:46 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

QM: I have too much pride to get an: "F" especially in a Catholic program! Yikes!

January 23, 2008 6:01 AM  

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