Thoughts on the Madison Square Garden Mass
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,860
    The program for this evening's Mass offered by Pope Francis at Madison Square Garden is at
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,860
    First, a note about language:

    In the Mass Pope Francis prayed Eucharistic Prayer II in Latin, which made me wonder if it might be a bit of a landmark: perhaps the first time in decades a Pope visiting the US has given a public example of celebrating in Latin.

    I don't mean to say that it was surely intended as a statement. It may simply have been the way for the Pope to say the anaphora in the more dignified way possible, given his level of proficiency in English.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,860
    I was also pleased to hear the Gregorian Communion antiphon sung, apparently with all its verses, by a men's schola, unaccompanied.
  • Cogratulations to Dr. Donelson and the seminarians from St. Joseph’s on their participation.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen G Ben Yanke
  • Blaise
    Posts: 423
    On top of the other things already mentioned, I am glad to hear the Pater Noster sung, chanted by the faithful and the Holy Gospel chanted by the deacon. And "How Lovely are Your Dwelling Place".
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,860
    Video of the Mass is on-line at
  • Too bad this wasn't first on the tour. Would've set the bar high!
  • Congrats to the entire NY music team on a fantastic job!
  • That was by far the most worthily celebrated Mass of the tour (apart from the raucous applause). Figures it would be in Madison Square Garden!
  • cmb
    Posts: 62
    Very nice. All-Latin ordinary, aside from the polyphonic Agnus Dei in Spanish. I won't regurgitate the cantor/song leader discussion from last night, except to say at least they weren't off as terribly today.

    Was the group chanting the Communio the seminary choir?

    Unfortunate that the last verse of the recessional (with a lovely descant) was interrupted by the stadium announcer giving exit instructions.

    Also, while we are used to seeing "celebrity" singers at papal liturgies, this is the first time I recall a celebrity lector.
  • The 9-fold Kyrie was nice, combining congregational chant and polyphony. I was especially pleased to hear the chanted Communio and the Pater Noster. Overall, very well done!
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 270
    It never occurred to me that the Sanctus from Proulx's Community Mass could be used with the Latin text. Just humming through it, it more or less seems to work. It almost makes me wonder whether he might have originally written it in Latin.

    Also, Mo Rocca as the lector? That certainly is a surprise.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Now having watched the DC and Phily Masses as well as other Masses outside of Rome this pope has celebrated, I think we can definitively conclude that NY stands above the rest.
  • Haven't yet seen the Mass in Philadelphia, but I have to echo the rest in saying NYC's music was so much better than the mish-mash we heard in DC - just like when Benedict XVI visited the two cities in 2008. I think at all the Masses in both NYC and Philly he's saying the Eucharistic Prayer in Latin - a prudent move based on the fact that he doesn't quite have the control of the English language his predecessors had.

    As for Mo Rocca being the reader - whoever made that decision will have to account for it in his particular judgment.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I think we can definitively conclude that NY stands above the rest.

    Which New Yawk? St. Pat's or MSGarden?
    And had D. Cdl. Wuerl wanted the best foot forward, he could have just done the sensible thing and leave the music/liturgy in the hands of the Blue Quire, P.e.r.i.o.d.

    MJO, what does it mean when you post a yellow rectangle?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,860
    I've been wondering about those posts of MJO's too, though on my PC they appear as a yellow rectangle.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Same here, MJO.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn

  • Who would ever have dreamed that Vigiles et Sancti could (or would! - with a straight face, yet!) be taken at such a rapid and insouciantly skip-to-my-loo pace? Then, there was that by-now de rigueur warbling cantrix, complete with microphone. I suppose someone will proffer that this is the Irish (as opposed to Anglican) aesthetic?
    Then there was that cheap cheap looking cope that they put on the holy father for vespers. It had all the taste of a gaudy hallowe'en costume, complete with dime store fringe (Irish, I suppose someone will say - certainly not... ).

    What I really liked and genuinely admired, though, was the holy father himself. His (apparent and unfortunate) inablility to sing and his lack of stress on liturgical praxis aside, I think that we are incredibly fortunate to have him as our pope. He is a real person, quite a bit more than the spokesman of an office who mustn't upset the curial apple cart. His deep concern for the less fortunate among us makes alive by word and deed the concerns of our Lord as no pontiff in over a thousand years has done; and, he exhibits it with such great and unassailable humility.

    Failings of choral aesthetics aside, I also was buoyed by the quality of most of the choral music at all these liturgies. In light of what usually happens at these events this was a very welcome surprise.

    (What's the difference between Proulx and Willan? Willan you never get tired of.)
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    The yellow rectangle means all of that?
    Thanked by 2canadash CHGiffen
  • Actually, it represents a deletion, the which I made because I wanted to have something good to say as well as something negatively critical.
    Thanked by 2kenstb CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    So, if I've taken your meaning, it means you had "something negatively critical" ready to go, but were unable, despite wanting, to "have something good to say as well."
    That is so encouraging. I, too, don't know what to say.
  • Charles, You have put words into my mouth. I think that...
    There is always something good to say. Sometimes, like on an Easter Egg Hunt, we just have to look a little harder to find it - especially when it has to do with Catholic liturgy.

    Concerning these liturgies, while most of the music was good-to-admirable, the liturgies that it graced were carried out in typical Catholic fashion, inconsistent singing-not singing of dialogue, ditto collects-prayers, singing the creed was a no-no, ditto the universal prayers, less than ecclesiastical postures and bearing on the part of all concerned, an astonishing focus on personality rather than Him Who Is the Object of worship, cheesy (really awful) and gushy commentaries by certain cardinals who should know better, then there was that man who kept shoving a microphone on a stick into the holy father's face (but, then, I suppose that someone will excuse all this by noting that it is an Irish as opposed to 'that other' aesthesis). Still, most of the music was outstanding - except for the cantors and cantrices and lectors (one would have thought that a papal mass would merit having all the readings sung, but then...). But the choral music and hymns were for the most part really good - and set a very good, badly needed, example.

    (Too, as many know, I do not at all appreciate bi-lingual Latin-English masses, let alone quadra- or quinqua-lingual ones. It is really immaterial to me which language a liturgy is in... but pick just one. However, I must say that the amount of Latin included in these liturgies was a very good, quite healthy, sign... a sign we would not have seen until very recent times... another Very Good Thing!)
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen cmb tomjaw
  • The Community Mass Latin Sanctus has changed "Dominus" to "Domine." Why?
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,335
    The Community Mass Latin Sanctus has changed "Dominus" to "Domine." Why?

    In Latin it's called an "erratum." No other reason.
  • ' "eratum."'

    If mediaeval scribes could make such 'erratums' and worse, I guess we can excuse this one. At least there weren't risque marginal glosses, as would have been commonplace on stuff coming out of mediaeval scriptoria.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,147
    At least there weren't risque jokes in the margins, as would have been commonplace on stuff coming out of mediaeval scriptoria.
    As in some of the texts of Samuel Barber's "Hermit Songs."
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,135
    I don't understand why practically no churvh in this country sings the creed. I guess we have roast in the oven at home and must get back, or thr game is on.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,135
    What is this catty icon you are now using?
  • We sing it at Walsingham. They sing it at our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio. We sing it at all masses of St Basil's School of Gregorian Chant. In fact, there is nothing we don't sing except the the homily.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen hilluminar
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 467
    Eh? Obviously your priest's a slacker M. Jackson Osborn if he's not chanting the homily!
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    What is this catty icon you are now using?

    Those are my two Frenchy bulldogs, ghmus7, Charley and Mimi (nicknames.) They've been up for a number of months.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,135
    Oh, it was too small on my phone to see that they were dogs. Please offer my sincere apologies to them for mistaking them for cats.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Actually, they were quite flattered and we all had a big laugh about it. Frenchies are quite comical.