EF in Rome features Palestrina Mass
  • Nice item on EF Mass in St. Cecilia Day, as published on Zenit:
    Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos celebrated the Mass in the exquisite Church of Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, nestled in the courtyard of the former University of Rome. This beautiful structure, shaped like a Star of David -- the symbol of wisdom -- was designed by Francesco Borromini, one of the greatest architects of the post-Tridentine era.

    The undulating white walls of Borromini's masterpiece echoed with the soft chant of the Schola Gregoriana, while the polyphony of Festina Lente soared to the high vaults of the dome.

    Festina Lente, a Roman musical company dedicated to reproducing Italian Renaissance and Baroque music, sang the Missa "Regina Coeli," written by G.P. da Palestrina in the late 16th century.

    Palestrina was choirmaster at Santa Maria Maggiore and his compositions proved that polyphonic music could transport listeners with its sublime sounds while remaining intelligible and focused on the prayers of the Mass.

    Cardinal Castrillón summed up the experience of the Mass in his homily, "When words fail to express what is in our hearts, we sing to praise the marvelous presence of Christ in the Eucharist."