When the Pope was in Austria, there was a Mass in the Cathedral of Vienna. The music was the Mariazeller Mass of Haydn. This has impressed the gentlemanly Sandro Magister. At the very end there is a comment that H.E. the M.C, Most Rev. Piero Marini is soon to be moving along.
My emphases and comments.
From Vienna, a Lesson on How to Sing the Mass
Haydn’s polyphony and the Gregorian antiphons of the ancient missal accompanied the papal liturgy in the Austrian capital, all of which was celebrated with "the gaze fixed upon God." A model for Catholic Masses in the Latin rite all over the world
by Sandro Magister
ROMA, September 12, 2007 – Among the many things Benedict XVI said and did during his early September visits to Loreto and Austria, there are two that distinguish his pontificate in an unmistakable way. [A strong statement. Let’s see where he goes with it.]
Both have to do with the Church’s visibility, with its ability to communicate: and not about itself, but about "the things that are above." [Very good. As I have been writing for a long time now, this Pope has a vision for the Church. We are in need of a recovery of our Catholic identity so as to revitalize the Church from within and therefore give it something to give to the world. His documents are part of this project.]
In Loreto, at the vigil on Saturday, September 1, the pope demonstrated how he intends to make himself visible and audible to the world, and in particular to the world of the young.
In Austria, with the Mass in the cathedral of Vienna on Sunday, September 9, Benedict XVI made it clear how he wants the Church to appear to men at the moment when it is most recognizable, the celebration of the Eucharist. [Yes… I think Magister gets it.]
* * *
In Loreto, the vigil with the thirty thousand young people who came from Italy and the rest of the world was comprised of two events: the first, an afternoon of prayer and reflection; and the second, a typical evening of musical entertainment, featuring famous performers.
This evening of music, which was broadcast live by one of the television channels of the Italian state, was conceived by Bibi Ballandi, a manager for famous artists and an organizer of televised events. He was the one who in 1997, for a similar evening during the international Eucharistic congress in Bologna, brought in Bob Dylan and Adriano Celentano to sing in front of John Paul II, who remained on the stage for the entire performance.
This time, in Loreto, there were Claudio Baglioni, Lucio Dalla, and the rock group "Vibrazioni." But the pope wasn’t there. While the singers were performing, he was secluded in prayer at the shrine, before the reliquary of the Holy House of Nazareth.
That evening, the pope appeared for just a few minutes via a single television broadcast link. This showed him kneeling before the statue of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus, devoutly reciting a prayer.
This was to be expected from Joseph Ratzinger. A year after what happened at the 1997 Eucharistic congress in Bologna, a written commentary was published that made his disagreement known: "Bob Dylan and the others had a message completely different from the one for which the pope labors," and therefore "there was reason to question whether it was truly right to give voice to these kinds of prophets," the bearers of a message shown to be "outdated and impoverished" if it’s placed next to the one proclaimed by the pope.
In Loreto, Benedict XVI instead personally participated in the afternoon meeting with the young people, organized by the heads of the pastoral care of young people for the Italian bishops’ conference.
But here, too, he made a clear departure from the prepared script. On the one side, there were the young actors who took turns reading – with theatrical flair, but still in a contrived manner – the passages selected by the organizers, [that was sure obvious to anyone who watched] many of which were taken from the Bible. On the other side, there was the pope, who set aside the texts prepared for him by the offices of the curia and responded to questions from the young people with spontaneous, improvised words that were unmistakably his own, and therefore also capable of penetrating the heart. While he was speaking and saying profound, demanding, touching things, there was an impressive silence and attention among the three hundred thousand young people listening to him. [it is as if he spoke, not like the scribes and pharisees, but with authority?]
In any case, Benedict XVI did not appear to be isolated. He had the full agreement of the young men and women who recounted their personal stories, some of them dramatic, and asked him questions. He had with him the missionary Giancarlo Bossi, recently freed from Islamic kidnappers in the Philippines. Father Bossi spoke simply and said little, but what he said made clear to everyone what it means to be a genuine missionary of the Gospel of Jesus, and not a humanitarian worker or an anti-globalization activist.
* * *
It was a different tune in Vienna – literally. With the Mass celebrated in the cathedral of Saint Stephen on Sunday, September 9, Benedict XVI revived a musical and liturgical tradition that had been interrupted for many decades. [These Masses are used all the time in Vienna… and St. Paul, MN.]
Within living memory, in fact, the last papal celebration accompanied by the complete performance – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei – of a great polyphonic Mass dates all the way back to 1963. That Mass was celebrated in Saint Peter’s, and the composer selected was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the dean of Roman polyphony in the sixteenth century. [Let’s not forget the Mozart Mass on Sts. Peter and Paul years ago. I was there.]
This time, the Mass was celebrated in Vienna, and the composer was, rightly, Austria’s Franz Joseph Haydn and his stupendous "Mariazeller Messe" of 1782, for chorus, soloists, and orchestra.
Gregorian chant also made an important return appearance in the papal Mass on September 9. During communion, the choir repeatedly sang the antiphon "Vovete," from the propers for that Sunday in the missal of the ancient rite, in alternation with verses from Psalm 76, also sung in Latin: "Make and keep vows to the Lord your God. May all present bring gifts to this awesome God, who checks the pride of princes, inspires awe among the kings of earth."
A musical critic would have given his highest praise to the splendid performance, conducted by Markus Landerer, the choirmaster at the cathedral of Vienna. But this was a Mass, and not a concert. And Benedict XVI imparted a clear lesson in this regard, on two successive occasions that Sunday.
At the Angelus, a few minutes after the end of the Mass, he began this way:
"It was a particularly beautiful experience this morning to celebrate the Lord’s Day with all of you in such a dignified and solemn manner, in the magnificent cathedral of Saint Stephen. The celebration of the Eucharist, carried out with due dignity, helps us to realize the immense grandeur of God’s gift to us in the Holy Mass, and fills us with deep joy. It is precisely in this way that we draw near to each other as well, [in other words it builds authentic, not contrived, community] and experience the joy of God. So I thank all those who, by their active contribution to the preparation of the liturgy or by their recollected participation [YES!] in the sacred mysteries, created an atmosphere in which we truly felt God’s presence.
And that afternoon, in the monastery of Heiligenkreutz, where each day 80 Cistercian monks celebrate the divine office in pure Gregorian chant and entirely in Latin, he said:
"In the beauty of the liturgy, […] wherever we join in singing, praising, exalting and worshipping God, a little bit of heaven will become present on earth. [Good liturgy points to mystery. Bad liturgy destroys our faith.] Truly it would not be presumptuous to say that, in a liturgy completely centred on God, we can see, in its rituals and chant, an image of eternity. […] In all our efforts on behalf of the liturgy, the determining factor must always be our looking to God. We stand before God – he speaks to us and we speak to him. Whenever in our thinking we are only concerned about making the liturgy attractive, interesting and beautiful, the battle is already lost. [YES!] Either it is Opus Dei, with God as its specific subject, or it is not. In the light of this, I ask you to celebrate the sacred liturgy with your gaze fixed on God within the communion of saints, the living Church of every time and place, so that it will truly be an expression of the sublime beauty of the God who has called men and women to be his friends."
Benedict XVI also told the monks of Heiligenkreutz: "A liturgy which no longer looks to God is already in its death throes." [Exactly.] Haydn, a Catholic with a deep spirituality, was not far from this view of beauty in the Christian liturgy when he wrote at the end of each of his musical compositions, "Laus Deo," praise to God.
When in the Creed of the "Mariazeller Messe," the soloist intones "Et incarnatus est," and when the "Benedictus" is sung in the Sanctus, flashes of eternity truly break through. More than a thousand words, great liturgical music communicates the mystery of "He who comes in the name of the Lord," of the Word made flesh, of the bread that becomes the body of Jesus.
The liturgy that inspired Haydn – together with other great Christian composers – these sublime melodies, glimmering with theological joy, was the ancient, Tridentine liturgy: just the opposite of the "sense of staleness" that some associate with it. It is the liturgy that Benedict XVI wanted to preserve in its richness with the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum," on July 7, 2007, together with the modern rite he observed in the Mass in Vienna. [And the Motu Proprio is just one part of his Marshall Plan for rebulding the Church]
Broadcast internationally, the papal Masses are a paradigm for the liturgies of the Latin Church in the entire world.
The one in Vienna on September 9 was intended to be so in a particular way. And Benedict XVI pointed this out.
Such a shame that some of the television networks charged with retransmitting the Mass ended up mangling its distinctive features. [Oh how tru this is! So often the comments and voiceover is incessant. As I watched I wanted to smash the commentators microphone. SHUT UP!] During the live broadcast on Italian state television, for example, the Gregorian melodies for communion were treated as if they weren’t worthy of being heard. They were replaced by vacuous chitchat [perfect] about the presumed "great questions" of the Church and Austria.
In the Vatican, the liturgical event of Vienna will soon be followed by the replacement of the master of the pontifical liturgical celebrations. Taking the place of Piero Marini – who will go to preside over the pontifical committee for international Eucharistic congresses – will be the current master of ceremonies for the archdiocese of Genoa, Guido Marini. [!] He’s close to his predecessor in name, but to pope Ratzinger in substance.
Okay… note that last part?
Are suitcases being packed?