Report on the TLM with Mozart’s “Sparrow Mass” in Kalamazoo


I added the audio of the sermon for the Mass.


Our friends at St. Mary’s in Kalamazoo have sent photos and sound clips of the Mass yesterday for the Last Sunday after Pentecost (1962MR).

The music was Mozart’s "Sparrow Missa Brevis" (Mass No. 10 in C major, K. 220).

I was told that over 500 people attended.

This parish is staffed by a fledgling Oratorian community. 

Fr. David Grondz was celebrant and Fr. Robert Sirico delivered the sermon.

The audio files I was sent are at the bottom of this entry.

Brick by brick!



From Fr. David Grondz:

Dear Folks,
More information from the Mozart Mass this Sunday.  I include here the Introductory Letter/Explanatory Note that was printed in the program.
Post and comment with it as you like.

Fr. David

                                                  Sunday; 23 November 2008 Dear Friend,
            Many changes have taken place in the Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), especially in the celebration of the Mass.  Today, due to the influence of Pope Benedict XVI, it is again possible to have a regular celebration of the Mass following the ceremonial of the Liturgical Books issued in 1962, that is, immediately preceding the Ecumenical Council.
            Here at St. Mary this type of Celebration is not a ³museum-piece².  Rather, by following the desire of the Holy Father, this Form of the Mass may become a familiar part of Catholic life and culture.
Over time, this will re-create a sense of continuity in our Liturgical heritage and tradition. This parish celebrates both forms of the Mass, that of the Second Vatican Council¹s Reform in English and that of the older usage, commonly called the ³Tridentine² or ³Latin² Mass.
            It has been my desire as a musician and now as a priest, to reclaim our Catholic tradition of music from the concert hall and return it to its intended use: the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.
The Mass that we celebrate this afternoon is just such an attempt; the first, I might add, of its¹ kind at St. Mary and quite possibly in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.  You will hear Mozart¹s setting of the Mass in a different way, along with Gregorian Chant and all of the complexity and mystery of the Mass celebrated in Latin. Please remember that this is not a performance, but a Sacred Action.  Applause is not appropriate.  Although Mozart might have found it amusing, please turn off your cellular telephone or switch it to the ³vibrate² setting.
            I have included here some basic directions and translations of the texts used throughout the Mass, so that you may follow along and participate in the celebration more fully.  It is not important that you understand every word or gesture.  The experience of the Liturgy, which gives us a glimpse into Eternity, engages all of our human senses and not just our ability to understand the written or spoken word.
If you have ever been to the opera, it is a similar experience; at some point you put down the program and follow the story, perhaps imperfectly, but the gestures and costumes of the actors or the beauty of the music convey something to you as well.  In the celebration of the Mass, what is communicated to you is the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, not as a symbol or a story, but in reality!  Christ, raised from the dead, is made present on the Altar and given as food to His people for the journey towards Eternal Life.
        I would encourage you to put down the program and enter into the great beauty and mystery of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
                                        Fr. David Grondz
                                        Parochial Vicar


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Joey says:

    I’m sorry Father, but I think the two audio files seem identical (they are both the “Ite Missa est”)

  2. Santiago says:

    Oratorians are heros……that’s all!

  3. pelerin says:

    I had to smile at the ornithological connection!- “Mozart’s ‘Sparrow Mass ‘- celebrated in a parish staffed by a fledgling Oratorian community.”

  4. James Noel says:

    I attended this mass- it was extraordinarily beautiful. I am very grateful to Father Grondz and Father Sirico for providing spiritually rich masses every Sunday- I’m spoiled now! Thank you!

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