Sunday Supper: Dies Domini

I needed today.

The Solemn TLM this morning at Assumption Grotto parish in Detroit was well-attended and  well served.  The music, by Stravinsky, was – for me – transporting.  It was a delight to hear the Mass in the setting for which it was composed, a Mass written from true piety.  A great advantage was having a conductor who is a priest, who loves the older Mass and who also has a veneration for the composer.  He really got it.  I heard things in the music I hadn’t ever heard in recordings.

After Mass there was a big parish event, a luncheon and raffle and your usual parish fundraiser things with lots of people and kids (note the distinction).  Quite a few blog readers!

Then a real treat.

Fr. Perrone is a gifted musician.  His instrument is the pianoforte.  He and a parishioner, a very good soprano (not to mention mother of a seminarian) gave a mini recital in the parlor of the rectory of small song cycle by a 20th century Italian Francesco Santoliquido.  This little known writer fell out of favor after the war for having written some anti-Jewish things.  He eventually settled in Anacapri and Anacapri was the setting of the songs I heard today, for soprano and piano.

Sheer delight.

The songs themselves were evocative.  You were on Capri, in the different times of day and different seasons.  Santoliquido also wrote the texts.  The performance was fine.

But one of the best aspects of it was the decorum of the moment.

People used to  learn to play and sing and they would provide their own live entertainment in their homes.  They read aloud and played music and sang.  You regulars know that I enjoy the books of Patrick O’Brien in which the principles play music together on shipboard.  Many people were accomplished.

It was so very human.  It was a delight.

Then… off for ice cream with the priests of the house and the sister from the convent.

People should be together on Sundays.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    What a perfect day. I’m happy for you.

  2. Rachel Pineda says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday! Thank you very much for sharing. I wonder how a pianoforte sounds in person! So pretty and elegant I’m sure. Oh and what you said “It was so very human. It was a delight.” I love those moments, wonderful consolations from our Lord! Good, good news, thank you.

  3. Mike says:

    Father, it was a pleasure to attend Mass with you as the celebrant. Your sermon was excellent and the Mass was beautifully prayed. God acted through you in a beautiful way for all in attendance today. It is too bad I was not able to meet you, some day in the future, God willing.

  4. Was very glad to have you at the Grotto again, Fr. Z. Great homily.

  5. david andrew says:

    It was a pleasure to attend Mass (a TLM, no less) with you as celebrant, receive communion from you, and then have the added pleasure of speaking with you briefly afterward at the benefit dinner.

    Your simple, kind words during our conversation were balm, and were received with gratefulness, especially in light of the graces working from the whole of the day.

    Bless you, Fr. Z!

  6. InOurLady says:

    Thanks for coming to vist Fr. Z! The Mass was awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed your homily. I hope you enjoyed the ice cream. On occasion Fr. Perrone has been known to indulge a little! Lol! I dont know anywhere else that you can get pumpkin or cinnamon icecream!

  7. Ummmm…. this had to be the famous Alinosi ice cream. I don’t think I have seen Fr. Perrone eat any other icecream but Alinosi’s

    My favorite is the cinnamon.

    He treats the choir to Alinosi’s a few times a year (another good reason to join the Assumption Grotto Choir).

  8. catholicuspater says:

    [People should be together on Sundays.]
    Amen to that, Father, and thank you for the reminder.

  9. lmgilbert says:

    Fr. Z wrote, “People used to learn to play and sing and they would provide their own live entertainment in their homes. They read aloud and played music and sang.”

    From Thank God Ahead of Time, the biography of the Venerable Solanus Casey, who died in Detroit on July 21st, 1957:

    “At a time when television and movies were not even imagined…stories and songs provided the Casey family with sufficient entertainment. Especially when snows landlocked the family, this kind of entertainment kept spirits from becoming morose. Often the children played games. Other times Barney Sr. and Ellen gathered everyone around the dining room for an evening of literature. Barney Sr. would read the poems of Tom Moore besides those of Longfellow and Whittier. Stories like Cooper’s The Deerslayer held the children fascinated for long periods of time.

    “Bernard and Ellen Casey were creating a caring environment which enabled young Casey to become well-integrated and balanced. For their role in his spiritual formation, the future Solanus would be forever grateful… In many ways Solanus was able to be who he was precisely because of the way his parents nourished him in his youth”

    There is nothing stopping us from doing this sort of thing now. In fact, I know of one pastor who when parents come to him asking what they can do to keep their family happy and Catholic says, “In the evening gather your children around you and read to them good secular literature and the lives of the saints.”

    So many parents are afraid of “the culture.” But we’re the parents. We can create whatever culture we wish in our own homes, just as Barney and Ellen Casey did.

  10. LouiseA says:

    The music at this Solemn High TLM today was transporting, too:

  11. Excusate, quaesumo Zedissime Pater, nonsequituritas hoc, Latinitas parva, &c. : quo sunt retiascripta Orbis Catholicus II? Scisne umquis? Evanuistis videntur…

  12. AnAmericanMother says:

    How right you are, Father, regarding the old custom of providing our own entertainment. Mr. Bell and Mr. Edison may have improved things in many ways, but recorded music was not one of them! Edison in fact prophesied that his Victrola was going to be the death of live music.

    Our choir still keeps to the old ways — whenever we have a choir party there is music, both individual performances and sing-alongs. Of course, we’re fortunate to have some very talented staff singers, and our music director/organist can play anything you set on the music rack. With a good piano, a harpsichord, and an electronic keyboard, we have the waterfront covered. Perhaps the most fun, though, are the sing-alongs of Irish music and old Victorian music hall faves. We only dragged out the recorded music at the last party because one of our priests, a dyed-in-the-wool Irishman, wanted to hear my field recordings of Gaelic singers.

  13. irishgirl says:

    How nice to read this, Father Z-and that you had a lovely time!
    ‘People should be together on Sundays’-ah, that doesn’t happen to me. I spend my days, including Sundays, alone. Oh, I go out to Mass (EF exclusively), but everyone in the chapel congregation scatters for their own homes right after. Nearly everyone is a couple or a family. Besides an elderly widow (who usually takes off after Mass to see her sister in a nursing home), I’m the only single adult in the congregation.
    After Mass, I usually head over to the local B&N bookstore to plant myself in one of the ‘comfy chairs’ and read for several hours. No TV at home since everything went ‘digital’. And I’ve had some problems with my two sisters, so I don’t want to see them pull into my driveway and bully me around.
    So I’m alone-that’s how it is for me.

  14. M.D.R. says:

    I agree with Father that people used to provide their own entertainment in their homes. I’m trying to teach myself to play the piano for just this reason. My son is interested in learning, too. I’m trying to revive an old tradition from my great grandfather’s generation that was subsequently lost with the next generation. My grandfather had twelve siblings (of Scots-Irish descent) and they grew up playing music in their home for entertainment (in Missouri). He was able to play any instrument he layed his hands on, even though he had no formal training. Even after they were grown to adulthood, they would still often go over to the old homeplace to play music and cards. They were a close and tight-knit family, and music helped to keep them that way.

  15. jflare says:

    I’m somewhat conflicted about the virtues of live entertainment vs recordings: If not for recordings, I never could’ve enjoyed my Country favorites of the 80’s as much as I did. Or could I? If not for recordings, might I have learned some of my company with my teen peers? I doubt most of my graduating class had the foggiest idea that I’ve never been a rock fan…..hmm. Interesting thought. It would’ve been nice to share Dancy’s Dream or Meet in the Middle with someone, not just the car’s radio…..

    What I’m really writing about though is this:
    I never expected to see an author that I’ve read–I think–referred to with fondness by a Catholic priest. This Patrick O’Brien that you mention IS the author of the series that includes “Master and Commander”? I only quit reading the series due to time and a desire to read about something that wasn’t related to war for awhile. Having been in the military myself, I both enjoy and dislike the subject, though how to explain THAT frame of mind exceeds my talents right now…..

    BTW, MDR, keep it up with the guitar. When I get around to it, I’m learning to play a guitar and I know a little about playing a piano. I would dearly love to be involved in a sing-a-long…..

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