Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Beautiful Spatzenmesse from Sydney

St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney was filled with the sweet sound of ... not quite sparrows, but the delightful Missa Brevis of Mozart whose title is so-called due to the sparrow-like calls to be heard in the Hosannas (at least when the orchestral version is performed), though these were replaced by a chant Sanctus, as is not an uncommon occurrence. And there is some enjoyable Haydn at the Offertory.

It really is rather wonderful that the Sunday Masses are now webcast from Sydney - it gives hope to people far and wide that the Catholic Mass can be celebrated with due dignity.

On another matter, and only out of love for that cathedral, I feel compelled to point out a most displeasing development. Viz., the stumpy candles adorning the altar. They just don't look right in the context of that cathedral, that altar and the general notion of what makes a good, visually appealing,  altar candle arrangement. They are too short, and they lack a candle stick - the lily pad on which they sit rather does add to the whole kitsch picture. I'm genuinely surprised at this development because candles of this nature have not, to my knowledge, ever adorned the modern front altar currently in situ which was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 (though some even uglier ones than those now being considered - ones that came in "clusters" of three or varying heights (yes you know the ones) - have been used in the past). The cathedral has various sets of nicely proportioned candle sticks with relatively slender, tall candles that provide for an aesthetically far more appealing altar arrangement (and one that emphasises the vertical rather than the horizontal aspects of the divine liturgy being celebrated). Why it was felt necessary to introduce this set of candles is not altogether apparent, but serious consideration should be given to donating the candles and the lily pads on which they sit to the local St Vincent de Paul society forthwith (the closest one is on Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills - number 406 to be precise). Many parties would thereby benefit.