Monday, February 10, 2014

A beautiful piece of Russian Orthodox sacred music

The video calls this Russian Orthodox music, "chant," but it sounds more like sacred polyphony to me.  This lifted my soul to the heights.  When you combine the sound and the imagery it is understandable why so many find such music and art uplifting.

This is so contrary to what we experience in the secular world.  This contrast between the kind of  sacred music and art in the video, and what is in the world, is what prompts an interior disposition to worship.  So much of the contemporary music in Latin rite parishes, along with artistically sterile environments has hindered some like myself, to worship more fully.  A parish I belonged to in my youth, which had one of the best choirs in the area, was reduced to three folk bands by the 1980's covering three Masses, and an organist covering the fourth weekend Mass early Sunday mornings.  That was years ago when they still had four weekend Masses.  You could drive for miles and not find a parish that had anything but guitar music or contemporary music played on organ and piano.

The art seen in this video, combined with the music, often found in Orthodox churches, as well as other Catholic rites causes us to ponder the mysteries of the Christian faith.  It speaks to the sacredness of worship.  Listen to this music on your way to an Adoration chapel and see how it helps to put you into a prayerful mode.

I hope you have good speakers.  If not, put on a good set of headphones.

That was sung by the Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir.  You can read about them here.  And, you can hear more clips of them singing on this page.

I know an increasing number of Catholics who have left the Latin rite and attend Divine Liturgy at a Ukrainian, Melkite, Maronite, Chaldean or other Catholic Church because they were looking for this kind of separation. Others have left the Latin rite trying to escape liturgical abuses they found distracting to their worship.  Some of these other rites are close to what we would find in an Orthodox church.

That we may some day be one

My heart and soul yearns for the day when there is unity between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.   In fact, after beginning this post, my attention was drawn to an article by James Likoudis at Homiletic and Pastoral Review.  He asks: "Where is prayer for Christian unity in our parishes?"

Homiletic and Pastoral Review is a fine source for Catholic articles.  It was a print publication until recently and now it is exclusively online.  In April of 2006, Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ, published a testimonial I wrote about Assumption Grotto called, "Unconditional worship in the God-centered Mass."  Someday, I will have to share that online, but I'm thinking of putting a revised version here, written in the light of much more experience.  Perhaps I'll use the same name, but call it "revisited."

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