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March 25th, 2007 - Beauty in Worship

Saturday's Telegraph carries an interesting article by Christopher Howse entitles The Lost Language of Worship . In it, the author comments on Pope Benedict's recent document on the Eucharist Sacramentum Caritatis, "The Sacrament of Love", noting the Popes desire for beauty in the liturgy.


Howse then goes on to state:

"The Pope hopes that "everything related to Eucharist should be marked by beauty". We know that music and architecture - a Byrd Mass, say and a Gothic cathedral - reach transcendently high beauty, which, while it reflects the godly work of the Eucharist, appeals to anyone sympathetic to the cultural conventions.

But most people in Britain today do not take to Byrd and cathedral architecture like ducks to water. They are bored by high culture because they are blind to its language. Worse, they have been led away from any chance of appreciating high culture by being fed noisy, ephemeral, brutish culture. A few hours of hip-hop videos at night-time inoculate against any appeal of Renaissance polyphony next morning."

Well, whilst he might be right for much of the country, here in the Diocese of Leeds children do enjoy singing Byrd, and chant, and other forms of 'beautiful' music just as Pope Benedict calls us to do! However, they also enjoy pop music, hip-hop videos and the like also - just not in church!


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