The first time I attended this Mass, probably thirty years ago, I was swept away by its beauty, serenity, quiet drama and, in contrast with the amazing serenity, the intense passion. But the passion is not of the Sturm und Drang sort. It is the passion of love and redemption. This year, we celebrate once again with Mozart’s poignant treatise on the terrors of death and the ultimate mercy of God towards his erring children.
I look forward to this as anxiously as I used to look forward to Christmas - both to the general rehearsal with the orchestra the evening before, and then the actual Mass. How often does one have the opportunity to experience this monumet in its intended setting? Not often. The opening chords send shivers through me, and when I hear them, I am as happy as I ever am.