Saturday, October 30, 2010

An anticipated day

I have probably noted before that my life is a little on the humdrum side, and that is how I like it to be. Thankfully, the Sturm und Drang of youthful passion are spent and are mere wisps of memory. Now, life revolves around the liturgical year with its commas, semicolons, and occasional exclamation points, as it wends its way toward the great final period. One of the momentous (for me) events, which comes every November 2nd, is the Requiem Mass for All Soul’s Day at St. James Cathedral.
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.


Janet said...

Joanna - this sounds like an event not to be missed. I have relations visiting and staying in the U-District. Can we get to St. James's easily by bus?

FugueStateKnits said...

I love this work! I always feel that the last part of it is only a shadow of what it could have been had Herr Mozart lived just a bit longer!

Marta said...

Extremely well written. I almost missed it. Have you ever thought about turning your blog into a book?