Sunday, September 24, 2006

This Sunday at St. Thomas

Sung by the St. Ann Choir at St. Thomas Aquinas this noon:

Anon. 14th century English, Salve Virgo Virginum
Palestrina, Sicut Cervus

The recessional, played on the organ, was a set of variations on Deo Gratias, Anglia, one of the most stirring medieval melodies that you'll still hear now and then. Sir William Walton used it in his music for the movie Henry V, the one with Olivier in the title role.

On the less good side, a priest I hadn't seen before officiated at Mass today. Maybe he was a late replacement for our usual (elderly and ailing) Fr. Harris, so I should cut him some slack for not knowing how things usually flow at St. Thomas. But it was pretty much a mess. Canned, predictable sermon on helping the homeless and marginalized (yes, we have to do that, but you hear it so much you'd think that was the totality of Christianity). And he's the first priest I've heard to actually change words to suit himself (not, thank God, at the Consecration). I can't recall the many deviations this guy got into, but when he chimed in with "The Lord is with you", for example, instead of the standard "The Lord be with you", people seemed uncertain how to respond -- stick with the usual "And also with you"? Try something new, like "You da man"?

It just completely escapes me what priests like that are trying to accomplish. It also makes me realize how blessed we've been at St. Thomas.