The Papal Mass at Westminster

Over at ChantCafe, Jeffrey Tucker posts about the The Papal Mass at Westminster:

If you haven’t watched the Papal Mass in Westminster Cathedral, I strongly urge you to do so some evening when you have time. This is the archived footage.

At long last, and the wait was very long, the world has seen an example of a magnificent Papal Mass, celebrated by the Pope Benedict XVI in the Westminster Cathedral, with glorious decorum, perfect music, and holy dignity all around. We have so long been used to other things that it seem to take a while to fully settle into the reality that this was truly a Papal Mass fully worthy to be written up in the history books as a model and ideal — even in the ordinary form of the Mass and even before the Mass translation is upgraded this time next year.

The musical Mass setting of choice for the occasion was the Mass for Five Voices by William Byrd (1539–1623). It is the most dramatic, most difficult, and most emotionally compelling of the three Masses that Byrd wrote for the Catholic Mass. In his time as Queen Elizabeth’s own composer, Byrd was writing English music for the Anglican Church by day and, by night, secretly composing music for the Catholic Church in hiding, for Masses celebrated in castles and manors untouched by the politics of the time. . . .

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1 Response to The Papal Mass at Westminster

  1. Thomas says:

    Re the Westminster choir, from Wikipedia:

    The choir’s recordings include two discs of Palestrina on the Hyperion label – the Missa Hodie Christus Natus Est with motets for Advent and Christmas, and the Missa Dum Complerentur with Pentecost motets and plainchant. In addition, the choir has recorded MacMillan’s Mass and a complete Mass for Easter Sunday on the Herald label. More recent recordings include a disc of Victoria Marian music and Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G minor which was recorded last July [2005].

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