Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Solemn Mass in Worms Cathedral and EF Figures from Germany

For some reason, this year's general assembly of Pro Missa Tridentina, a German member association of the International Federation Una Voce had slipped my attention. Since the main Mass was celebrated in a very beautiful and important church, I am posting some pictures of this Mass, which was celebrated in April, now - better late than never.

The church where this Solemn Mass took place is Worms Cathedral, one of the three great imperial cathedrals on the Upper Rhine. (It is today not a Cathedral in the proper sense, since the ancient diocese of Worms did not survive the Revolutionary Wars and the Secularisation; in German, it is called a "Dom", which as you may know, does not necessarily imply a Cathedral. It is, however, a Basilica minor since 1925.)

This picture by Flickr user "Sacred Destinations"

It is a striking combination of the impressive Romanesque exterior of the 11th/12th Century with some later Gothic additions, and Baroque furnishings, the most notable of which are the High Altar by the probably most famous German Baroque architect, Balthasar Neumann, and the choirn stalls (the reasone why the interior is entirely Baroque, however, is that the French in their attempt to conquer the Palatinate completely devastated and pillaged it - "Brûlez le Palatinat" - and even tried to blow it up, which was unsuccessful, but resulted in the burning of its interior). You can read some more about the history of the Dom here and see some more pictures at the official site here.

The Mass itself was celebrated Fr Gerald Goesche, Provost of the Institute of St. Philipp Neri here in Berlin. Palestrina's Mass for six voices "Tu es Petrus" was sung.

Speaking of Pro Missa Tridentina, for the first anniversary the also released some figures regarding the development of the number of churches where the usus antiquior is regularly celebrated in the German-speaking countries.

The largest increase is in Germany (green), where the number has gone up from 35 in July 2007 to 119 in July 2008. Of course, this does not stop the Episcopal Conference from saying that there is "no demand".

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