Friday, June 19, 2009

A Liturgical Report from Hungary

Almost one year ago, I had the interesting opportunity to visit Hungary and Budapest specifically in the context of a liturgical conference coordinated there through Prof. Laszlo Dobszay and others.

I was recently sent this report by a young Hungarian liturgical scholar who was also at that conference, Dr. Miklós Földváry, which is of some importance to the Hungarian liturgical community, given the prominence of the priest in question there.

Father Balázs Barsi O.F.M., an outstanding spiritual authority among Hungarian Catholics, celebrated his first public Sung Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. The ceremony, after a long and meticulous period of preparation, took place on 14 June 2009, the Second Sunday after Pentecost, in a little church dedicated to the memory of the Venerable John Henry Newman in Sümegcsehi, a small village in North Western Hungary. The liturgy, assisted by members of the Lay Chapter of St. Michael the Archangel (CLSMA) and sung by students of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest), was recorded by a famous Hungarian TV director and will be broadcast on 12 July by Channel "M1" (of the Hungarian State Television: MTV). This is a truly remarkable and important event because Father Barsi is the most popular preacher, retreat master, and widely influential spitirual writer of the Hungarian church. He lives a quasi-eremetical life in a remote Franciscan friary but his books enjoy immense popularity and his regular retreat sermons on Lenten and Advent Sundays in one of the centrally located churches of the Hungarian Capitol are always completely crowded.

This same priest preached at the closing Solemn Pontifical Mass for that same conference. At that time, I recall his importance to the Hungarian community being noted at that time as well.

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