Friday, January 14, 2011

Glory Be To God for the Brompton Oratory

This posting is a link through to the arts and faith quarterly, Dappled Things. I was asked to write about an occasion when I had been affected by the beauty of a sacred place. I decided to write about my first ever experience of the liturgy at the Brompton Oratory, so familiar to New Liturgical Movement readers.

I wandered into this church once, during Solemn Mass, without even knowing it was Catholic. I had never before experienced anything so beautiful and moving. As I was entering, before I saw anything I could smell the incense and this immediately created the sense that I was entering another world. I heard the polyphonic music and I knew there were angels singing in the Church -- remember, I was not a religious man at all at this stage. The architecture, art, and music were all in harmony with the worship of God, and the power of it was irresistible. I could not understand a word of what was going on and didn't know about the structure of the Mass to recognise it as such. Yet it drew me in and the postures and actions of the people and the celebrant communicated faith to me. Just by watching the reverent actions I knew that they believed that God was present. This is made even me think that perhaps He really was.

You can read the full article here. It is one of the features under the heading 'Sacred Places'. Normally you have to pay a subscription access to their online edition, but they decided to make an exception this time because it is their 5th anniversary edition.

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