Thursday, September 10, 2015

Photos from the Pontifical Mass with Cardinal Burke in Steubenville [UPDATED]

Steve Skojec of OnePeterFive posted a nice wrap-up of a busy 48 hours at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Among other things he talks about the highlight, the Pontifical Mass at the Throne with His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke:
For those who think Steubenville and tradition don’t mix, the college has several on-campus TLMs a month. On the particular and quite special occasion of Cardinal Burke’s visit, a Pontifical High Mass was also arranged at St. Peter’s, the local parish. Professor Nicholas Will, who teaches Sacred Music, played the organ in a style that would impress even the most demanding Frenchman, and he also directed the Schola Cantorum Franciscana in the Messe Solonnelle by Louis Vierne. In general, I respect and appreciate the organ as a liturgical instrument, but my preference is for the human voice, sparsely adorned.
          And Oh! Those human voices! It was an absolutely stunning performance. The Kyrie and the Sanctus in particular were incredibly moving. Many of the students who come to Franciscan are musically talented, but not all of them are limited to softly strumming guitars and Christian contemporary ballads. I do not overstate the case when I say this was the most powerful vocal performance I have ever heard in all my travels – including Rome, Vienna, and Salzburg.
          The Mass itself was absolutely packed, despite the somewhat difficult time (Tuesday morning at 10:15AM) and the fact that from beginning to end, it clocked in at nearly three hours. In choir were quite a number of priests, including those from the local diocese, the TORs, the Institute of Christ the King, and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. It was like the United Nations of Liturgical Awesomeness, with any number of priests working together to effect supreme and sacred worship of The Blessed Trinity.
I can second what Steve says about the Mass and the music: just magnificent in every way. We're always told that the liturgy is a foretaste of heaven on earth, but sadly, it only rarely looks and sounds and feels that way. This day was one of those times when it rings true. I would add that it was deeply moving to see many pews full of Catholic schoolchildren (grades 1 to 8 from the look of it), who had been bused in from Pittsburgh to be present at this auspicious pontifical celebration. I thought to myself: This is the Mass that people thought they could bury forever; but they are dead and gone, and it is alive and well. These children were given a feast for their senses and souls. They assisted at the Roman Rite in all its fullness. The New Evangelization takes one small step forward.

Now for one of the things NLM does best: here are some photos from the Mass.

As I had predicted, there are now MUCH BETTER photos available in a Flickr gallery. I highly recommend checking them out.

Go here to see even better photos.

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