Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thinking globally

Watching a YouTube video of the Pope's final public ceremony, Ash Wednesday in St Peter's. He usually does it at the Dominican church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill. I saw Paul VI do it there in the 70's. But it was in St Peter's because it can hold over 50K people.

Listening to the choir sing Palestrina as the old man was led out on his little wheely thing, watching the faces of people as they clapped...

It reminded me of the first papal Mass I attended in that church, again in the 70's when I lived in Rome for a year. When it came time to sing the Nicene Creed, the Pope sings the first line, Credo in unum Deum, and then the whole place erupted in the words, and with the very same Latin chant, that I had been taught and used as a boy on Long Island, words hammered out in the 4th century. Fifty thousand people from all over the globe, singing in a single voice a chant they had all learned at home. It was amazing.


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