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Monday, 24 September 2012

"I want to be a courageous orthodox bishop"

In the booklet for the Mass at Portsmouth today, at which Philip Egan was consecrated eighth Bishop of Portsmouth, there is an introduction by Bishop Egan (a musically educated man himself) explaining, among other things, the choice of music for the Mass.

There were some "old favourite" Catholic hymns at appropriate points (O purest of creatures, Soul of my Saviour, Sweet Sacrament Divine) and some elements from "A Community Mass" by Richard Proulx, as well as Gregorian chant. It was good to see that after various motets, songs, organ pieces and the hymn Praise to the Holiest, which were sung before Mass, the introit Salve Sancta Parens was sung while the altar was incensed. Also from the (modern) gradual was the Alleluia and verse.

Here is what Bishop Egan had to say about chant:
I have tried to incorporate some of the plainsong chants for the feastday. Gregorian chant is always the 'native' music of the Roman Rite and the Church encourages us to give it pride of place in the liturgy (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 41), along with the use of the Latin language, especially in large-scale celebrations (Sacramentum Caritatis 62). I hope that we will all rediscover the beautiful treasury of chant. With its changing moods and lilting meoldies, it expresses so eloquently the prayer and affectivities of the human spirit in the presence of the Transcendent God.
I did not see the ceremony as I was driving round the M25 at the time and it would have been lacking in the virtue of prudence to prop the iPad on the steering wheel. Thanks to John Kearney for an encouraging line from the new bishop's address:
"I want to be a courageous orthodox bishop"
Pray for Bishop Egan that God generously gives him the grace to be such for many years.
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