Monday, July 11, 2011

Liturgical Musings.

Our "Musical Director" don't have "Organist & Choirmaster" anymore.......really loves providing good Anglican hymns for the Sung Mass on a Sunday.  Even if the hymns aren't Anglican at least the tunes are.

This week we had "All people that on earth do dwell" (Old 100th) as the Entrance Hymn and "Lead us heav'nly Father, lead us" (Mannheim) during the Preparation of the Gifts.  He always has to stick in lots of voluntaries between verses for the censing!  The University holidays are almost over so we've got our cantors back.

Fr Frans Claerhout OMI (RIP)
My wanderings from church to church have come to an end.  It's amazing how many Catholic Churches are really quite unpalatable when you have another option and don't have to grin and bear it.

I spent eight years in the Free State and really enjoyed the fortnightly Mass at 20,30 on a Saturday evening with Fr Claerhout, the well-known South African artist, in Tweespruit.  The Mass was usually celebrated by Fr Michel for the few of us seeking a Mass in English.

As we were the only couple who were English-speaking there was no homily, just one given to you on paper when you left.  You would idly pick it up during the week and it would smack you right between the eyes, metaphorically, of course.

 On special feast days the Portuguese would bring cakes and we would repair to Fr Claerhout's house for cakes and wine and good conversation.  I have never had more compulsion to go to Mass as if you were late everyone would wait for you so had to let the priests know if you were not going to be there!
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bloemfontein

From Tweespruit to Bloemfontein and a cathedral like a juke box inside.  There was no choice but much to my amazement our children survived it and remained Catholic really because of the kindness and holiness of the priests.

In Johannesburg there is choice and despite driving past four Catholic Churches, including the cathedral, I much prefer making the effort to go to Holy Trinity with its quality music and liturgy and its acceptance of and outreach to all.

St Vincent de Paul Society at Holy Trinity, Braamfontein.

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