Thursday, August 13, 2009

For love of God alone

"And I hold in veneration,
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church, as His creation,
And her teachings, as His own.
And I take with joy whatever
Now besets me, pain or fear,
And with a strong will I sever
All the ties which bind me here. {328}
Adoration aye be given,
With and through the angelic host,
To the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

From part 1 of John Henry Cardinal Newman's The Dream of Gerontius. This is Gerontius in death throes.

Last night's performance of Sir Richard Elgar's musical rendition of Newman's poem by The Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir and Orchestra was truly beautiful! Congratulations to Gregory Glenn and everyone involved! I was enraptured. Martin Thompson, who sang Gerontius, a part for tenor, deeply moved me. He sang it so well and with so much passion! His singing made me feel the part.



My appreciation of last night's performance was greatly enhanced by Dr. Owen Cummings' lecture on John Henry Newman, his poem, and what it means for us today, delivered in the Cathedral the previous evening. His lecture caused me to consider my own stance toward death. What came through to me in last night's concert was God's great mercy, given us in Christ Jesus, which was revealed to me in the beauty of the music and of the sacred space in which it was performed, a space that, after almost 15 years, is my spiritual home. It was also a nice antidote to my recent re-immersion in Samuel Beckett. Such an experience certainly makes me more modest, that is, more realistic, not only about the limits of preaching, but of my preaching!

It is very humbling, yet gratifying, to be a part of this Cathedral family, this center of human excellence in which all is done for love of God alone. This excellence is most fully realized in the passion, intensity, and love of our Cathedral musicians, led and directed by Gregory Glenn.

The second and final performance is this evening in the Cathedral at 7:30 PM.

6 comments:

  1. It is an amazing Cathedral family...

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  2. All the more so for you being a part of it.

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  3. By the way, you and I are getting be some the "old-timers!"

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  4. For those of us who can't attend either night, will a video of the performance be available or posted on the Cathedral website?

    Surely wish I could be there to enjoy the sounds of Heaven on earth!

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  5. No video, but KBYU is broadcasting it live and will rebroadcast. So, check their webpage.

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  6. I was at the concert tonight, and I feel the same way Scott!

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