Thursday, March 20, 2008

8th Annual Tenebrae a Great Success

Spy Wednesday Evening
19 March 2008
Church of St. John the Evangelist,
University Heights, San Diego

The 8th Annual Tenebrae was a great success, with somewhere between 50 and 100 in attendance. The ad hoc Tomas Luis de Victoria Choir sang that composer's first Lamentation of Jeremias, then the second and third in settings by Tudor era composer Robert White (d.1574). In addition they offered the antiphon "Christus factus est" by Mexican baroque composer Francisco Lopez Capillas, and the "Miserere" of Hernando Franco, both chapelmasters at the Cathedral in Mexico City. The "fragor et strepitus" or beating of the choirbooks (and anything else to hand) in the darkened church, and in simulation of the earthquake which marked the moment of our Lord's death on the Cross, provided an always alien and unexpected dramatic note to conclude the proceedings.

The generous collection defrayed about half the cost of the polyphonic choir, some of whom even donated their checks to the endeavour, but our feeling is that if the beautification of the liturgy is worth the expenditure. Such beauty does not however come cheaply, and people spend hours of their lives rehearsing in order to be able to reliably provide it. It is our view that the soul must be fed sometimes even before their body, and to take a line from St. Jose Maria Escriva, "When lovers start exchanging bags of cement as gifts, I'll stop offering beautiful things to the Lord." I think that may well be my favourite Opus Dei quote!

To that end, and in support of our efforts to beautify the liturgy, contributions may be sent to:
"The Brothers of the Little Oratory"
1675 Garnet Ave. #116,
San Diego, Ca., 92109

We are in the process of obtaining our charitable tax exemption, but we still have work to do in the meantime. These will be applied to the upcoming events concerned with the Feast of Our Holy Father, St. Philip Neri, 26 May 2008. Anything will be greatly appreciated.

John Polhamus

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