Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pretty sounds shorn of meaning

                                                       "Last Judgment" by Hans Memling

The inquiry into UK press standards, which is focusing on certain press properties of Rupert Murdoch, has produced the following minor revelation: At his 1999 wedding to his present wife, Mr. Murdoch insisted that the famous Welsh singer Charlotte Church perform Pie Jesu.  Ms. Church, who was 13 at the time, rightly objected, pointing out that Pie Jesu is from the Dies Irae, and is proper music for a funeral, not a wedding.  Mr. Murdoch was not persuaded, and so Ms. Church sang it.  I expect the great majority of guests on the wedding yacht  in NY harbor, having never attended a Requiem Mass, were delighted by the pretty song.  Which shows that, as contact with traditio is lost, any gaucherie, barbarism or even sacrilege may easily pass muster, so long as it is pretty, or entertains.  Kind of explains what I see at the local parish on Sunday.  Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith's reflections here.

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