Can’t Live Without It

Beauty is a necessity, not a luxury. …without beauty, the duties prove too hard and, eventually, seem pointless. 

Charles Klamut

Why is it that we feel happier when we’re in the presence of beauty? And why do drab or utilitarian surroundings make us feel sort of listless or depressed, or even agitated? We instinctively respond to beauty, just as we keenly, if unconsciously, sense it’s absence. 

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That’s Just Your Opinion!

Understanding this difference between objective and subjective judgment is crucial to our understanding of beauty and indeed reality. 

Joseph Pearce

Is it possible to speak objectively about what’s beautiful and what isn’t? Joseph Pearce argues that we can, though we will first need to be open to the truth that there is such a thing as an objective standard for beauty. That’s a tough sell today, and requires a large dose of humility. 

Music: Indispensable or an Add-On?

Sacred Music is the indispensable instrument of the Holy Spirit in leading souls in their march toward Heaven…

Fr. John A. Perricone

Authentic sacred music isn’t a luxury or a mere affectation—it is a necessary element in right worship. As Fr. John Perricone sets out in the article linked below (h/t Crisis Magazine), our souls are moved in profound ways by the music we encounter, and this is especially true in the liturgy. He writes:

This music transforms him and pierces man’s soul to the core of his being. Often, it produces a contrition so profound that a man’s life can take a wholly different course.  

This basic understanding is what guides our music program at St. Mark. Music for Mass isn’t about “filling in the gaps” or giving people something to do. It is an expression of our love for God, which in turn lifts and transforms our souls. But for this dynamic to truly work, the music must be fitting. Not necessarily complicated or expensive to produce, but fitting

Happily, we have available to us a long tradition of music that is well-suited to the worship of the Most Holy Trinity. Some of this music ornate and difficult, and some is quite simple and accessible, but all of it has been proved over the course of centuries to both render right praise to God as well as “pierce man’s soul.” 

Read the entire article below:

Music Spotlight: Paul Jernberg

In order for sacred music to reach its full stature, composers and musicians need to exercise true artistry, in which knowledge, inspiration, and skill all play a vital role in creating works of dignity and beauty.

Paul Jernberg

You may not have noticed, but the past 30 years have seen the beginnings of a kind of renaissance in Catholic sacred music. It has been very slow and has largely gone unnoticed at the parish level, but it’s real and it’s bearing fruit.

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Music Spotlight: “Ave Maria” by Michael John Trotta

Today, our music spotlight comes courtesy of our excellent music director, Diana Corliss:

This weekend, we will be singing two beautiful pieces on Mother’s Day in honor of our Blessed Mother.

At the 10:00 am Mass, the choir will be singing a setting of the “Ave Maria” by Michael John Trotta.  It has a soaring and tender soprano solo that reminds me of the Blessed Mother hearing our prayers and interceding for us with her motherly love. 

We will also be singing the “Salve Regina” at the end of every Mass this weekend. 

Links to recorded versions of these pieces are included below. Better yet, come to the 10:00 Mass this weekend and hear our superb choir!