Requiem for a Lost Tradition

It was a perfect moment.  Vaulted ceilings.  Stained glass windows.  A red-robed choir.  A small orchestra with strings and horns performing Faure’s Requiem.  

Lyrical and inspiring translations of the Latin text, interspersed between choral movements, added to the magic of the moment.

You could not help but be moved by the splendor of the music in that sacred space on Good Friday evening, music composed by a man of great talent who wanted to bring glory to his god.  

It was a moment made for mindfulness.  But I blew it.  

I was saddened to see a church barely half full.  I grumbled about gospel readings that were banal, devoid of the poetic language of the Faure’s text.  I complained, yet again, that so many of the awe-inspiring rituals of the Christianity of my youth have been replaced by bad guitar music and superficial gestures of fellowship. 

Once again, I failed to take my own advice.  Instead of simply relishing the moment of beautiful music, I got caught up in trying to hold on the past.  Instead of being mindful, I slipped into the realm of desire for something I couldn’t control, couldn’t bring back.