Once again in recent days, St.Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane was "Standing Room Only"as the congregation crowded out through the doors and every available seat was occupied as well as the side walls!
The Choir and music was, almost without exception, superb. There was an exception the Agnus Dei written by the Anglican Boughen for his Movie and Broadway inspired "Mass of St.Stephen"" now Copyrighted to "Morton Music"(Dr.Ralph Morton being the non-Catholic Choir Master). This "Ägnus Dei "is pseudo Ivor Novello and saccharine sweet, having no place in Catholic Liturgy.
The singing of the "Exultet"by Father Ken Howell, Dean of the Cathedral was as usual a sheer delight truly uplifting and setting the scene with that beautiful text and chant for the whole liturgy of the evening. Sadly the Liturgy of the Word which followed, was seriously marred by readers varying from laughable primary school or even pre-school teacher readings of Genesis to plodding mediocre renditions, devoid of intelligent reading, of everything until the last reading delivered in direct, intelligent, manly style by Chad Hargrave - St. Paul would have been pleased. As for the others, they need to be taught diction is not enough - intelligent reading and avoidance of theatricality are essential..
For the rest of the Celebration the Liturgy and God's Grace carried us through superbly, simpering Serviettes were as nothing, and the great devotion of Father Paul Chandler from Holy Spirit Seminary once again shone in the darkness.
The Archbishop's Homily contained no heresy or expressions of puerile doubt.
We came away uplifted by God's Grace and the power of the Sacred Liturgy to overcome even significant sub-par elements in its enactment. Resurrexit Sicut Dixit!! Alleluia!, Alleluia!!, Alleluia!!!!
Less than three Months to go.