Bringing young adults into a deeper relationship with Christ through Eucharistic worship.
“But what is beauty? What makes the liturgy beautiful? "
“Beauty is the glue that holds truth and goodness together.”
In this evening’s lecture, titled, “What is Sacred Music?,” Dr. Mahrt began by speaking to us about beauty. In his remarks he posed the question, “What is beauty?” It’s a question that has been sitting with me throughout the course of the evening. After posing the question, Dr. Mahrt followed by saying:
St. Thomas calls beauty, ‘That which, when seen, pleases.’ It’s a rather surprising description, because it’s only just a description, it’s not a definition. It just describes what happens when you perceive beauty. And when you say, ‘that which, when seen pleases,’ it could be mistaken for simply sensible pleasures. Surely, that’s not what beauty is.
So what is beauty? He continued:
...Rather, that which, when seen, pleases, the pleasure is not sensible pleasure only, but it is delight. It is an elevated pleasure that integrates enlightenment with enjoyment. And that enlightenment must include intellectual insight that leads to delight in the truth. Thus beauty gives delight in the truth, and thus engenders a desire in the truth. And to desire it because it is good.
Dr. Mahrt then continued by talking about the beauty inherent in Gregorian Chant. He spoke of the beauty in its sound, its form, its purpose, followed by several wonderful examples. For instance, did you know that if you collected all of the chant settings of the Kyrie, majority of them would end by going down in pitch as we spiritually bow before God?
Now this is all well and good, and the rest of his lecture was very insightful and practical, but I would like to pose the question, how does this relate to the liturgy as a whole and not just sacred music?
Dr. Mahrt had previously stated, “The greatest need of the liturgy today is the restoration of the sense of the sacred.” True beauty will is vital in this restoration. For it is in the liturgy that we experience and participate in true beauty, revealed to us by God and leading us into the sacred.
For now, this is all I have time to write. We are sharing two computers with internet access among several people. I will post more as time allows and look forward to a long wrap up next week. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter® www.twitter.com/adquemibimus
Tomorrow, we dive into the choirs. I have decided to enlist in Scott Turkington’s Beginners’ Chant Schola to help solidify my fundamentals and to pick up some tips for teaching others. For my polyphonic choir, I have decided to enlist in the Roman Vespers choir. For more information on these choirs, visit:
In your charity, please keep the colloquium staff, participants and families in your prayers.