måndag 7 oktober 2013

A wasted opportunity

The Catholic church in Sweden existed in the shadows for over 400 years following the reformation. The broadcasting of a Catholic confirmation service last Sunday came as welcome evidence of its present acceptance in what has the reputation of being the most secularised country in Europe.

Unfortunately, the event was not exploited as it could and should have been, to present the church's wares in the most attractive way. In fact, if one listened only to the sound, the service was hardly recognisable as Catholic. Latin, the sign and instrument of the unity of the Latin rite Catholic church, was absent. I waited for something, but in vain. Not even the familiar Missa de Angelis was sung. One might have at least expected that somewhere in the service, the congregation would have got the opportunity to sing the famous hymn to the Holy Spirit, Veni Creator Spiritus (upper), and that the choir would have performed the beautiful sequence for Pentecost, Veni Sancte Spiritus (lower).

The service was dignified enough, but there was nothing in the choice of music to indicate that it was Catholic. The church from which the broadcast took place, Kristuskonungen, in Göteborg, has two first-rate choirs at its disposal, and a talented organist, so there is no excuse for this choice of dreary non-Catholic music. The treasures of the Catholic church and its culture should have been on display for this occasion. What a sad waste of an opportunity. The parish needs to get a proper grip of its liturgy and stop churning out this tired old stuff.

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