A major feature of Juventutem were the chant workshops given by Scott Turkington. The challenge now is to bring that knowledge back to parishes, and see the chant revival really take off!
Rorate Caeli has posted some photos from the Pontifical Vespers at Juventutem with Cardinal Pell. I missed the beginning of EWTN's Life on the Rock segment, but as far as I could tell not much of the Vespers made it into the broadcast - the Sisters of Mary proved so much more photogenic (and it is true that their story is a pretty compelling one)!
The Vespers were pretty compelling evidence though, that at least psalmody is 'doable'. On the basis of half an hour or so of rehearsal a fair proportion of the congregation joined the singing, and at least from where I sat, it sounded pretty good!
It has been interesting though to see a few reminders around blogdom over the last few days that polyphony too is part of our patrimony, and in the absence of a few castrati, women are today an integral part of liturgical music. Have a read, for example, of this piece via the Recovering Choir Director (I have to give Aristotle a plug since he was kind enough to include meeting me in his list of highlights of WYD, which are worth a read - I particularly liked his line about beef tasting like beef!) on the reform of the St Peter's 'screechers' at the Vatican, which has included adding some women to the choir. NLM also offers some commentary on same article.
Another highlight of World Youth Day was seeing beautiful locally made vestments (Mr Sternbeck of St Bede Studio is pictured below hopefully with a client who we can only hope will order more...) feature prominently. Is this the end of the polyester horrors? One can only hope...
It was interesting too to see the idea of chastity getting a serious hearing on tv - take a look at Dawn Eden on the morning show for example, but there was much more.
One of the intriguing impacts of WYD seems likely to be the effects of pilgrims visits to parishes. I've heard stories of local priests digging out the dogcollar for the first time in years when confronted with visitors in full clericals.
And then there is this comment from the Southwark Vocations blog:
"...what the Holy Father desires is that we have priests who have a correct and complete understanding of the theology of the Mass as well as the necessary formation to celebrate it - in whatever form - with dignity and reverence. Given the response of the people when I celebrated a Sunday Mass in the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle here in Australia recently, I would say that a Mass celebrated with devotion can have a great impact on ordinary parish congregations where a hermeneutic of discontinuity has previously had a confusing and disheartening effect."
These are stories I suspect that can be repeated from all around the country. Let's hope that they are not just a mirage or temporary burst of rain, to be swallowed up again by the desert...