Tuesday, 15 July 2008

World Youth Day Opening Mass...oh dear

I wasn't going to post on this, but then I came across this article by SBS who love it - after all its a giant multi-cultural festival come rock concert so what's not to love....

By Valerio Veo at Barangaroo

"World Youth Day has finally kicked off in spectacular fashion under blue skies at Darling Harbour in Sydney, with 150,000 pilgrims filling the enormous venue in a joyous celebration of the Catholic religion.

Despite fears of low numbers the event was at capacity, with many expected to be unable to attend as thousands attempted to register at the last minute at venues throughout the city. In an event that more closely resembled a massive outdoor festival than a religious ceremony, [not a good thing!] the carefully choreographed event delivered a spectacular show of music and song [oh how I long for a liturgical dance free-zone] that was only met by the enthusiasm of its participants.

On a day when anti-annoyance laws were turned over in the federal court, there were no protestors to be seen around Darling Harbour, where thousands congregated from early in the day before making their way to Barangaroo. Throughout the day groups of pilgrims from various regions gathered to sing and dance – often in traditional costume [and they must have been absolutely freezing looking at some of those outfits...]– before being gently herded to Barangaroo where they grouped into pods holding two to three thousand people.

Once there the huge operation kicked into full swing, with meals dished out to every pilgrim, including a meat pie, fruit, bread and soft drink. [So much for ideas about promoting an extended fast before Mass!] The pilgrims also put their backpacks supplies to good use – spreading out on thermal blankets to enjoy their food in the countdown to the mass.

Celebration of grand scale

Once the mass eventually began, it was met with a sea of flag waving and cheering as the flags of all 168 participating nations were paraded before the crowd, followed by Aboriginal dancers who gave their traditional welcome.The WYD anthem was also given new meaning, backed by 300 choir singers and 80 musicians who added to the kaleidoscope of sound and colour. The congregation was then addressed by Kevin Rudd, who welcomed pilgrims in several languages including German, French, Italian, German and Indonesian. [Our PM is an inveterate show-off when it comes to his linguistic abilities, with a speciality line in addresses to the Chinese nation in Mandarin (I'm not kidding, he actually did this after their recent earthquake). I'm surprised we didn't get 47 languages...]

Once the mass finally began, a sea of calm descended [thank goodness!] over the huge crowd who reflected on the true meaning of the event as the sun set over proceedings. The strong Indigenous theme was clearly present throughout the event, with dancers and musicians from the Torres Strait performing and a group of Maori pilgrims also due to sing an a capella piece in their native tongue."
Can't say the music or the liturgy is the kind of stuff that inspires me much - little bits of Latin thrown in for show rather than being organic to the piece. Adn why couldn't the Cardinal sing the bits that are normally chanted in even a vaguely important novus ordo Mass? But then I'm not a yuf....oh wait, I hated this kind of stuff even when I was.
I'm hoping to get to Bishop Jarrett's Solemn Mass plus Vespers tomorrow, and so hopefully wipe out the after-effects of the trauma watching this has induced....


Marty said...

And we were expecting....??? :(

Peter said...

Hard to know where to point the finger liturgically. The Australian church is a long way behind the writings of the pope. We can still be thankful of the witness the event gives even if there are elements of, not sure what to call it actually, barbarism is too strong ...


IS said...

you are commenting like Fr Z. But I like... I too was distressed... had some expectations after seeing the deacons vestments and altar arrangement