Monday, March 10, 2008

Bach recessional: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Today was a nice day. In pouring rain I attended Pontifical Mass at the hidden and lovely Basilica of Santa Maria Nova in the Roman Forum. The Abbot General, in pontificals, sang the Mass, Dom Michelangelo Tiribilli, OSB oliv.

It was great to hear the organ there as it's really one of the best in all of Rome, or at least my most favorite. Today they had a Vatican organist playing. He's an American and really very nice. I don't remember his North German name, but he was born in L.A. and has lived in Rome for over forty years. For twenty years he's played at Papal Masses.

I still remember when for recessionals at Papal Masses with Pope John Paul II he would sometimes play the haunting Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 of Bach. For the recessional today he played it and it made me think of Frankenstein as I was in the crypt chapel under the sanctuary there with all the echoes and the skeletal remains of St. Frances of Rome.

Yesterday the Vatican Basilica was the stational church. So we all attended the solemn vespers there with the procession of canons, Roman clergy and seminarians. They brought out the copy of the hallowed veil of Veronica and blessed the faithful to the rings of a bell (it's on YouTube so check it out).

The day before, on Saturday, the stational Mass was at San Nicola in Carcere. Archbishop Luigi de Magistris sang the Mass. There was a procession, too, with the chanting of the Litany of Saints with lots of great relics.

I also went to a WWII arms bazaar on Saturday and an antique car show on Sunday. At the car show they brought out Mussolini's old 1936 Fiat staff car which is still owned by the government. They also had Alberto Sordi's old BMW and lots of other neat autos. So if anyone is interested let me know and I can post some photos of the cars.


Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬) said...

San Nicola in Carcere... where I was ordained a deacon.

JPSonnen said...

I wish I could have been there when you were ordained back in the day.

The Mass there on Saturday was in the Tridentine Rite (but with concelebrants!). At the beginning they had an outdoor procession around the block with banners, etc. I'll post a few pics of the Pio nono vestments they used.