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History in the making at Assumption Grotto as pastor conducts his own orchestral Mass

Te Deum laudamus!
By: Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS
Thursday, December 22, 2011


Father Perrone, letter to the choir, excerpt:
"Let me say first that composing an orchestral Mass is a daunting project in view of the illustrious composers who have written in this form. I decided to have a hand at it for two reasons: from the encouragement given by some people and by my desire to give something to honor the Mother of God, like the offering made by the juggler before the image of Notre Dame. It’s my belief that the Virgin Mary is the most beautiful of all God’s creatures in view of the fact that God chose Her for the Incarnation of His Son. All created beauty, in my view, must then be a participation in Her unparalleled beauty which is reflected in the many great works of art which Her beauty has inspired. I wanted therefore to make my own contribution, however small, to this vast cultural treasure. For this reason I dedicated it to Her under the title Fountain of Beauty".

As a member of the Assumption Grotto Choir, last night was both euphoric and historic. 

The Assumption Grotto choir got a real treat last night at the dress rehearsal for the Christmas season orchestral Mass.  We got to hear the full, roughly 40-piece orchestra as we sang a classical Mass composed this past summer by our pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone.  We had only heard piano and choral voices since October when the music was first handed to us.  The musicians, the soloists, and the 60-65 voices brought to life something that was unimaginable to us when rehearsing it all this months. 

It is moving and uplifting at times while serene at others, and fully majestic at strategic points. 

Each year we are given a composed Mass set by one of the greats: Hadyn, Mozart, Schubert, Stravinsky, etc.  We wondered as summer came to an end who the composer would be, only to learn Fr. Perrone had composed his own Mass.  A couple of weeks ago, Fr. Perrone talked about his composition in a letter to choir members, which I posted here.

You have a chance to be a part of this historic moment in Detroit, and in the world of Catholic sacred music.  It will premiere at the midnight Mass (at midnight) at Assumption Grotto in Detroit.  Prelude music begins 15 minutes before.  It will be featured again at the 9:30 AM Mass on New Year's Day, an one last time at the noon Mass on January 8th, 2012. 

The midnight Mass will be a solemn high Mass in the extraordinary form.  It is a traditional Latin Mass using the 1962 Missal.  If you have a Missal you will want to use the "First Mass at Midnight" for Christmas.  Here is a version online you can print.  I'm hoping we will have some sheets available, but it is good if you can bring your own to be sure.



Fr. Perrone is the kind of priest traditional Catholics pray for.  He is far too humble to promote this. But, as is too often common, the traditional Catholic community that has flourished under Fr. Perrone's care faces the threat of being extinguished. Perhaps some positive attention on what exactly is flourishing might help prevent the loss. - May God bless you all this Christmas season, Kathleen
WISH I WAS THERE!
Someone told me that orchestra's weren't allowed at Mass pre-Vatican 2, does anybody know about this, some Pope said only the Organ was allowed.
(12-22-2011, 09:23 PM)salus Wrote: [ -> ]Someone told me that orchestra's weren't allowed at Mass pre-Vatican 2, does anybody know about this, some Pope said only the Organ was allowed.

If orchestras weren't allowed at Mass than we would have so many orchestral mass settings!  However, Saint Pius X did discourage orchestral settings and emphasized the traditional role that polyphony has played in the mass.  But, he didn't outright ban orchestral settings. 
(12-22-2011, 03:04 PM)Josué Wrote: [ -> ]WISH I WAS THERE!

I can't tell you how blessed I feel for having the Grotto.

Having Fr. Perrone is an tremendous blessing. He is a classically trained musician besides being a rock solid priest -- in his sermons and writings he never wavers from providing us solid guidance especially on the hard topics. Really the proof of what a blessing Fr. Perrone is are the vocations to Our Lord's Holy Priesthood and to the religious life coming out of the Grotto - they're truly bountiful.

And our music program, which includes polyphony and chant every Sunday is a continuous heavenly homage to the Glories of God and Our Blessed Mother.

You will never hear banal non-traditional music at the Grotto. Never.

These traditional Tridentine orchestral Masses are for special occasions periodically throughout the year.

Hopefully the threat of closure of the Grotto can be overcome.

And I hope you have a blessed Christmas as well!
Wishing you all a blessed and merry Christmas!

Assumption Grotto Christmas Season Schedule

[Image: Grotto%2BSchedule.JPG]