(Excerpted with the kind permission of John Sonnen. The article and photos by Mr. Sonnen were originally posted at Orbis Catholicus Travel Blog.)
Soaring skyward with its bold array of colored brick, stone and slate, the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Victoria displays the confident spirituality that characterizes the best religious architecture in Canada.
The High Victorian Gothic style, an inspiration to generations of Canadians, was a fitting backdrop to sung Mass in the Classical rite on Saturday, June 24, a part of the Cathedral’s 125 year celebration and Canada’s 150 years.
Mass was sung by Fr. Pablo Santa Maria, Vice-Rector of the Cathedral of Vancouver. The excellent choir sang Palestrina’s other-worldly Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, sung by the CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble, directed by Mr. Michael Gormley.
For many of the participants of the packed church, it was their first experience of sung Mass in Latin. One young participant remarked: “This was my first time hearing Gregorian chant. I am an illiterate in the worship of the Church. The super-terrestrial, meditative and other-wordly aspects of the ceremony were a touch of heaven. Thank you to all!”
Another exclaimed: “What a great way to renew culture! A big defect in our age is a lack of reverence or even an experience of the sacred.”
Another visiting musician remarked: “The Roman Church possesses a mature Christian musical culture, the core of which is the Roman rite sung in the Latin language. The choir was terrific!”