Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Looking the part

I was not there because I'd totally forgot about it and because I was exhausted. But Mark and Lawrence who were there got a treat.

They saw a priest who looked the part. And seminarians too. But.... as some of you might have guessed, they were not from these parts.

Here's a photo of Mark with Fr. Louis from Korea. It might be a common sight where you, dear reader, come from If so, consider yourself blessed. Because for us in Malaysia, it just snowed in June.

Here's Mark's report:
Fr Louis was with several of his seminarians on his trip down here to Malaysia. He administered to the Korean nationals here in Penang. At Sunday Mass last weekend, when Fr Louis and his seminarians sung a Korean chant, I would unite myself with the envoys of Prince Vladimir of Kiev when they encountered the Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sofia, -"We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth." It was sort of like a Korean 'Palestrina' Chant. This puts me to shame when *hippie* hymns are sung here.
Well, I'm sad to have missed it. And I'm even sadder that this is not something we can see more often in Malaysia and around the world. Would that it please God that sights like these will not elicit a response of shock and awe but rather one of expected joy.

By the way, inculturation to me means something like what Mark witnessed above, using Gregorian melodies and the modes of our polyphonic heritage while simultaneously making the songs more accessible by using the vernacular.


Anonymous said...

Fr.Louis says mass for the korean Catholics once a month in St.Johns


Collin Michael Nunis said...

It's about time we adjusted the vernacular to traditional melodies of chant. My weekly dose of worship usually has Greek-use Byzantine chant in both English and Arabic. I am now, however, trying to get my hands on Russian-style Byzantine chant in Mandarin... a legacy of the now-extinct (hopefully to be revived one day by the Melkites) Greek-Catholic Exarchate of Harbin.

Anyways, fancy a Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy sung in Church Slavonic using Gregorian melodies? Imagine "Axion Estin" (a hymn to Our Lady) sung to the melodies of Regina Caeli... :D