She continues: “this is why I came to Rome this year, to ‘find’ a sense of this Cosmic Liturgy, to find Beauty and Majesty. Last night, at San Lorenzo, I found it. From the very moment that the first note of music filtered through the air, everything worked together to provide what can only be described as Beauty.”
“Everything from the lighting to that first sweet sound had been considered”, she recalls. “The congregation were encouraged to practice the music before the Mass began, so that once the Liturgy had started, the whole thing, from start to finish led one’s mind Heavenwards. There was no doubt about it. If I didn’t feel like I was taking part in the Liturgy of Heaven beforehand, I certainly did once it started.”
“By the time the Mass had finished and Our Lord was taken to a shrine of silent repose, the eyes of the whole congregation followed Him in awed silence and automatically turned to follow him as if he were being taken out of our very hands, it was a moment of pure bittersweet Beauty, lifted out of the humdrum of daily life, and I know that I had finally found what I had come to Rome in search of – a moment of pure intimacy with the Lord and the Heavenly congregation, and with my Brothers and Sisters in The People of God.
"The Liturgy at San Lorenzo on Holy Thursday night was one of “Beauty” which helped me to realise that it truly is possible for each generation of believers to mark the Liturgy with their own culture and yet still retain a powerful sense of belonging to that Tradition that was handed down to us by the Apostles" she concludes.
Indeed, it is possible to encourage a commitment of belonging to a local community while infusing that congregation with an understanding of not only belonging to the worldwide community of believers but also the Heavenly congregation and it is this that meets together in the Liturgy of the Church, which can only be achieved through consciously moving toward recapturing Beauty, Awe and Majesty in every aspect of our celebration, and it was this possibility that was played out, last night at the CSL, here in the Eternal City.
To see the full liturgy of CSL’s Holy Thursday in photo form, click here