Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Holy Father Speaks about Pipe Organs

Received this on a pipe organ listserve. The poster cites Catholic News Service for the text. His Holiness was blessing a pipe organ in Regensburg.


The organ has always been considered, and rightly so, the king of musical instruments, because it takes up all the sounds of creation and gives resonance to the fullness of human sentiments. By transcending the merely human sphere, as all music of quality does, it evokes the divine. The organ’s great range of timbre, from piano through to a thundering fortissimo, makes it an instrument superior to all others. It is capable of echoing and expressing all the experiences of human life. The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.

Psalm 150 speaks of trumpets and flutes, of harps and zithers, cymbals and drums; all these musical instruments are called to contribute to the praise of the triune God. In an organ, the many pipes and voices must form a unity. If here or there something becomes blocked, if one pipe is out of tune, this may at first be perceptible only to a trained ear. But if more pipes are out of tune, dissonance ensues and the result is unbearable. Also, the pipes of this organ are exposed
to variations of temperature and subject to wear. Now, this is an image of our community.

Just as in an organ an expert hand must constantly bring disharmony back to consonance, so we in the Church, in the variety of our gifts and charisms, always need to find anew, through our communion in faith, harmony in the praise of God and in fraternal love.


Dad29 said...

At one time, Rembert Weakland, OSB, Archbishop of Milwaukee, referred to the pipe organ as "an instrument used in whorehouses."

Another reminder of why some Bishops are merely roadkill on the highway to Hades.

Brian Michael Page said...

I heard Weakland was an altogether different man before he became Archbishop, in terms of liturgy at least. And what he did to that Cathedral was dispicable if you ask me.

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

I don't know, Bri. I've been there 3 or 4 times, and I kinda like it. The stone-carved cathedra and celebrant's chair is very cool, the second pipe organ is (all but) done, and I find it to be tasteful, save for the uncomfortable chairs.

Weakland's remarks sorta surprise me, as I know he is an accomplished classical pianist.