Posted by Declan on May 19, 2006, at 17:55:19
In reply to Re: WWJVF?, posted by Estella on May 19, 2006, at 6:39:30
Science? Maybe. Like getting in space and stuff? Clearly not making any good psych drugs. OK, OK, what is it that science has done that's so cool? Got rid of leprosy? Not cancer, but what? Can't think (too unhappy) Truly, I prefer the Mass. Gave me lots more comfort. Those quantum mechanics guys are allright, I guess, and maybe the internet.
Here's my kind of church service, from Patrick Leigh Fermor's "Beyond the Wind and the Water". Church in Hungary, Midnight Mass,Easter Sunday, 1932, I think.
"Light filled the great building, new constellations of wicks floated in all the chapels, the Paschal Candle was alight in the choir and unwinking stars tipped the candles that stood as lances along the high alter. Except for the red front pews, the Cathedral, the clergy, the celebrating priesrt and deacons and all their myrmidons were in white. The Archbishop, white and gold now and utterly transformed from his scarlet manifestation as a Cardinal, was enthroned under a blazing canopy and the members of his little court were perched in tiers up the steps. ..........In the front of the aisle, meanwhile, the quasi-martial bravery of the serried magnates--the coloured doublets of silk and brocade and fur, the gold and silver chains, the Hessian boots of blue and crimson and turquoise, the gilt spurs, the kalpaks of bearskin with their diamond clasps, and the high plumes of egrets' and eagles' and cranes' feathers--accorded with the ecclesiastical splendour as aptly as the accoutrements in the Burial of Count Orgaz: and it was the black attire that was most impressive. Those scimitars leaning in the pews, with their gilt and ivory cross hilts and stagily gemmed scabbards--surely they were heirlooms from the Turkish wars? When their owners rose jingling for the Creed, one of the swords fell on the marble with a clatter.
Soon, after an interval of silence, sheaves of organ pipes were thundering and fluting their message of risen Divinity. Scores of voices soared from the choir, Alleluiahs on the wing, the cumulous of incense billowing round the curved acanthus leaves was winding aloft and losing itself in the shadows of the dome.....urged on by a friendly prod, I joined the slow slipstream and soon, as though smoke and sound had wafted us through the doors, we were all outside.
As the enormous moon was only one night after the full, it was almost as bright as day.....Wheels creaked overhead, timbers groaned and a many-tongued and nearly delirious clangour of bells came tumbling into the night; and then, between those bronze impacts, another sound, like insistant clapping, made us all look up. An hour or so before, two storks, tired of their journey from Africa, had alighted on a dishevelled nest under one of the belfries and everyone had watched them settle in..........Woken by the bells and the music, the storks in the town were floating and crossing overhead and looking down on our little string of lights as it turned uphill to the basilica again. The intensity of the moment, the singing and candle flames and incense, the feeling of spring, the circling birds, the smell of fields, thin shadows and the unreality of the moon over the woods and the silver flood--all these things hallowed the night with a spell of great benificence and power."
Anyway the wars, and politics cleared out that reactionary rabble (as they were called). When I was growing up the grief for the loss of that world was implicit, along with gratitude that we did not have to endure all that.