After the bell rang, and the seemingly interminable line of altar boys in cassocks and surplices processed out, followed by Deacons Jerry Builder and Harold Hughesdon and Father Michael Ince, in baroque vestments and birettas, to a chanted introit, the Mass began. After the penitential rite, the orchestra and the choir began this piece.
My heart soared and truly, my soul was transfixed. All that I had imagined, all that I had hoped for, all that, deep down, I knew I had been missing was here. Having grown up in a very liberal, liturgically deprived portion of the world, I had always hungered for the 'more' I just knew had to be there.
The glory of the Church - the reflected beauty of Jesus Christ - in the unearthly beauty of St. Agnes, supported by the strains of such magnificent music, and surrounded by others who truly, sincerely believed - I had found it. I was connected to a strain of faith that stretched back over the centuries and immersed in a beauty that made the beige and whitewashed pablum that had thus far been my experience fall away. Here was beauty. Here was God.
Happy birthday Ludwig van Beethoven. And thank you."
-Rev. Tim Ferguson