The Petersons and Palestrina

Ok – So, we’re not Protestant, Baptist Bible Thumpers, but I for one love good music, and should give credit where credit is due, and I thought on this Gaudete Sunday – when we should rejoice – readers might enjoy some uplifting melodies and harmonies. There is something manifestly pure and holy, as well as joyful and downright professionally good about this family band, the Petersens. They embody, as commentators state, what makes – I won’t say made, at least, not yet – America great. As Father Paul Quay argued in his magnum opus, The Mystery Hidden For Ages in God: Or – as its subtitle asks – Why Aren’t Catholics Holier Than They Are, we could learn a thing or two from our separated brethren: Sure, they have not the fullness of truth, but they have maintained and live some of our own truths better than we have. The Holy Bible can have quite the effect, if lived well – family life, devotion to God, laughter and love, instead of all this gloomy infighting. Perhaps we do need that winnowing and a purifying fire that Elijah brings.

Catholics, get out those fiddles, guitars, pianos and mandolins, brush up those harmonies, polyphonies and chants, and play some music! Rejoice, and again I say with Saint Paul, rejoice! The Lord is nigh, and wouldn’t you want to be playing some fine melodies – without that bedeviled autotune – to welcome Him when He arrives?

And for a dose of full-blown Catholic music, here is the incomparable Palestrina, the master of the ars perfecta, with his Magnificat Primi Toni, in honour of the Mother of God, as sung by the newer ensemble out of England, Voces8, who are rather close to the ‘perfect art’ themselves: