Saturday, May 13, 2017

The practice of faith …

… Singing Aquinas in L.A. by Dana Gioia | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

My particular affection for the hymn probably originates in a combination of personal and ­impersonal factors. First, there was the resonant beauty of Aquinas’s verse set to the stately eighteenth-century tune by Samuel Webbe. Second, there was my personal experience of singing the words repeatedly for years with my friends in the first grand space I had ever seen. Finally, there was the mystery of the Eucharist, which I first understood not from theological instruction but through the beauty of song.


  1. What a wonderful piece, Frank! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jeff Mauvais7:22 PM

    As an altar boy, I served at hundreds of Masses, Novenas, Stations of the Cross. But, like Gioia, I was especially transported by the couple of dozen Benedictions I served. Even the chattiest priests seemed quieter and more focused while preparing in the sacristy beforehand. Because my tenure as a server was split into pre- and post-Vatican II halves, I also remember the tsunami of insipid folk music that flooded the Catholic Church during the late 1960's."If hell has a hymnal, these tunes will fill its opening pages". Exactly!