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Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith pledges to rekindle the harmonious Latin music in the Holy Liturgy

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By Shannon Jayawardena

Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith pledged to rekindle the harmonious Latin music in the Holy Liturgy through the occurrence of the third annual Latin Choral Mass which will be held on 18 February at St. Lucia’s Cathedral Kotahena.

The service which will resonate with the magnificent music of Franz Schubert’s Mass in G major will be held in celebration of the ‘Year of the Good Shepherd’ as proclaimed by the Archdiocese of Colombo. The choir will consist of 90 singers from the Chorus Sacrum directed by Hasini Halpe and Soundaree David Rodrigo.

Cardinal Ranjith said: “Over the years there has being a heritage of prayers, praise, thanksgiving and readings from the Holy Scriptures that have been a part of the Holy Eucharist. An important part of the Holy Mass is the singing because we sing hymns of praise to God. Ever since the fourth century, the liturgy of the church has been in Latin. Latin is the guiding language in the Liturgy of the church.”

“In the Catholic church in Sri Lanka, this tradition has been revised once again during the last 20 years or so with Latin hymns being sung at masses. Therefore, today we have introduced parts of the Latin singing heritage in to our Liturgy. All of this is very important for us and we hope that this Choral mass will turn the Liturgy into dynamic involvement especially among the youth,” he added.

Forty musicians of the Colombo Chamber Orchestra led by Lakshman de Saram will be providing the instrumental background while British Maestro Gregory Rose will conduct the Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus and Angus Dei.

Vocalists from St. Joseph’s College Colombo, Good Shepherd Convent Kotahena, St. Benedict’s College and St. Laurence together with members of the Archdiocesan choir and Parish singers directed by Francis D’Almeida and Nimal Victoria will be performing the Lauda Jerusalem, William Bryd’s Ave Verum Corpus and the Christus Vincit.

Soul Sounds Head Soundaree David Rodrigo stated: “The standard of our choirs have increased over the last year because of the Asia Pacific Choir Games, hence you can expect a very high standard both in terms of the choir and the orchestra. The beauty of this whole presentation is that it is not going to be a concert performance but will be refining the Latin singing through the solemn Eucharist and that’s what makes this event so special.”

This was first initiated by the Archbishop Cardinal Ranjith himself with the support of Fr. Indrajith Perera and Fr. Indika Joseph of the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission with the aim of enhancing the Latin music in the Liturgy and encouraging the youth to activate in a more lively experience of prayer.

The entire mass will be conducted in Latin expect for the reading and the sermon together with the contribution of 50 priests from all over the country. Cardinal Ranjith welcomed all music lovers to witness and partake in the solemn occasion. 

Pic by Upul Abayasekara

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