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Music for Holy Week: In Monte Oliveti

From First Thoughts

Maundy Thursday, like Palm Sunday, begins in joy and ends in sorrow. The music of Maundy Thursday usually recounts the events of the Last Supper, the foot-washing, the discourses found in the Gospel of John, the betrayal, and Jesus’ arrest. Orlando di Lasso’s “In Monte . . . . Continue Reading »

A Good Time to Be Catholic

From First Thoughts

Sandro Magister writes : It is a widespread opinion, confirmed by numerous testimonies, that the intention of electing pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio grew substantially among the cardinals on the morning of Saturday, March 9, when the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires spoke at the second to last of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Music for Lent: Woefully Arrayed

From First Thoughts

William Cornysh served as a court composer to Henry VIII. While he wrote liturgical works, he also set the poem “Woefully Arrayed” to music for domestic use and private devotion. The music and words are well worth pondering as the Passion approaches. This recording comes from the . . . . Continue Reading »

Washing the Feet of Sinners

From First Thoughts

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Christians use the phrase so often because it captures so well one of the foundational principles of our faith. Usually we think it means loving those whose actions we think are wrong, but not in gravest sense: He is sleeping around, she says nasty . . . . Continue Reading »

Benedict’s Sartorial Legacy

From First Thoughts

In perhaps the most unexpected commentary on Benedict XVI’s legacy, the U.K.’s liberal Guardian has a fashion column on the significance of Benedict’s sartorial and liturgical choices. And they get it exactly right : The root of his need to rediscover some of the more traditional, . . . . Continue Reading »

Refocusing Conservatism

From First Thoughts

In the  Wall Street Journal , Arthur Brooks calls on conservatives to care about the poor, and to make the public argument that what they believe and work for is good for the poor : The answer is to make improving the lives of vulnerable people the primary focus of authentically conservative . . . . Continue Reading »

Sorrow unto Death: A Lenten Motet

From First Thoughts

Recently a friend introduced me to the Orlando di Lasso motet “Tristis Est Anima Mea,” a beautiful piece that captures in words and music the quiet, expectant sorrow of Lent and the coming sacrifice in which Christ is handed over to sinners for the salvation of sinners. The words are . . . . Continue Reading »