L.A. Catholic’s latest post on a The Tidings article reports on the "Missa Gaia"
The print edition of the October 27 issue of The Tidings (the online edition is not posted on that paper’s site, but you can click on this post’s title tomorrow and presumably it will be) carries an article, "LMU Forum draws prominent environmentalists."
The article is about this year’s Bellarmine Forum, Oct. 29-Nov. 3, at Loyola Marymount U. in L.A. The theme is, "Earth to You: Do Something Now." The invitees include Bobby Kennedy Jr., Jean-Michel Cousteau and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.
St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), for whom the Forum is named, would want his name withdrawn this year. Listen to this Tidings paragraph:
"The Oct. 29 kick-off event is a Missa Gaia (Earth Mass), 8 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Chapel with Jesuit Father John Coleman presiding. The contemporary liturgy celebrates the whole earth as a sacred space by integrating recorded sounds such as the calls of wolves, whales, eagles and seals."
The "Missa Gaia" debuted at an Episcopalian cathedral, and Unitarian Universalists like it.
"Missa Gaia" composer Jim Scott has written, "When we began neither Paul [Winter] or I had ever been to a Mass…We took the name of the Greek goddess Gaia after the writings of James Lovelock, whose ‘Gaia hypothesis’ is that all of life on earth and the earth itself comprises a single living entity that is self-sustaining and, of course, evolving."
"Missa Gaia" writer Paul Winter has written, "The idea of writing a Mass seemed far-flung. I had never even been to a Mass!…Could a Mass celebrate a vision of the entire Earth as a cathedral? Dean Morton assured me it could. Could Mass music be based on themes from whales and wolves? ‘You can write a Mass on anything’, the Dean said. I did have a fine melody from a wolf that fit perfectly with the words ‘Kyrie Eleison.’"
I had at first assumed that the use of a term "Missa Gaia" was Quintero’s sharp-witted criticism of an environmental Mass only to be surprised to find it was the term they were actualy using. Instead of the New Order of Mass we get the New Age Order of Mass. Or would that be Novus Aevum Ordo? Though I am sure my that my Latin translation is way off and would appreciate a better translation from my readers.