Friday, July 30, 2010

LLA Recap – A Whirlwind Weekend

Tridentine Community News (July 25, 2010):
After almost two years of planning, the Latin Liturgy Association National Convention [of July 16-18, 2010, in Detroit/Windsor] is finally over. It was one of the most memorable events ever to have happened on the local Latin Mass scene.

Friday’s bus tour was sold out. On Saturday, the hall at St. Joseph was filled with over 110 people, many more than we expected for the talks, which covered a variety of subjects. The Sunday Pontifical Mass had over 430 in attendance. Considering the modest advertising that was done for this conference, it is clear that interest in the Latin Mass, both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms, is growing, locally and across North America.

The music programs at each of the liturgies were outstanding: Friday’s Vespers at Assumption-Windsor under the direction of Wassim Sarweh, Saturday’s Ordinary Form Latin Mass at St. Joseph under the direction of Michael Semaan, Saturday’s Vespers at St. Albertus under the direction of Dr. Steven Ball and Dr. David Saunders, Sunday’s Benediction led by Joe Balistreri, and, of course, Sunday’s Pontifical Mass under the direction of Wassim Sarweh. The latter featured the combined choirs of St. Josaphat and Assumption-Windsor, plus volunteer singers from our parishes and guest singers from Assumption Grotto and Ann Arbor’s St. Thomas the Apostle Church. We were also privileged to have Montreal soprano Melinda Enns join us with her “angel’s voice”, as one of our readers terms it.

Some of the English-speaking world’s most accomplished Latin Mass music directors attended the conference. One of them with conference-organizing experience was particularly complimentary. While some of us look up to Chicago with its 14 Extraordinary Form Mass sites, one attendee from Chicago told us that yes, they have quantity, but Detroit has the quality. Well, of course, isn’t Quality Job 1 around here?

CDs and DVDs of the talks and the Pontifical Mass will be available from Ferndale’s St. Michael’s Media; details to follow.

Looking Forward

We pray that three things develop from the LLA Convention: First, that those who were not yet familiar with the riches of the Church’s liturgical and musical traditions would be introduced to this vast treasury, motivated to learn more about it, and through it grow in their spiritual life.

Second, that those who may be interested in starting Latin Masses in their own parishes and dioceses might pick up some practical lessons from our region’s experience, and be motivated to embark on such projects with more confidence.

Third, that those already attending a Latin Mass might discover yet more riches available to them. The process of preparing for Vespers and the Pontifical Mass, for example, was a humbling and eye-opening experience that proved that there is always more to learn about the Church’s liturgy.

May God bless everyone who helped, who contributed towards, and who attended this conference. Ad majórem Dei glóriam.
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 25, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

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