The Pope in Budapest - by Armando Pierucci


The Pope in Budapest

I would be fine with a Mass like that

The Laus Plena Foundation (FLP) participated in the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, which took place in Budapest from 5 to 12 September 2021. The performance of my Eucharistic Symphony in the Main Hall of the F. Liszt Academy of Budapest (10 September 2021 ) was a defining moment of the Congress. And it was also an icon of what a Eucharistic celebration can be like, when the whole Church will be united around a single altar. On that day each Christian Confession will be able to participate with a song of its tradition, and break the one Bread.

The Holy Mass, celebrated by the Holy Father Francis on 12 September 2021 at the conclusion of the Congress, has not yet realized this aspiration, but in the meantime, for our Today, it has been a model of the highest liturgical and artistic quality. I saw realized those proposals of sustainability, fidelity, fairness, art, which are the raison d'être of the LPF.

In Sustainability I see the participation of all those present, from the children, who still have a small extension of voice, to the elderly, with an uncertain voice. Simple songs, not too broad in scope.

With Fidelity I say that it is good to draw from the repertoire that dates back to the early Christian centuries, from popular songs. Hungary, with the research carried out by Bèla Bartòk and Zoltan Kodàly, has a lot to teach the Italian Church.

Let's recognize it! We have been following fashions for centuries: opera singing, when melodrama was raging; to fashion songs, in the last fifty years. Today music is written for films and videos; and this is the music we bring to church. 

By Fairness I mean a certain professionalism. Church songs do not require virtuosity, but a clean musical approach, yes. This is true for singing, instrumental accompaniment and also harmony. I was joyfully surprised to hear the refrain of the responsorial psalm: "Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo", music by Taizé: 4 bars with the 4 voices placed well, a clean performance; and the Congregation can sing the melody.

Unfortunately we have adapted to being carelessness in music, reassured by the fact that "nobody notices it anyway"; and that "for the Church it is enough" (for the theater, for a ballroom it would not be enough, but for the Church ...).

Finally, by Art I mean all these things put together with dignity, tranquility, good taste.

I also saw the possibility for professionals, for large choirs, orchestral ensembles, to perform something demanding, before and after the Eucharistic celebration. But always mindful, of course, of the imperative: "It is not permissible to silence the Congregation which, when singing, prays".

Armando Pierucci

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