Monday, February 1, 2010

Towers of power

Yesterday what with all the excitement I forgot to mention that I flagrantly stole the photo of the Corpus Christi church towers from my friend Christopher Byrd. It is from his most excellent Web site, Broadway Fillmore Alive. Chris belongs to Corpus Christi. I remember when he joined up because it was right around then that we got to be friends.

I am not repentant about stealing the picture. As a matter of fact, here it is again because I love it.

You know what, I do think I want to look at it one more time.

And up at the top is another picture Chris took of Father Anzelm saying Mass yesterday. Father Anzelm is third from the left, or second from the right, depending on your political preference.

One thing, Chris writes in his comment yesterday how much he loves Corpus Christi and then he writes, "I hate to equate my faith with buildings."

Not me. I have no problem with that, I will tell you that right now.

We have had to swallow a lot of bull here in Buffalo over the last couple of years from people telling us how the church is not buildings. Blah, blah, blah. That is my articulate Monday morning assessment of that!

The church is technically not buildings and it is not music or art but that does not mean they stand for nothing.

Even if you do not realize it something clicks in your head when you see a place like Corpus Christi. Here were these immigrants and they had no money and yet they made it their top priority to put up these wonders like Corpus Christi and St. Gerard's. The poor Sicilian immigrants, including Leonard Pennario's parents, their faith meant enough to them that they managed to come up with St. Anthony's.

Think of the effort! This was before drywall and modern construction and OSHA and whatever. The churches' pillars were hauled in on the Erie Canal and horses and oxen pulled them through the streets.

It is like a blues song. Baby, if that ain't love, what is?

So that is what is clicking in the Byrd brain when my friend Chris looks up at the glorious spires of Corpus Christi. What did that picture look like again, Chris?

The Byrd brain is Chris' joke and I love it. Chris is always talking on his Web log about the Byrd house and the Byrd brain.

I feel no shame in my faith being inspired by buildings. Or by music and art. You hear Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" or you look at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and what, that's not supposed to get us?

Here is "Ave Verum Corpus." The best part is the look on Leonard Bernstein's face at the beginning and at the end. He really puts himself into the moment! It is sweet too how Bernstein sings the Latin words along with the chorus. Great conductors are great conductors for a reason.

What about the "Ave Verum Corpus" by Byrd? There is that too.

This one goes out to Chris Byrd!


Larry said...

What about the Tabernacle (and the Ark and, all accessories) that was built during the Exodus in the Desert of Sinai, to God's specifications as told to Moses on Mount Sinai? I would say that was quite elaborate and, that God wanted it precisely that way... I see nothing wrong with majesty and beauty either.

C. Byrd said...

Mary...that picture...sometimes I happen to be in the right place at the right time...I looked up and there it was.

One of the pitches I make to people with roots in the neighborhood is that these churches were built as a testament to our ancestor's faith...that by preserving structures and attending mass there we are not only honoring God but our forefathers/ me there is something very cool about worshiping in the same church where my grandmother was baptized 90 some years ago.


I wasn't seeking acknowledgment for the pic...I just love it.

Bingles said...

And a family is not the home in which the children were raised in... but still, it adds to the sense of security and warmth.