About this blogger:
Renowned as composer, conductor, theorist, author, pedagogue, and organist, Aurelio Porfiri has served the Church on multiple continents at the highest levels. Born and raised in Italy, he currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Composer in Residence for Santa Rosa de Lima School (Macao, China).
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“I vividly remember going to church with him in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it was soon after the Church had changed the liturgy (from Latin to English). My grandfather obviously didn't agree with this and made all the responses very loudly in Latin while the rest of the congregation answered in English. I found the whole experience quite excruciating, but my grandfather was oblivious. He simply had to do what he believed to be right.”
— Simon Tolkien (2003)

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Between Ethics And Reality: The Liturgical Musician
published 3 June 2014 by Aurelio Porfiri

HAVE A WEIRD QUESTION. Must those that have something to do with liturgical music be good persons? I know that people will start to think the writer of this article is crazy, and I assure you that is not completely incorrect. But writing now using the good part of my brain, I would like to say something more about the issue above.

As a Christian, as a Catholic, I know I am called to a life of holiness. So, I know that my direction is that one, and that at the end of my pilgrimage is God. But I also know, and feel, that our human nature is weak. Original sin is deeply present in our daily life. We fall many times. We are sinners. Liturgical musicians are not exceptions. We struggle with our weak nature and try to keep our eyes fixed on Christ even if our body may be tortured from sin.

Here is, I think, the important discrimination, that is helped by an argument raised by Pope Francis: We know we are sinners, we should avoid being corrupted. Who is corrupt? The one that justifies sin. I mean, I know that doing some things in my life I may go against church teachings, so after every falling I will try to stand up again. It is all falling and standing up. But the corrupt person thinks that everything is possible.

Many Catholic artists were sinners in many regards, but still able to produce masterworks of liturgical art. Why? Because, even if they were not able to win many battles in this earthly life, they were able to keep their eyes where the final battle, the only important one, will be won or lost.


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