The Dangerously Beautiful Sheehan Liturgy

It was the first use of Benedict Sheehan's new musical setting of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the context of Divine Liturgy itself. I was asked to come and man a video camera during the liturgy, so I was mostly in photo-work mode. I knew there would be beautiful music surrounding me, but I was primarily focused on my job and was not thinking too much about the music.

I remember the moment it happened; it is deeply imprinted in my mind. I was moving from one side of the altar to the other, I think, in an effort to get a different angle. I was close to the High Place, when, WHAM! The music knocked me backwards. The strength...the sharpness...the spear piercing my heart as it pierced the Lamb on the Holy Altar. I literally stumbled backwards. The pain from this musical spear immediately brought forth tears.

I was certainly not looking for some emotional musical experience, but Benedict Sheehan's Liturgy pierced through my protective layers, my distraction, my here-and-now focus, and transported me right back to the moment that is ever happening again on the Holy Altar, the piercing of our Savior's side.

I do not know how else to say: you really should give this recording a try. It is on all kinds of digital-download platforms, or you could go to the Capella Romana website to order it in whatever format you like: Benedict Sheehan's Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

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