Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Lowdown on the Vigil and Concluding Mass of WYD 2005

Sorry this is a little late, guys. I had a tough time finding the info.

From 1952 until 1986, the site of the modern-day Marienfeld was used for lignite mining. During this period, several entire villages had to be relocated for the purpose. Today, this former open-cast mine has been completely refilled and made suitable for return to agricultural use.
The Marienfeld takes its name from a statue of the Virgin Mary carved in French limestone in 1420. Thanks to the statue, a convent founded in 1150 by Cistercian nuns, and later occupied by Cistercian monks, became a renowned destination for pilgrimages. After several relocations to accommodate mining operations, the statue – a pietà depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Christ – now houses in the St. Mariä Himmelfahrt parish church in Frechen.

The musical elements of the Concluding Mass recapitulate the international character of World Youth Day. World Youth Day Choir C sings the “missa mundi” Mass by composer Thomas Gabriel of Essen. The polyphonic Kyrie resonates with European features. The Gloria is accompanied by South American Quenas, Zampoñas and Charangos. In the Asian Credo one hears an Indian sitar, drums set the tone for the African Sanctus, and in the Agnus Dei it is the Australian didgeridoo that serves as the characteristic instrument.

3,000 patens and 100 chalices of stainless steel have been produced and donated for the XX World Youth Day. They were designed by Manfred Kollig. Young people at the ThyssenKrupp apprentices’ training shop in Duisburg helped produce them. The contour of the liturgical vessels resembles a hemisphere, evoking the open earth in which God plays a part.

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