30 January 2007

Ad Majorem Dei Gloria

The heart-beat of our liturgical life here is music. Even before we had a permanent building we had a pipe organ, temporarily installed in our rented facility, and then moved to the church as soon as it was built. The first instrument was small but quite beautiful. It provided excellent support for congregational singing, which is such an important part of our public worship. Also it was able to sustain a fairly good range of musical literature, adding great beauty to the celebration of Mass and other services.

However, it was never envisioned as the final instrument, and when the expansion of the church began we considered how we would also expand the organ. At exactly the time we needed to make some decisions the magnificent Casavant Freres, Opus 2016, 1950, became available because of a church closing. With the cooperation and hard work of many people this beautiful instrument has found its home at Our Lady of the Atonement Church. This Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. we will celebrate Solemn Evensong, when the organ will be blessed and dedicated to the glory and worship of Almighty God. On Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. the Dedication Recital will be given by James David Christie, Professor of Organ at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Artist in Residence at Holy Cross College.

Also, our original organ (plus some new ranks of pipes) is being installed as a Nave organ, located about half-way between the altar and the rear gallery. This is able to be played from the Casavant console, and can be used separately or together with the large gallery organ. The picture above shows the Casavant in the gallery. As soon as I have a picture of the Nave organ, I will post it.