Mass of the Americas

We are so blessed to have this beautiful mass commissioned by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone through the Benedict XVI Institute, composed by artist in residence Frank La Rocca in 2018.

In 2018 the Feast of The Immaculate Conception coincided with the traditional Cruzada of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is on the Saturday nearest the Feast Day of Dec. 12. Archbishop Cordileone invited composer Frank LaRocca to compose a mass that would celebrate these two feasts, and incorporate the traditional songs from the Mexican tradition – La Guadalupana, Las Mananitas, and Cantico del Alba, as well as instruments and musical traditions from the mission period. The mass exists in two forms: ordinary and extraordinary, the latter involves using only ancient languages for the liturgy, requiring new compositions. (See article by Dr. William Mahrt below.)

Visit the Benedict XVI Institute for a description of the mass and its music: https://www.benedictinstitute.org/mass-of-the-americas/

“Archbishop Cordileone’s sermon focused upon the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of uniting—“that all may be one”—East and West, Old World and New, Aztecs and Spaniards, rich and poor. He approached the question of how one can mount such an elaborate liturgy as this in so beautiful a church, while the poor are in need. He quoted Dorothy Day: we must feed the bodies of the poor but also their souls—satisfy hunger for bread, but also hunger for beauty. Of the transcendentals truth, goodness, and beauty, beauty is most lacking today, and this leads to the purpose of the Mass of the Americas: to bring beauty to the life of the church. “ Dr. William Mahrt on the Mass of the Americas.

See entire article by Dr. William Mahrt which discuses the music, liturgy, as well as the vestments, and comments on the homily. It is accompanied by wonderful photographs. Even though the music is celebrated as an academic achievement, it is understandable and inspiring to the average person as well. It is for most of us a once in a life time experience to see such an elaborate liturgy with truly inspirational music and visuals.

Here is the premier of the mass Dec. 8 2018 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco: https://youtu.be/unG7Xn7W-os produced by EWTN.

Here is the recent mass in the extraordinary form at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.