Thursday, September 13, 2012

History, In Reverse

 A few years ago at the March For Life in Washington DC, I was walking with a few families from my parish, including several children in our Youth Classical Schola. People sing and pray aloud all throughout the March. We passed an older Religious Sister, who sang We Will Know They Are Christians By Our Love. Then we passed some students at one of the new Catholic colleges, who were singing Renaissance polyphony. Then a couple of 9 year olds and I sang the simple tone Salve Regina.

Another year, another March For Life, and our Schola had learned the Solemn Tone of the Salve as well. One of our Schola families passed the Dominican friars singing their own version of the monastic tone. As our young singer recounted it later, he had tried to join in with them but couldn't, because the friars used "too many horizontal episemas."

All of which goes to show that we live in a strangely backwards time, in which the young people alone have the knowledge to pass on the ecclesial heritage. It is like sitting around the campfire hearing stories of the old days--but the only ones who know the stories are the children.