La Rocca's New Messe des Malades: Honoring Our Lady of Lourdes

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La Rocca's New Messe des Malades: Honoring Our Lady of Lourdes

On World Day of the Sick, a world premiere newly composed Frank La Rocca Mass with the Benedict XVI Choir and Anointing of the Sick

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The Cathedral of Christ the Light 2121 Harrison Street Oakland, CA 94612

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About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

A Special Welcome to the Worldwide Maryknoll Alums! Moira Richards Conzelman, Patroness of the Messe Des Malades, honoring our Lady of Lourdes, invites you to join her and us February 11 at 11 am in Oakland or virtually via EWTN for this very special Mass.

Register to attend in person

Register to attend virtually.

Frank La Rocca's Messe Des Malades: Honoring Our Lady of Lourdes on the World Day of the Sick

On February 11, at 11 a.m. at Oakland's Christ the Light Cathedral, Bishop Barber and Archbishop Cordileone will join to celebrate a very special new Mass honoring Our Lady of Lourdes. The sacred music will be provided by the world-renowned Benedict XVI Choir, Richard Sparks conducting.

The Order of Malta of San Francisco and the Order of Malta of Oakland will join forces to bring the sick and their caregivers for a special Annointing of the Sick. Hospitality will follow including gifts of holy water from Lourdes. Doctors, nurses, first responders and other medical professionals who care for the sick are especially invited to attend.

EWTN will broadcast this special Mass live.

Please register your prayer intentions for yourself or others for this special Mass here.

(NOTE: Seats are not guaranteed. Registering helps us provide sufficient hospitality and gives you the opportunity to offer intentions for your self or others you love who are sick).

About the Messe des Malades: Honoring Our Lady of Lourdes

From composer Frank La Rocca:

On his inspiration for this Mass: "The reference point for me as I thought about this Mass was my older sister Karen who suffered with multiple sclerosis for 35 years: the grace, the courage, the strength with which she bore her illness. My mother would have water from Lourdes mailed to her and Karen would anoint herself with it. I sought to compose music that has those same qualities of character. The Messe des Malades is a testament to the courage that people suffering, especially with long-term illness, display as they bear with their illness nd bear witness."

On writing for the Oakland Cathedral. "Christ the Light Cathedral has an extraordinary organ and the acoustics feature a 7-second reverb. That is extraordinary, on the order of a place like almost St. Peter’s or Westminster Abbey. As I composed, I used the organ and the choir as a unit in many places. It is almost like the choir is the keyboards of the organ and the organ pedal is the base of the whole texture, highlighting the magnificent pedals of this organ. Listen with me for the enhanced grandeur or ethereality that the acoustics of the Cathedral impart to choral music.

On the influence of French sacred music and Gregorian chant: "There is a certain sound to French choral music from the early 20th Century; it features intervals of a fourth and a second, it’s it has a slight flavor French impressionist music. The ordinary of the Messe des Malades is all in Latin, it has some of the flavor of the great French organ Masses, but I would describe what I have composed as primarily contemporary neo-tonal music born out of the great liturgical traditions of the Catholic church including Gregorian chant. It is not Gregorian chant, but as Pope Pius X recommended for music for the liturgy, it breathes the spirit of Gregorian Chant."