Monday, November 14, 2016

Meanwhile in Sweden...

Do you have friends and family Back East who can't comprehend the size of Nevada? It's a shorter drive from Washington, DC to Boston than it is from Las Vegas to Reno, and Nevada can hold Maryland 10 times over. The Old Line State, however, has more than twice Nevada's population.

You can therefore appreciate the situation for Sweden's 150,000 Catholics spread all over this huge--and extremely secular--Scandinavian country, marked in dark brown above. Stockholm parish organist Alexander Kegel points out that when Pope Francis said Mass on November 1st in the southern city of Malmö, he could have doubled the distance he had traveled from Rome and just about reached a convent in a northern Swedish village.

Despite Sweden's miniscule Catholic contingent in a country of nearly 10 million people, Kegel says the presence of chant and polyphony is strong, and propers both in Latin and Swedish are slowly catching on. Polyphony and even some chant were present at the Papal Mass, thanks in part to Kegel's influence. Pope Francis, not one given much to chant or polyphony, was reportedly impressed.

Read Kegel's whole guest article from Corpus Christi Watershed.

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