Posted by: rbbadger | April 12, 2009

王의 王과 主의 主…

Well, today is Easter Sunday in Korea.  I was able to give my parents a call and wish them a happy Easter Day, despite the fact that it wasn’t Easter Sunday yet in America.  Anyhow, it was good to talk with them and see how everything is going back at home.  It seems that everyone is doing well. 

I went back to the Cathedral for Easter Sunday Mass.  Today, His Eminence, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul celebrated the Mass.  I always do enjoy attending the Cardinal’s Masses.  He looked very tired, though.  But then, he did endure the Easter Vigil, that lengthy liturgy which takes place on the evening before Easter.  The Easter Vigil is, quite possibly with the exception of the Mass for the Dedication of a Church, the lengthiest of all of the liturgies in the Roman Catholic Church.  It features, among other things, the blessing of the Easter fire, the blessing of the Paschal candle, nine readings from scripture all with accompanying psalms, and quite often the baptism and confirmation of new Catholics.  Adults are generally received into the Church on the Easter Vigil.  So, if you have many to be baptised and many to be confirmed, it is quite clear that it is going to take a while.  About three hours seems to be pretty average.

The Mass of the day is shorter.  It only took about an hour and half.  The Cardinal once again spoke to the foreigners in English.  Last year he spoke a little English and a little Italian.  The choir was up to their best.  They’ve really had a busy past few days.  They had to handle the music of Palm Sunday.  Then, they had to handle the music for two different Masses on Holy Thursday, namely the Chrism Mass (the Mass at which all the holy oils for the year are blessed) and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (which also involves washing the feet of twelve men who represent the apostles).  Then came Good Friday, where there is absolutely no organ music at all and they have to lead everybody in beautiful a cappella singing.  (And it was beautiful.  I was there.)  Today, Händel’s “Hallelujah” from Messiah was on the programme.  The texts had been translated into Korean.  This isn’t a bad thing, given that it is sometimes sung in German and sometimes in English.  It is easy to forget that Händel wasn’t an Englishman by birth.  Rather, he was a German who came to England right before his boss, the Elector of Hanover, became George I.  He is buried in Westminster Abbey, the ultimate Royal accolade, I suppose.  For these really special occasions, the Cathedral manages to put together a small orchestra to go along with the organ.  But most of the time, it is just the organ and the choir.

Still, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard the “Hallelujah” chorus sung sung in Korean.  왕의 왕과 주의 주 (영원히, 영원히)… (King of Kings and Lord of Lords (forever and ever))



  1. Thanks for the phone call!!! It was so nice to hear your voice! It sounds like you are busy and happy! We’re grateful. Take care!

  2. nothing like a good choir! sounds like you had a nice Easter. glad you got to call home! 🙂

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