Missa Gaia – Earth Mass

Missa Gaia, subtitled A Mass in Celebration of Mother Earth Recorded Live in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Grand Canyon, first became available as a CD in 1982. The back cover provides additional details about the musicians: “Paul Winter and The Paul Winter Consort, with the chorus, choristers, and pipe organ of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, along with the voices of wolf, whale and loon.” The Mass is dedicated to St. Francis whose Canticle of Brother Sun provides the text for the work’s opening composition. This section, along with many of the other sections, is available on YouTube. A personal favorite is the Missa’s Blue Green Hills of Earth. The complete Mass is a magnificent work that deserves a hearing at least twice a year, on Earth Day (April 22) and the Feast of St. Francis (October 4).

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine celebrates a St. Francis Animal Blessing on the first Sunday of October each year. Missa Gaia is performed during the liturgy which includes a procession of animals. Preparation for the event and the event itself was captured on video and is available on a DVD titled A Celebration of Creation.

 

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