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  1. Thank you, Father Herman, for this beautiful reflection. I suspect Kastalsky’s project feels somewhat personal for you, as it does for me. Providence has led both of us to professional lives that by necessity straddle the east-west cultural and ecclesiastical divide. As an artist, I am truly grateful for this. I feel that I am doing a certain work of healing when I create beauty that re-marries our divided heritage.

    Ecumenism (in the usual sense of dialogue among church leaders) often seems vacuous, and I have never been much concerned with it. But glorifying God through a universal, catholic, liturgical beauty – that is work worth doing. It is the mark of any true icon of the Heavenly Kingdom.

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  2. Praised be Jesus Christ!

    Father, this is a beautiful and heart-warming article, so much more than a mere “review” of an artistic work! “…glorifying God through a universal, catholic, liturgical beauty – that is work worth doing. It is the mark of any true icon of the Heavenly Kingdom.”

    I don’t know either Kastalsky’s Requiem or Panikhida, but I will certainly listen to them now and be especially attentive to his juxtaposition of Latin and Slavonic texts to the chants of the opposite tradition. In a way, it leads me to reflect on how it may have been Divine Providence working through the gradual marriage of Western musical forms to Byzantine/Slavic liturgical texts in the time following Tsar Peter the Great: their union went a long ways towards making the riches of the Eastern Church accessible to people of western Europe and North America. I know it was influential in my own conversion to Holy Orthodoxy since it manifested not only Truth as a set of facts, but Truth as a living communion between the Transcendant and the immanent, expressing itself in a form that I could perceive as beautiful and, therefore, as illuminative.

    Thanks be to God who, in the midst of so much ugliness and chaos, still shines within our hearts through the beauty that he has created in order to draw us towards himself, the highest, most serene, and awe-inspiring Beauty of all.

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