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Homily: Anniversary of the death of Mozart

5. 12. 2006

Dear friends,

I hope you will not mind that in my homily I am not going to focus on the life story of the wonderful genius of music which used to put in awe all European cities by his wonderful talent. Neither am I going to focus on his very short but dramatic life history spent on many courts of Europe, ay it be the court of the Archbishop of Vienna or the Emperor in Vienna. Neither I would like to present any kind af assesment of his works, eventhough one tenth of them was music composed for ecclesiastical occasions.

What I would like to reflect on is the contribution of art in general to the spiritual life of that era. The art stands in the service of the liturgy, celebration of God and his Majesty. Each of us has encountered the music of Mozart: it seems to be very simple, very playful almost like created by a child who likes to play. It has even therapetuic effect on us, bringing light and hope.

His spiritual music explores on a deep level the old psalms and other liturgical texts. We can admire the inner energy of the music, the triumphality of it (as seen at the Coronation Mass C-major) and yet we can very sense clearly a great humility of the composer in pieces like Ave verum Corpus. In his Requiem Mass we can sense something from the undrestanding of death of that era – dark brass music making one think of judgment of a human person and her last things -  asking for forgiveness. Mozart´s way of putting the old poem - prayer of Requiem in music is amazing. We read hope and joy in it, one is thrilled to listen to it.

The music of Mozart in general is an expression of a deep talent of someone who clearly puts his talent in the service of God. At this celebration we want to thank God for that wonderful talent of his. We rejoice together with three values as if they were three sisters: truth and goodness (in the sacraments nad mass) and with the beauty of the cathedral and of this music – these three sisters are bringing us closer to God. May this beauty fill our soul so that we may stand in front of God and fully take part at this liturgy.


The homily delivered by the Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop of Prague at the occasion of 215th anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,

Prague Cathedral 5th December 2006

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