Paris 2014: Sunday Mass and the Organ at Saint-Sulpice

On our third visit to Saint-Sulpice we attended Sunday Mass and listened to the magnificent organ, which at one time was the largest in Europe. The Mass itself was also a special one: a large group of children received their First Communion at the Mass.

The original organ was built in 1781 by Francois-Henri Clicquot and was reconstructed in 1862 by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The organ features 102 stops, about half new and half reused from Clicquot. It also has five keyboards and nearly 7,000 pipes.

The great organ of Saint-Sulpice.

The great organ of Saint-Sulpice.

There have been a long list of famous organists at Saint-Sulpice, including Louis Nicholas Sehan, Charles-Marie Widor and Marcel Dupre. Albert Schweitzer, a student of Widor, called the organ the most beautiful in the world. The titular organist today (and since 1985) is Daniel Roth.

There is usually a 15 minute recital preceding the High Mass every Sunday and a 35 minute mini-concert following the Mass. There is also a full concert one Sunday afternoon a month at 4 o’clock.

Listening to the mini-concert after Mass.

Listening to the mini-concert after Mass.

Roth wasn’t around the day we attended but the music performed by assistant titular organist Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin was superb! We noticed that most of the people who attended Mass stayed on to listen to what they call an “audition.”

During the organ mini-concert several of the First Communicants returned to the altar with one or both parents to retrieve their flowers.

During the organ mini-concert several of the First Communicants returned to the altar with one or both parents to retrieve their flowers.

Here are some more shots of the interior of Saint-Sulpice. Some of these were taken during during our prior visits.

View of the church from beneath the organ at the west entrance.

View of the church from beneath the organ at the west entrance. The Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire were both christened in this church and Victor Hugo was married here.

One of many stained glass windows at Saint-Sulpice.

One of many stained glass windows at Saint-Sulpice.

The right side of The Lady Chapel.

The right side of The Lady Chapel.

Most of the church's 21 chapels contain murals. This one also has a modern-looking crucifix.

Most of the church’s 21 chapels contain murals. This one also has a modern-looking crucifix.

A replica of the Shroud of Turin was on display.

A replica of the Shroud of Turin was on display.

After the mini-concert we loitered for awhile outside the church on Place Saint-Sulpice, something we were not able to do on our first visit when it was pouring.

Vie of Place Saint-Sulpice from the front steps of the church. Kids with uniforms that look like our Boy Scouts were selling baked goodies.

View of Place Saint-Sulpice from the front steps of the church. Kids with uniforms that look like our Boy Scouts were selling baked goodies. The famous French actress Catherine Deneuve lives in one of the luxurious apartments overlooking the square.

The fountain at Place Saint-Sulpice with the church in the background.

The fountain at Place Saint-Sulpice with the church in the background. Each side of the fountain has a statue of an esteemed bishop during the time of Louis XIV. None of the four bishops ever became a cardinal and the fountain is sometimes called The Fountain of the Four Bishops who Never Became Cardinals.

 

 

 

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About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
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2 Responses to Paris 2014: Sunday Mass and the Organ at Saint-Sulpice

  1. Pingback: Paris 2014: Saint-Germaine-des-Prés | Crow Canyon Journal

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