Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Raymond Stephen Vincent Domet

Pardon me for a slight, though not total diversion from musical ruminations. Today is the 62nd anniversary of the birth of my late brother, Raymond, who died on December 31, 2004 from complications of Leukemia.

A few years earlier, Raymond's son, Christopher John Domet living then in Hamilton, Ontario with his wife and two little girls, died of cancer. In 2004, I composed a Christmas Mass titled "Mass of the Father's Love" based on Divinum Mysterium--Of the Father's Love Begotten---so this is not totally diverse from music. It was written for the Novus Ordo Mass and since I am now conducting for the Tridentine, it's not particularly usable. As well, with the changing coming to the texts in the Mass due to the "real" translation from the Latin, much of this composition, the Gloria in particular, is redundant. It will take some work to adapt it--perhaps some day.

The Mass was dedicated to Christopher and given to Ray as a Christmas present. Ray was planning to come to hear it at St. Teresa Catholic Church on New Years morning (where Christopher was baptized and he was married and we all grew up as a family). Raymond did not come to Mass that morning to hear the Mass and the music dedicated to his son, he died the night before. I think the hardest thing I've ever done in my life was telling his mother who was then 89, that her son was dead. I will never forget it.

Raymond's funeral was at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Mississauga. Other than the Gloria (not sung or recited in a Mass of Christian Burial) the Mass of the Father's Love was sung.

I like to think he finally got to hear it.

Raymond had a blog. I can remember asking him so many times, "what' a blog again?" Well, I figured it out. On his blog, he wrote what was then to be his "last post" and I've reprinted it below.

Requiescat in pace, dear brother.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Mass Of The Father's Love


My 12-year younger brother made me cry on Christmas Day. Not an easy task for a person who has no tears. Actually I 'cry' a lot with my situation the last few years. It used to be mostly pity parties, as some have termed the phenomenon, woe is me, why is God doing this to me, I do not deserve this.... I am generally moved beyond that, especially because useless and counter-productive emotion aggravates my breathing almost instantly, and that is not needed at all!

Most of my crying is at a close to the surface emotional engagement and intimate entanglement with event or person or art or entertainment. So it was last week when RadioBoy took CaraMia and I to see the film version of The Phantom Of The Opera. Yes, I commented right away that the Phantom did not have a powerful voice as one would reckon, recalling the two performers I saw at the Toronto stage production, and the original Broadway performer. But there I was shaking and hyperventing in my theatre seat nonetheless, at the majestic and captivating music of the night, and all the other pieces so fondly recalled.

My brother, whose interest in classical and liturgical music is long-standing, and barely short of professional, made all of us cry.

He has written A Mass For Christmas, Mass Of The Father's Love. It is being presented this season, and i will hear it either this New Year's Day, or the following Sunday, at his home Church, Where CaraMia and i grew up, where we exchanged our vows, hey, the basement of which is where the whole Roy Orbison Pretty Woman DJ Ladies' Choice thing began! It is also where our first-born, Christopher, (bearer of Christ) was baptized. And it is to the memory of our gone too soon son that LittleBro has dedicated his opus! There's more. In LittleBro's own words...

The title of this Mass...is a direct reference to the divine love of God, the Father.... Metaphorically it is an earthly reference to the "father's love" given to Christopher by his own father. This Mass composition is therefore dedicated to Christopher John, whom I never heard complain, and who suffered greatly in his sojourn with cancer: and to his father, who loves him.

Wow. Today we gathered at Mom's home, where LittleBro and his son live, with Mom. A fine turkey dinner was provided and a good visit, with the grandbabes seeing their Sitto and Uncles and charming us all again with their beauty and grace and intelligence. Much love to their Mom, M, who has had to raise them without her beloved Christopher at her side.

And a thought to my Dad, who wrote a song for Mom so many years ago. Where Did You Learn To Kiss? He also, after barbering coughed up a bit of money he could spend on himself, purchased an electronic organ, taught himself to play, and enjoyed a bit of his retirement. But consider, in my Family, our musical talent. LittleBro, he writes a Mass. MiddleBro, he like me, may not be able to carry a tune in a bucket, but his son is a professional musician, teacher, director, so talented. MySister's elder daughter has a most accomplished voice, and sends chills upon my spine when I hear her exquisite voice with Wind Beneath My Wings when she was sixteen, to the Ave she sang at her sister's wedding last year.

Thanks LittleBro. Thanks Dad. Thank you Father Almighty.

Posted by:
Ray / 9:34 PM (1) comments

Thanks Ray!

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