When I turned on my computer this morning, I got reminders from both Yahoo and Google that today was...Earth Day.
I didn't actually expect the lords of Silicon Valley to acknowledge the real significance of today. Still, it is striking that the secular world contrives to ignore a day that inspired music such as Allegri's Miserere, long a jealously guarded treasure of the papal choir, and Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, considered by many the greatest piece of music ever written. I have nothing against Earth Day, or Arbor Day, or even National Retail Bankers Month, but to treat Earth Day as more important than Good Friday is absurd, akin to treating Kwanzaa (another holiday invented around the same time as Earth Day) as more important than Christmas.
Anyway, for your listening pleasure, here are videos of the Miserere and the opening chorus of the St. Matthew Passion:
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.