Sound issue mars cathedral’s first days

| February 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Although thousands were at Mass at the new Cathedral of St. Paul March 28, 1915, many of the worshipers had difficulty hearing the proceedings.

Father Lawrence A. Ryan wrote afterward:

“The great problem was of course the acoustic of the cathedral. Rather discouraging reports were given out on every hand.”

Father James M. Reardon, editor of The Catholic Bulletin, acknowledged the poor acoustics in his column in the newspaper’s first issue after the first Masses, April 4, 1915. With the hard-surfaced walls surrounding a very large open space in the unfinished interior, “reverberation is as disconcerting and trying to the preacher as it is disagreeable to the members of the congregation,” he wrote.

Father Reardon promised that the sound issues will be remedied. Moving the pulpit from the “Epistle side” to the center of the sanctuary alleviated some of the problem, he noted.

Father Ryan wrote that “with proper type of pulpit and sounding board the defect disappeared to quite an extent.”

The cathedral has since addressed the early issues with a sound system.

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Category: Cathedral Centennial