This is a very exciting and moving piece of musical theatre. It is spiritual without being parochially religious. Although based on the format of the catholic mass, and using the "chapter headings" of the mass as inspiration for the various musical movements, the style of the piece is a dazzling multi-coloured goulash of pop, folk, orchestral opera and Broadway musical. This mixture attracted some very negative criticism from the Establishment in the early 70's when it was written. I think that maybe this should be seen more as a comment on the critics' preconceptions and dislike of being surprised than on Bernstein's work. My only personal reservations focus on a couple of pop/folk sections which, being deliberately drawn from the music that was about in the late 60's/early 70's, now seem a bit dated. That's only a very minor gripe though. Listen with an open mind and delight in the blissfully peaceful ending.