Return of the Gregorian Chant

Posted by Censor Librorum on Apr 16, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

Pope Benedict XVI, in a papal pronouncement known as an apostolic exhortation, decreed that-especially at international gatherings-the liturgies should be celebrated in Latin, except for readings and the homily. Moreover, he said, “If possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung.”

Some saw the Pope’s remarks as an olive branch to traditionalists, who have refused to accept the liturgical changes of Vatican II. Others saw the remarks as a slap at contemporary church music. “Exit the guitars and xylophones,” wrote Henri Tinqc, Le Monde’s Vatican correspondent, “Condemned are all ‘abuses’ in the adaptation of liturgies to local cultures.”

Who knows why the Pope said what he said? I’ll venture a guess..

-He is committed to restoring the European heritage of Catholicism. Promoting Gregorian chant is one way to do this, especially since more people, including many young people, are rediscovering the chant as music, and as a meditative path to calm

-Gregorian chants have an elegant and soaring spiritual quality in contrast with the plainness and common language of contemporary music

-Gregorian chant is in the hands of clerics. They know Latin; they are trained in this form of music. The expression in the Mass of song goes back from the people to the clergy

-Pope Benedict wants to put the brakes on a lot of cultural adaptations of the Mass. Individual expression in liturgy encourages other forms of lay participation and..change

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