Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gregorian Chant has Pride of Place in Latin Rite- really

And not just in OF.

Despite those who persist in proclaiming that protestant hymns, campfire ditties or songs in various languages unite us, the Church has never stopped stating that the Latin language and Gregorian chant- are central to the Latin Rite.

I saw this link at the Chant Cafe blog and I wish all of the bishops who have resisted Latin and any mass in Latin would learn from had the attitude of Bishop Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, WI.

Chant as our prayer at Mass

I find myself almost forced to mention the workshop on Gregorian chant which the diocese sponsored last Friday night and Saturday morning. For me it was one of those benchmark events since I have been in the Diocese of Madison. Easily over 80 people were in attendance — we were almost too large a group for the venue to which we were assigned — and the presentations by Fr. Robert Skeris, of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a master presenter and scholar in the area of Church music, were both profound and excellent. His enthusiasm stirred a great deal of enthusiasm among those present.

And after about two and a half hours of practice, those present were able beautifully to sing the whole Mass (Novus Ordo) in Latin, using Gregorian chant. The beauty of this kind of prayer impressed itself on all of us who were there and made the Church’s preference for Gregorian chant seem much more reasonable, and the chant itself seem much more “doable.”

When we think of Gregorian chant as our prayer at Mass, not something that somehow accompanies our prayer but which embodies in sound the prayer itself, we start to think very differently about Church music in general.

This is certainly part of the renewal of the liturgy that we are seeking to accomplish in preparation for the First Sunday of Advent 2011, when we will begin to use the new English Translations of the Roman Missal, but it is also to recover the kind of sacramental attitude with which all of us should approach our full, active, and fruitful participation in the liturgy. Much more needs to be said about this, and indeed, much more will be said about it in the days ahead.

Yes, more complex chants can be more difficult, just as a Beethoven piano piece is more difficult than the Mary Had a Little Lamb that a beginning piano student might learn. The chant is quite intuitive- it was developed FOR singers. As for Latin, if you speak English as I do, our language received much from Latin. The most challenging thing for me is remembering to pronounce "in" not as an American "ehn", but een, lol.

Also, I finally uploaded a picture of me to my blog. I tend to take pictures more than be in them and I don't like many pictures of myself. At least this may prove I DO exist.

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