Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pre-eminence of sacred music

~from Zenit. Somehow, I don't think he means the Haugen/Haas/worship ditties mess that we're subjected to (assaulted with in the case of overamplification) week in and week out
Sacred music is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this Saturday during a visit to the newly refurbished Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, the Vatican press office said today.

...The pre-eminence of sacred music over other art forms, the Pontiff explained during his address, "is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy."

"Precisely for this reason, the ecclesial authorities must undertake to guide ... the development of such an important form of music, not by 'freezing' its heritage but by seeking to combine the legacy of the past with the worthwhile novelties of the present, so as to achieve a synthesis worthy of the exalted mission [sacred music] has in the service of God," the Pope added.

"How rich is biblical and patristic tradition in highlighting the efficacy of song and sacred music in moving hearts and lifting toward, we could say, the very intimacy of the life of God," he said.

Benedict XVI recalled that Pope John Paul II said that "today, as always, three characteristics distinguish sacred music: its 'sanctity,' its 'true art,' and its 'universality,' in other words the fact that it can be presented to any people or assembly."

"I am certain," the German Pontiff concluded, "that the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, in harmony with Congregation for Divine Worship, will not fail to contribute to an 'aggiornamento' ... of the precious traditions of which sacred music is so rich."

The Holy Father encouraged the professors and students in their "demanding yet passionate" task, asking them to be "conscious that it has a value of great relevance for the very life of the Church."

1 comment:

Tom in Vegas said...

I'm completely in agreement of the relevance and beauty of sacred music (as a matter of fact, my last two blogs were on just that). I'd even - whenever possible - rather sing the prayer than just simply recite it.