Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Musica Sacra

Benedict XVI, in France, delivered a brief essay on monasticism. Part of it described the relationship between the Word (the Bible) and music.

...the words of the Psalm: coram angelis psallam Tibi, Domine - in the presence of the angels, I will sing your praise (cf. 138:1) - are the decisive rule governing the prayer and chant of the monks. What this expresses is the awareness that in communal prayer one is singing in the presence of the entire heavenly court, and is thereby measured according to the very highest standards: that one is praying and singing in such a way as to harmonize with the music of the noble spirits who were considered the originators of the harmony of the cosmos, the music of the spheres. The monks have to pray and sing in a manner commensurate with the grandeur of the word handed down to them, with its claim on true beauty. This intrinsic requirement of speaking with God and singing of him with words he himself has given, is what gave rise to the great tradition of Western music. It was not a form of private "creativity", in which the individual leaves a memorial to himself and makes self-representation his essential criterion. Rather it is about vigilantly recognizing with the "ears of the heart" the inner laws of the music of creation, the archetypes of music that the Creator built into his world and into men, and thus discovering music that is worthy of God, and at the same time truly worthy of man, music whose worthiness resounds in purity.

So! How does your basic "teen Mass" music measure up?


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

it doesn't. I'm doing my best to put an end to "teen" Masses and put a start to "TridenTEEN" Masses.

Brian Michael Page said...

So! How does your basic "teen Mass" music measure up?

Don't know. Haven't been to one (thank God!). Otherwise, I'd most likely be blogging one of the nastiest Mass critiques in Christus Vincit history.