Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gregorian chant

Mass this morning was incredibly beautiful. It was in Latin, with Gregorian chant (Mass VIII) and intensely prayerful.

Was this an LMS Mass? Was I in a monastery? Was I in heaven singing with the angelic host? No! This was an ordinary parish church, and this was their normal Sunday morning Mass.

Cardinal Arinze recently said that Gregorian chant is the Church's "precious heritage" and "if therefore in a particular diocese or country, no one hears Gregorian music any more, then somebody has made a mistake somewhere”. I often think that we don't have enough Gregorian chant in our Churches. The excuse given is that people wouldn't be able to cope. The people this morning most certainly could cope. They had the benefit of a superb choir (the gradual is still echoing around my head), but they were all competently joining in with their parts. It is possible, and I think it should be offered in at least Cathedral parishes.

BTW, if anyone hasn't yet heard the Cardinal Arinze podcasts, I can strongly recommend them.

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