About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Sacred music, being a complementary part of the solemn liturgy, participates in the general scope of the liturgy, which is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful. It contributes to the decorum and the splendor of the ecclesiastical ceremonies, and since its principal office is to clothe with suitable melody the liturgical text proposed for the understanding of the faithful, its proper aim is to add greater efficacy to the text, in order that through it the faithful may be the more easily moved to devotion and better disposed for the reception of the fruits of grace belonging to the celebration of the most holy mysteries.”
— Pope Saint Pius X

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St. Hildegard of Bingen on Music
published 27 December 2012 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

St. Hildegard of Bingen is a wonderful medieval woman saint. Now that Pope Benedict has made her a doctor of the Church we ought to read her more. Here are some lines from her writings I especially liked:

“There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing.

“Underneath all the texts, all the sacred psalms and canticles, these watery varieties of sounds and silences, terrifying, mysterious, whirling and sometimes gestating and gentle must somehow be felt in the pulse, ebb, and flow of the music that sings in me. My new song must float like a feather on the breath of God.

“When the words come, they are merely empty shells without the music. They live as they are sung, for the words are the body and the music the spirit.”

On a personal note, I had a charming experience. One of my grandsons is studying piano and composing. I was listening to him practice in the distance. He has a book to work with that contains renditions of all types of music, including what we used to call “lounge lizard music,” i.e. what popular pianists played at night clubs underneath the din of the voices of the drinkers and diners. I noticed that one piece was really beautiful. I asked what it was. It turned out to be a Beethoven Minuet. I was delighted that my untrained musical taste was good enough to prefer that music without knowing who the composer was.