Musical composition, especially in a defined prayerful structure, can uncover a wounded heart, one that is buried under its own weight. Music in service to God—even for a humble group of singers—may heal and lift those weighed down. This may include the composer as well!
Inspired by the Gregorian Chant propers of the Requiem Mass, Richard J. Clark’s “Requiem pour une américaine à Paris” was recently featured on “Sounds from the Spires” on SIRIUS XM 129 Radio, The Catholic Channel, hosted by Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Director of Music of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC.
“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew…It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’
Pope Francis is not afraid to open dialogue about difficult subjects. That alone marks enormous change. Perhaps, this kind of dialogue makes some of us uncomfortable. But this opens the possibility of growth.
At one time or another, all artists are tested in the same way that faith is tested. In this test—the infliction we will endure at one time or another—our faith is made stronger.
One day after mass, a woman told me how wonderful it is to sing the scriptures while receiving communion. I doubt she knows at all what the propers of the mass are. She demonstrated that it is far easier to connect the music of the propers to the mass itself than potentially a hymn or song.
On this day, let us pray for peace and for those who died before us.
If the Church were to reclaim the proper role and function of its very own music, it would go a long to way to repossessing the deeply influential significance of the liturgy in our everyday lives. In turn, this would powerfully foster evangelization.
Mass cannot, nor should not compete on a level of entertainment. “Such attractiveness fades quickly.” It is in our very human nature, the need to worship God. Our brains are wired for contemplation. It is within our very soul to connect with the divine.
Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace this coming Saturday, September 7, 2013.
The Psalms of David often reveal both the ugliness of humanity and his unwavering faith in God. In his prayer, he calls for the defeat – the blood of his enemies. His words are startlingly human.
Several FREE downloads of sacred music for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Great congregational singing points to great work being done by music directors and pastors all over the country. Know that your influence and reach may be much farther than you will ever dream or know.
When I spoke to Fr. Pierre Paul about the wholesale abandonment of Gregorian Chant, he said something I’ll never forget – not just the words, but how he said it, with resolute irrefutability: “It belongs to the people.”
One of the most powerful spiritual experiences I ever had was the Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the 2012 Sacred Music Colloquium in Salt Lake City. Many of the liturgies at the Colloquia have shaken me to the core; I have been overwhelmed with an unspeakable sense of awe, mystery, and joy.
What I will remember most is that I knelt side by side with my daughter during the consecration. I will remember reciting the Creed in my fidgety three-year-old son’s ear as I held him.
Chant does certain things exceedingly well that modern culture eschews. It stops time. It simultaneously quiets the soul and directs our attention to God . . . these things are abhorred by modern culture.
True freedom does not rise from the capacity to fulfill all desires. Freedom is captivity, followed by battle, followed by faith, followed by wisdom and compassion as seen through the eyes of love. Of this struggle, true liberation is born.
In President Kennedy’s inaugural address, he said,“…the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”
I have not even begun to speak of music at liturgy, music worthy of praising the God who loves us to the point of death on a cross. Where will this understanding lead us in our sacred music? Interesting things happen in our lives when we worship God.