Apr 29, 2006

Learn Gregorian Chant

This intrigued me and I may even indeed try to attend this if I can fit it into my busy schedule. I've been trying to convey to different people that reverence and quiet are imperative in today's liturgy for the faithful. At the same time, community is an important element. I think chant provides us with a good mix of contemplation and community (because everyone can sing this stuff--rather easy).

While I like some more contemporary music at mass I also have seen it denegrate into a concert that lacks the participation of those in the pews. Cantors become "look at me" singers and don't engage the congregation in singing themselves. Others over-do it and hold "practices with the community" before mass begins. I sometimes want to scream "Can't we just pick music that's easy to sing."

I don't think I have a particualrly good singing voice (speaking yes; singing not so much); but some say I'm better than I give myself credit for. I think when I concentrate on singing, I'm not terrible.

And thus, I think chant would be an easy solution for those of us who aren't complete singing buffoons. The rhythms of it might calm our nervousness about singing and the mantras themselves can be soothing in general.

I can see these being used on Sunday as:

"A centering call to prayer or introit (but someone needs to call the community to silence beforehand--the choir can't just start chanting)."
Certainly at communion or post-communion.
Responsorial Psalm (duh)
And even an opening or closing hymn if we were trying to maintain that reverent attitude as opposed to something more rousing. I still think there's room for that as well--just not a healthy diet of it.

Anyway--check this out.

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