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Catholic Dictionary




The music that is appropriate and authorized for use in divine worship. It is religious music that the hierarchy, and finally the Holy See, approves for the sacred liturgy. It is an exalted prayer and an expression of deep religious feeling. In common with other religions, the elements of public worship have been sacrifice, prayer, ceremonies, chanting, and instrumental music. In Catholic worship, however, these elements form an organic unity, of which music is an important but secondary part. Moreover, Catholic church music must always conform to the regulations of ecclesiastical authority.