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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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MUSICAM SACRAM

Instruction on music in the liturgy of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. An extensive document giving general norms and applying them to every important aspect of liturgical music. Among other provisions there should be choirs, at least one or two properly trained singers especially in churches that cannot have even a small choir. The distinction between solemn, sung, and read Mass is retained; Gregorian chant should be given pride of place; adapting sacred music for regions having a musical tradition of their own requires "a very specialized preparation by experts"; and those instruments which are by common opinion "suitable for secular music only, are to be altogether prohibited from every liturgical celebration and from popular devotions" (March 5, 1967).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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