Sacred music is essential to liturgy, Pope says
November 12, 2012
Sacred music is not something something added onto the Catholic liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI said on November 10; music “is itself liturgy.”
Speaking to members of the Santa Cecilia musical association, the Pope recalled the teaching of Vatican II that music is both necessary and integral to the liturgy. This is so, he said, not purely for aesthetic reasons, but because the music contributes to the act of glorifying God. He added that the congregation can participate in the liturgy not only by joining in prayers “but also by listening, welcoming the Word with the senses and the spirit, and this is true also of sacred music.”
The Pope reminded his audience that St. Augustine was drawn to the faith by listening to the chanting of the Divine office, led by St. Ambrose. Pope Benedict observed that “there is no doubt that music and above all song are able to confer greater communicative power to psalms and canticles.”
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