Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Zielinski speaks

I apologise for once again lifting an article from Rorate Caeli but I know not all those who read this read it. Here are the words of the Most Rev. Abbot Dom Michael Zielinski, O.S.B. Oliv., Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church as reported in today`s Osservatore Romano. I`ve tried to do my bit to encourage chant in the Forest but it takes time for it to become familiar. I was talking to some parishioners today who said that after hearing it a few times they began to enjoy it, so we soldier on.

Despite the pronouncements of the Vatican II Council and of the papal magisterium, Church music is in crisis; it is affected by the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture, of which Benedict XVI spoke in his Address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005.

To recover the great treasure which the Tradition of the Church gave to us, it is necessary to begin with Gregorian Chant, which is capable of communicating to the People of God the sense of Catholicity and to guide it towards a correct inculturation.

German writer Martin Mosebach recalls that this music was peculiar also to the ears of Charlemagne, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of Monteverdi, or of Haydn. And it was as strange in their age as it is in our age. Today, however, one is more inclined towards the music of other cultures than the Christians of many centuries ago. Besides, the melodies of the various local traditions, even of those of cultures different from ours, are close relatives of Gregorian chant and, even in this sense, Gregorian Chant is truly universal.

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