CCTLS 3: John Paul II’s Support for Sacred Music

We continue a look at Pope John Paul II’s chirograph. Today, yet another endorsement for active participation. And more, “intense” participation.

3. On various occasions I too have recalled the precious role and great importance of music and song for a more active and intense participation in liturgical celebrations[9]. I have also stressed the need to “purify worship from ugliness of style, from distasteful forms of expression, from uninspired musical texts which are not worthy of the great act that is being celebrated”[10], to guarantee dignity and excellence to liturgical compositions.

In this perspective, in the light of the Magisterium of St Pius X and my other Predecessors and taking into account in particular the pronouncements of the Second Vatican Council, I would like to re-propose several fundamental principles for this important sector of the life of the Church, with the intention of ensuring that liturgical music corresponds ever more closely to its specific function.

[9] Cf. e.g., Address to the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music for its 90th Anniversary (19 January 2001), 1: L’Osservatore Romano English Edition [ORE], 7 February 2001, p. 7.

[10] General Audience, 26 February 2003, n. 3:  [ORE], 5 March 2003, p. 11.

In the next several posts, we’ll look at these “fundamental principles.” These will not necessarily be new to the Church; John Paul II is mostly taking older aspects of music and liturgy and applying them to his view of the Church in 2003. These principles are not only aimed at the music itself, but of necessity, look to the “specific function” spoken of earlier: the worship of God and the sanctification of the faithful. Any effort in liturgical music is aimed there first.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Chirograph for the Centenary of TLS, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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