Gregorian Chant

G340/0158

Who Are the Real Defenders of Humanity?

The latest advances in science and biotechnology (three-parenting, surrogate motherhood, human enhancement, hybridizing of humans and animals…) have now and again encountered opposition from Christians (and, in varying degrees, from other religious believers), as well as from secular critics for moral, ethical, and legal reasons (the last-mentioned rather half-heartedly in a number of countries recently). [...]

Norcia Monks Rebuild the Foundations of Christian Culture

“When the foundations are destroyed, what can the just do?” (Ps 11:3) Walking up the narrow streets of Norcia, the smell of the local delicacy, wild boar, wafting through the air from hanging limbs in shops and restaurants, three times a year University of Mary students make their way toward the historic basilica of St. [...]

Jesus Christ Superstar Now

When I was a kid, the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” was all the rage.  Both the local high school and my parents’ church (a large United Christ Methodist affair) each put on large, well-attended performances of the “rock opera” that included the entire teen choir.  The biggest questions were always: Whose booming bass voice would [...]

The Hero of the Mighty Musical Struggle

Several years ago, I received a note from an older man who had been battling much of his life for good Church music, particularly Gregorian chant. He did this in terrible times following the Second Vatican Council when the cultural ethos warred against any settled liturgical forms. He had plenty of scars to show for [...]

Is Chant Like Folk Music?

Somehow we have this impression that Gregorian chant is part of a high Church ethos. It’s for conservatives and traditionalists who favor their liturgy buttoned up, obedient, and strict. On the other hand, this line of thinking goes, people who want authentic human expression of spontaneous religious experience should embrace popular music and a looser [...]

A Music Set Apart

The offertory antiphon for the Sunday before the last Sunday of the liturgical year is the famous text “De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine; Domine, exaudi vocem meam.” From the depths, I have cried out to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice. It’s not a text heard in parish praxis much anymore. It doesn’t [...]

Catholic Music: It’s Time to Stop Making Stuff Up

Every weekend or so, some name composer of mainstream Catholic music is out and about giving a workshop in a parish somewhere. I’ve been to enough of these to pretty much know what they are going to say in advance. They stand in front of parish musicians and repeatedly tell them that the most important [...]

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