Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Quote from St. Augustine

"Cantare amantis est." "Singing belongs to one who loves."

Of course, this instantly takes my mind to the sacred liturgy.The Church asks for music to be used throughout the liturgy, from the entrance to the concluding rites. As much as possible should be sung according to the degree of solemnity. Traditionally that was everything but the prayers said amongst the ministers or simply by the priest to God alone, i.e. the Roman Canon and most of the prayers between the Canon and Communion.

From paragraph 5 of Musicam sacram, 1967:
Indeed, through this form, prayer is expressed in a more attractive way, the mystery of the liturgy, with its hierarchical and community nature, is more openly shown, the unity of hearts is more profoundly achieved by the union of voices, minds are more easily raised to heavenly things by the beauty of the sacred rites, and the whole celebration more clearly prefigures that heavenly liturgy which is enacted in the holy city of Jerusalem.
Unity of voices suggests the end to the Preface, where we proclaim with one voice the Sanctus, along with all the hosts and powers of Heaven. I really like this idea of the "unity of hearts." We should always strive to come into union, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source of love for all mankind, who has loved us so much. God has ordered this in our nature. "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." Thus our love for God and our desire to be in union with Him is expressed in the sung liturgy.

One can argue that all Masses should be sung. True, to the extent that Low Mass is somewhat of a development from the religious life in the West, when each monk (and later mendicant friar) said a daily Mass on side altars in the conventual church. And Low Mass has in the past perhaps been more prone to being said sloppily. Y'know, in 20 minutes or less, with mumble-jumble that resembled Latin.

I appreciate Low Mass however on weekdays. There is something to the silence that expresses the relationship to the Lord marked by our sin and need for forgiveness in a different way. For me it is wonderful to be thrown into the silence.

Here is the Introit for the feast of Christ the King (in both forms), celebrated tomorrow in the older form. It marks Christ's monarchical office as He sits at the head of the Church, and in particular the feast looks to Him as head of the Church Militant and His social kingship. Then we precede into November with All Saints' Day as we celebrate the Church Triumphant, followed by the commemoration of All Souls, the Church Suffering. November is dedicated to praying for the month of the Holy Souls. This arrangement makes sense, for Christ will sit in judgment as King after He has brought everything to perfection in the fullness of time.

 

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