Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sacred music is focus for Vatican seminar

Vatican, Dec. 01 ( - The Congregation for Divine Worship is organizing a seminar on sacred music, to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium (doc) on December 5.

The schedule for the morning event will alternate scholarly talks with musical performances, held in the Synod Hall. Thus after an opening prayer, the choir of the Rome diocese will perform, followed by an introductory talk by Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Giordano Monzio Compagnoni of the Ambrosian Institute for sacred music in Milan and Father Louis-Andre Naud, a consultor to the Congregation will speak about sacred music and liturgical participation. Father Jean-Marie Bodo of Yaounde, Cameroon, will talk on the role of inculturation and liturgical music. Father Philippe Dupont, the abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Solesmes, will speak about Gregorian chant-- as will Msgr. Valentin Miserachs y Grau, president of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music in Rome. Finally Martin Baker, the director of the cathedral choir in Westminster, England, will speak on choral music. Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, the outgoing secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, will conclude the morning's talks. (Earlier this month, Archbishop Sorrentino was named Bishop of Assisi.)

Sacrosanctum Concilium, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963, was one of the earliest and most significant products of the Second Vatican Council, setting the stage for the dramatic liturgical reforms of the 1960s and beyond. In 2003, as he noted the 40th anniversary of the document's appearance, Pope John Paul II (bio - news) directed the Congregation for Divine Worship to encourage the revival of the tradition of Catholic liturgical music. The late Pontiff wrote that " sacred music is a privileged means to facilitate the active participation of the faithful in sacred celebration."

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