Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What did John Paul II Teach about Liturgical Music?

The discussion and debate over liturgical music within the Catholic Church is growing ever more intense. An important consideration in this debate that has been overlooked concerns what Pope John Paul II taught concerning sacred music.

The most complete study on the subject is by Peter A. Kwasniewki, who teaches philsophy at the International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, Gaming, Austria (, where he also leads a Gregorian schola.

His article is: "John Paul II on Sacred Music" and it appeared in the Summer 2006 (Volume 133, Number 2) issue of Sacred Music. The editors of this journal have decided to make the entire issue available online in order that Professor Kwasniewski's study can reach the widest possible readership.

Here is the entire issue, which includes an article by NLM blog's editor Shawn Tribe.


  • John Paul II on Sacred Music | Peter A. Kwasniewski
  • Beyond Taste in Liturgical Music | Shawn Tribe
  • Offertories with Unusual Endings | William Mahrt

  • The Faithful Need to Know Chant | Synod of Bishops, XI Ordinary General Assembly
  • Liturgy is No Time for Popular Music | Francis Cardinal Arinze
  • Songs That Make a Difference? | David Hughes

  • Papal Legislation on Sacred Music: 95 A.D. to 1977, by Msgr. Robert F. Hayburn
  • Guillaume de Machaut and Reims, by Anne Walters Robertson
  • The Shape of the Liturgy, by Dom Gregory Dix
  • Looking Again at Liturgy, ed. Dom Alcuin Reid
  • Maundy Thursday | St. Peter’s Abbey, Solesmes
  • The Modern Rite, by Msgr. Klaus Gamber
  • Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer, by Uwe Michael Lang
  • Music by Nicholas Wilton

The forthcoming Fall issue includes a piece by Peter Phillips, director of the Tallis Scholars, along with articles by Michael Lawrence on the role of the organ in the Roman Rite, a thrilling piece by Joseph Mansfield on the Baroque Organs of Oaxaca, Mexico. I'm personally happy that the editor William Mahrt accepted my long (too long?) article called "The Mystery of the St. Louis Jesuits."

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