Saturday, September 04, 2010

With Greater Devotion and Love

Jon Laird, music director at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Lake Ridge, VA, spells out the new direction of the parish music program:

As the new music director at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Lake Ridge, VA, I have recently worked with our pastor, Fr. David Meng, and parochial vicar, Fr. James Searby, to formulate a unified sacred music program at the parish. Since our relatively young parish has relied almost exclusively on Glory & Praise for thirty years, we are beginning a renewal in the area of sacred music, during which we hope to recover the authentic treasury of sacred music which the Church has jealously guarded: the venerable medieval chant, particularly Gregorian; the sacred polyphony of the Renaissance and its descendants through the centuries; a stable repertoire of Latin and English hymnody "rich in theological content"; those newer compositions by composers "profoundly steeped in the sensus Ecclesia" (Pope John Paul II).

In these early stages of our sacred music renewal, many parishioners have expressed excitement; some others have expressed dismay. In order to explain the need for renewal in the parish and the exciting prospects for the future, we have written a letter--published today, the memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great--to be distributed with this week's bulletin. We hope we have been successful in offering a solid theological foundation for this sacred music renewal, quoting liberally from Church documents and papal writings from Pius X to the present. Included in the letter is a practical and theological analysis of "contemporary Christian music" as it is used in the liturgy; I believe this may be of interest to many.

Read the letter

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