Thursday, May 28, 2015

Philosophy, Tradition and Gregorian Chant : A Radio Talk By Fr Eric Andersen

Mater Dei Radio, a Catholic radio station based in Portland, Oregon, has available to listen and download a talk by Fr Eric Andersen, of Holy Trinity Church in Bandon, Oregon. The talk is called “Philosophy, Tradition and Gregorian Chant”; here is Fr Andersen’s synopsis of it.

Greek Philosophy is a science (scientia) which finds its origins in the ‘love of wisdom’ (Latin: sapientia) handed down from the gods. The holy scriptures too offer us a sapiential literature handing down God’s wisdom which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Josef Pieper’s book, “Tradition: Concept and Claim”, presents tradition as something handed down with a sense of mystery as opposed to knowledge (scientia). Music bridges science and this mystery of tradition. It is scientific in that it is mathematical. It is Tradition, insofar as it is passed down and preserved. Sacred Music, and in particular Gregorian Chant, unlike other music, is truly sacred because it is Traditional. It is handed down, not from men, but from God, and its origins are mysterious. We can come to know Gregorian Chant and to participate in it, yet it will always transcend us because it is Traditional. We can participate in it, but our participation is spiritual. Yet, it is also scientific in the highest way, because it is a participation in the gift of the Holy Spirit called scientia. When our participation in Gregorian Chant becomes second nature, and not just reading music, then it becomes the very voice of the Holy Spirit through us, as the glossolalia, or uttering of sounds without words, and thus the authentic speaking in tongues of the early Church.

Click here to listen to the program on Mater Dei Radio’s website.

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