A Congress Sings the Praises of Gregorian Chant

Meeting Aims to Promote "Liturgical Correctness"

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ROME, SEPT. 8, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A recent congress here highlighted Gregorian chant as a manifestation of the faith of modern men and women.



The Sept. 3-5 meeting was organized by the Italian St. Cecilia Association. On Saturday, John Paul II received 130 of the participants at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.

The Pope thanked them for their effort "in the field of sacred music, always attentive to the teachings of the magisterium. In this way, you offer a valid contribution to the application of the Second Vatican Council's liturgical reform."

Monsignor Tarcisio Cola, president of the St. Cecilia Association, said that the congress evoked the 14th centenary of the death of St. Gregory the Great, from whom chant takes its name. He emphasized the importance of Gregorian chant for the Roman liturgy.

Monsignor Cola stressed that the meeting was an endeavor to "promote the liturgical correctness, aesthetic beauty, and evangelical and biblical fidelity of the singing in our Masses, which too often are neglected. In all these dimensions, the Gregorian tradition is teacher."

Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, opened the congress.

Among the speakers, Father Olivio Damiani, professor of the St. Bernardine of Verona Theological Institute in Italy, explained the role of the papal magisterium in Gregorian chant from the time of Pius X onward.

Professor Marco Gozzi of the Italian University of Lecce evaluated the academic research on Gregorian chant.

A round-table discussion was held at the end with the participation of Benedictine monks from Italy, Spain and Germany, who explained how Gregorian chant expresses their spiritual life.

On Saturday, a concert was performed in Paul VI Hall by the Women's Gregorian School of Cremona, Italy, and the Choir of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Dominic of Silos, Spain.

The meeting closed with a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica by Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, animated by the Scholae Cantorum, directed by Giuseppe Ferri.