Pope Highlights Role of Sacred Music in "Earthly Pilgrimage"

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2003 (Zenit.org).- On this solemnity of Christ the King, John Paul II thanked "all those who put their talents and musical competence at the service of the liturgy,” thus "building the Kingdom of Christ."



In his address before the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father referred to the 27th National Congress of Sacred Music of the Italian St. Cecilia Association, organized on the centenary of Pope St. Pius X's "Motu Proprio 'Tra le sollecitudini'," in which he published "an important instruction on sacred music."

In this context, and celebrating the feast of St. Cecilia, the association gave a concert on Saturday in the Paul VI Auditorium, which interpreted Monsignor Lorenzo Perosi's "Passion According to St. Mark."

St. Cecilia, Roman martyr and by popular tradition patroness of music and musicians, "invites believers to walk vigilantly toward the encounter with Christ, gladdening the earthly pilgrimage with the joy of song and music," the Pope said at the end of the concert.

"May St. Cecilia accompany each one of you from Heaven and help you to realize fully your mission in the Church," the Pontiff said to the musicians, choir, and participants in the Congress.

With the Motu Proprio "Tra le sollecitudini," St. Pius redefined, pastorally, the relations between sacred music, the liturgy, and the duty "to maintain and promote the decorum of the House of God."

The Congress, held on the occasion of the centenary of this papal document, has gathered in Rome over the past few days 20,000 people, including musicians, priests, and directors, all involved at the level of the local Church, in maintaining the commitments of the centenary St. Cecilia Association.