Pope Describes Criteria for Sacred Music

Receives Members of Pontifical Institute

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2001 (Zenit.org).-
What criteria should be used in choosing and rendering liturgical music?
John Paul II answered the question this morning when he received 200
members of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

«The criteria that should inspire every composition and rendition of
songs and sacred music is that of beauty, which inspires prayer,»
the Holy Father responded. «When singing and music are signs of the
presence of the action of the Holy Spirit, in a certain sense,
they favor communion with the Trinity.»

In particular, John Paul II reminded the musicians that
the Second Vatican Council singled out «Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony,
and the organ» as privileged environments and instruments for liturgical music compositions.

«Sacred music is a treasure of inestimable value, which is distinguished from other
artistic expressions primarily because sacred singing, joined to words,
is a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy,» the Pope explained.

The Institute of Sacred Music was founded by Pius X in 1910.

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