Pope Calls for More Efforts in Liturgical Music

In a Message to Experts Gathered at the Vatican

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 5, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appealed for greater attention to sacred liturgical music, in a message sent to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

In his brief message to Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Pope greeted the participants in a day of study organized today by that Vatican dicastery on the topic «Sacred Music: A Liturgical and Pastoral Challenge.»

The congress was responding to Pope John Paul II’s desire, expressed in a 2003 chirograph, in which he called the dicastery to intensify its efforts in the field of sacred liturgical music.

«Echoing the call of my beloved predecessor, I would like to encourage those who cultivate sacred music to continue this journey,» said Benedict XVI said.

In particular, the Holy Father suggested that the Vatican congregation reflect «on the relationship between music and liturgy, while remaining attentive to practical applications and experimentation, and maintaining constant understanding and collaboration with national episcopal conferences.»

When opening the congress, Cardinal Arinze explained: «Sacred music must be in accord with the grandeur of the liturgical act that celebrates the mysteries of Christ; it must be characterized by a sense of prayer, beauty and dignity.»

Vatican Radio quoted him saying: «In no way must it give way to shallowness, superficiality or theatricality.»

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