26 December 2007

Pope Benedict and the Aesthetics of the Mass

This article appeared in the latest National Review Online.  It gives a cultural perspective on the liturgical reform furthered by the Holy Father.

Mysterious Encounters

Benedict XVI resurrects the aesthetics of the Mass.

By Michael Knox Beran

In a recent address to the bishops and priests of St. Peter’s, Pope Benedict called for a greater “continuity with tradition” in the music of the Church, and spoke of the value of the Church’s older musical traditions, among them the baroque sacred music of the 17th and 18th centuries and Gregorian Chant. The address followed the pope’s issuance, in July, of an Apostolic Letter(accompanying letter in English here) in which he permitted broader use of the Latin Mass, the “Tridentine” rite authorized by the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century and promulgated most recently by John XXIII in 1962.

The pope’s pronouncements were received with skepticism by those who regard his views on sacred music, like his sympathy for the Latin Mass, as so much reactionary old-fogeyism. But neither the pope’s critics nor even many of his supporters appear to have grasped what His Holiness is up to.

Full article here.

1 comment:

Latinmassgirl said...

What? Baroque sacred music played in Catholic Churches?! I shall miss all of those Novus Ordo songs, especially "We Gather Together" and "Sing to the Mountain". How can our Holy Father even think that the sacred Gregorian Chant is more appropriate, more pious, than those popular modern songs? What can he be thinking? Hmmm . .