quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Liturgical Quote of the Day

"For prayer that issues from the word of God, speech is not enough: music is required. Two chants from the Christian liturgy come from biblical texts in which they are placed on the lips of angels: the Gloria, which is sung by the angels at the birth of Jesus, and the Sanctus, which according to Isaiah 6 is the cry of the seraphim who stand directly before God. Christian worship is therefore an invitation to sing with the angels, and thus to lead the word to its highest destination."

- Pope Benedict XVI (HT: Sentire cum Ecclesia)


Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Fr. May,
On a subject like the Biblical theology of worship as it relates to the traditional liturgy, I find Pope Benedict XVI to be eminently quotable. Your quotation here is a good example. And it is significant that these two angelic chants are both part of the Ordinary of the missa cantata, which has been celebrated, even at Lutheran altars, for millennia. What a shame when such timeless chants are not chanted, but sung to tunes most at home in campfire masses from the 1970s.

Fr. Timothy D. May, S.S.P. said...

It is a shame indeed! Campfire tunes are best kept for . . . campfires. Chant, on the other hand, is time-tested in supporting the traditional liturgy. Obviously, I am no expert on these things and do not have the opportunity to hear chant as often as I would like. Still, there is a definite difference in focus between the two types of music. Also, I appreciate how you speak of the connection between the Biblical theology of worship and the traditional liturgy.
This, I think, is often overlooked and/or under-appreciated and this quote hopefully serves to support the rich biblical heritage that the Church has received and passes on in the liturgy.