Saturday, August 20, 2016

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 183 - Part I


YOUCAT Question n. 183 - Part I. Why is there music at liturgies, and what kind of music must it be to be suitable for liturgy?        

(Youcat answer) Where words are not enough to praise God, music comes to our aid.       

A deepening through CCC         

(CCC 1156) "The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of solemn liturgy" (SC 112). The composition and singing of inspired psalms, often accompanied by musical instruments, were already closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant. The Church continues and develops this tradition: "Address … one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart." "He who sings prays twice" (Eph 5:19; St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 72,1: PL 36, 914; cf. Col 3:16).         

Reflecting and meditating        

(Youcat comment)  When we turn to God, there is always something ineffable and unsaid left over. Then music can help out. In rejoicing, language becomes song—that is why the angels sing. Music in a worship service should make prayer more beautiful and more fervent, move more deeply the hearts of all in attendance and bring them closer to God, and prepare for God a feast of melody.     

(CCC Comment)      

(CCC 1158) The harmony of signs (song, music, words, and actions) is all the more expressive and fruitful when expressed in the cultural richness of the People of God who celebrate (Cf. SC 119). Hence "religious singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises as well as in liturgical services," in conformity with the Church's norms, "the voices of the faithful may be heard." But "the texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine. Indeed they should be drawn chiefly from the Sacred Scripture and from liturgical sources" (SC 118; 121).        

(This question: Why is there music at liturgies, and what kind of music must it be to be suitable for liturgy? is continued)      

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