Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gregorian Chant for Christmas

Open Book and Godsbody link to this article which is interesting and a little hopeful.

I think the answer in restoration of good liturgical music in general and bringing Gregorian Chant in particular back into churches is by first keeping it alive in our families.

My daughter and I will be singing for Christmas Eve Mass at our parish and our organist agreed to let us sing Alma Redemptoris Mater acapella just before the opening song. I think it will be a beautiful, reflective and even slightly "mysterious" (in the sense of the great heavenly mystery of Christ in the Incarnation) way to start the Mass.

Here is a rough translation, according to the Adoremus Hymnal:

Loving Mother of our Savior,
thou open gate leading us to heaven,
And Star of the Sea, help thy fallen people,
help all those who seek to rise again.

Maiden who didst give birth,
all nature wondering, to thy holy Lord Creator:
Virgin before and virgin always who received from
Gabriel's mouth this message from heaven,
take pity on us poor sinners.

The song is traditionally sung throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.

I found the image and music files on the website of the Secular Oratory of St. Francis Xavier Church in Philadelphia.

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