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Report: Pope revives Gregorian chant

November 22, 2007

“We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant.”

– Pope Paul VI, Address to a General Audience, November 26, 1969

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From UPI:

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 20 (UPI) — Pope Benedict XVI is returning the Vatican to Gregorian chant, the medieval music that served the Catholic church for centuries.

The pope has named a new director of pontifical liturgical celebrations. He has also dropped Pope John Paul II’s practice of using singers from Catholic churches around the world for the St. Peter’s choir, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Benedict’s leanings on forms of worship are conservative. Earlier this year, he gave churches more freedom to use the Tridentine mass, the Latin rite replaced by vernacular translations after Vatican II.

In an address to the bishops and priests of St. Peter’s, the pope called for “continuity with tradition” and talked about “the time of St. Gregory the Great,” referring to the pope after whom Gregorian chant is named.

Monsignor Valentin Miserachs Grau, the director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, believes the entire church should return to Gregorian chant.

“Due to general ignorance, especially in sectors of the clergy, there exists music which is devoid of sanctity, true art and universality,” he said.

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