Earlier today driving around Savannah, Georgia I saw a Protestant Church called “Christ Church” with a sign advertising the use of Gregorian Chant. I wonder if this is a quirk or a new trend? Certainly would like to see it catch on in actual Catholic churches.
I think Argent posted some time back on a story about Evangelicals embracing such things
Christ Church, Savannah is a former Episcopalian congregation (now part of the Church of Uganda—they pulled out of the Episcopal Church a couple of years ago to try to escape that denomination’s train wreck). It’s an old, old congregation (in U.S. terms); it was the mother church of Anglicanism in Georgia, and they take their traditions pretty seriously (among which, happily, they seem to include Scripture).
I’m not awfully surprised that they’re doing Gregorian chant.
Like you, I’d love to see Catholic churches reclaim that part of our patrimony.
Jeff – you coming through any other parts of GA while you’re here? I’ll be in Atlanta tomorrow and Monday…
Most choirs in today’s Catholic churches are too busy practicing songs like Come to the Table, or We are One in the Spirit to bother with learning Latin. I attended what I think was a Catholic Mass in Cranbrook, BC yesterday, and the band – oops, I mean the choir – was winding up before Mass and belting out their Protestant hymns like their was no tomorrow. At least, there was no silence, anyway. Pretty hard to pray in those circumstances.
Well, I can say at my church that my choir director e-mailed everyone to state that when we start practice again (we take the summer off from being an organized choir), we WILL be learning Gregorian chant – how to read the notation, how to sing it properly – with the intent of doing chant pieces during Mass.
I wonder if anyone ever drives by and asks aloud, “Who’s Greg?”
The choir in my evil, wicked, godless, satanic, America-bashing, and overwhelmingly fundamentalist public high school usually includes at least one religious song in Latin every Christmas.
Alas, no Latin in Sunday Mass. I think the Protestant converts miss it.
— Mack, evil, wicked, godless, satanic, America-bashing, blah, blah, blah public high school teacher
Little known fact: one of the 20th century rectors of Christ Church was F. Bland Tucker–in my estimation one of the greatest hymn authors of the 20th century. He was especially gifted at paraphrases: his Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted is a paraphrase of the Eucharistic prayer in the Didache, and his All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine is a paraphrase of the hymn in Philippians chapter 2.
In other news, the Youth Classical Schola in my parish has 26 active members, singing nothin’ but chant.
I used to be part of the schola cantorum during my monastic days (pre-V2). i’m for it 1000%. Yet after visiting my old monastery chapel recently with a Novus Ordo Mass and music, I realized worship can be done without Gregorian Chant given the right selection of songs/music and reverence for the Eucharist from all concerned.
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