Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"The Church Sings to Her Bridegroom"

Following are the concluding paragraphs from "The Spirituality of Sacred Music", by  Rev. Scott A. Haynes, SJC, in the Adoremus Bulletin on-line edition, Oct. 2008.

This nicely sums up why it is good to "sing the Mass" rather than just "sing AT Mass".

The Church Sings to Her Bridegroom
The axiom lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief) should be expanded to include lex cantandi, lex amandi — the law of singing is the law of loving. As Saint Augustine said: “For he that sings praise, not only praises, but only praises with gladness: he that sings praise, not only sings, but also loves Him of whom he sings. In praise, there is the speaking forth of one confessing; in singing, the affection of one loving”.
Music is the language of love. Hence the Church, as the Bride of Christ, has always sung the praises of her Divine Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Her praises, in turn, are the echo of that ineffable canticle sung in the Godhead from all ages. For the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ, is a divine canticle singing the Father’s praise.
This is the infinite hymn that forever sounds in the “bosom of the Father” (Jn 1:18). It is the canticle that rises up from the depths of the Divinity, the Living Canticle wherein God eternally delights, because it is the infinite expression of His perfection.
Thus the Church is filled with the songs of the angels. When the Sanctus passes through the lips of the Church she is echoing the joyous praise of the cherubim and seraphim, who adore our Triune God in ceaseless adoration.
Because one who loves is wont to sing — Cantare amantis est, as Saint Augustine says — then the Church must sing God’s praises with knowledge, with understanding and with love.
Our voices, filled with such love and understanding, will not be silenced, but rather, with all the saints and angels, our songs of praise will echo through all eternity in the halls of heaven.

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