Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

By Cantor

The Universal Language

For many years, music has been referred to as the “Universal Language” — speaking from “heart to heart.” Chant certainly has that quality.

On a recent trip to Italy, I found myself meeting delightful people–their personality simply gleamed through their smile or handshake. Yet, we had no pathway to communicate verbally. I only speak a few words of Italian, and the people I met, for the most part, spoke no English. However, part of that trip included chanting both the midday Divine Office and Compline. Many of those same people attended those services, along with our group from the United States.

What happened next amazed me. We opened our mouths to chant the Office, and suddenly we were speaking the same language and we actually knew what each other was saying. The week leading to these services had been both exciting and tiring, in part because daily communication posed problems that one never even considers at home. Yet, we were united in the same language of prayer and it seemed that for those minutes we chanted, we were united through the same language and music.

This is a very important aspect of Gregorian chant and one which, if we give ourselves to it, will lift us from our daily routine and bring us together with God through sung prayer.

chant july 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit for photo

www.travel.justmarvelousworld.com

 

This entry was posted in Culture, God, Gregorian Chant, Italy, Liturgy of the Hours, Prayer, Traveling by Cantor. Bookmark the permalink.


About Cantor

I have been a cantor for over 25 years and an organist for most of my life. Chanting with people at home and across the country is one of my greatest joys. I remember the days of staring at the section of our undergraduate music text thinking to myself "what are all those dots and WHY do I need to know about them?!" Now, 33 years later, I am so grateful that those "dots" have helped teach me many things about God and His love!

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