Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Cantor

Happy New Year!

Of course, the greeting of “Happy New Year!” might also be offered as “Blessed Advent”! We are now in the first week of Advent — the beginning of the new liturgical year. As I was writing this, “Ad te levavi” began chanting itself through my head. (“Ad te levavi” — I will lift up my eyes” — is the introit for the first week of Advent).

The fact that “Ad te levavi” was moving through my inner ear reminded me that part of the reason that we love chant is that it constantly reminds us of where we are in liturgical time. In fact, I found it comforting to “hear” that chant as it spoke to me again me of God’s constancy. Once again, is near to me as I cried out to Him.
Chant was designed, in part, to remind us of times of the year and how God expresses His love for us during these different seasons. We are temporal beings and chant has the ability to “slip past” the elements of our daily lives and struggles and lift us into “eternal time”. What a marvelous gift left to us by all of those nameless composers who worked to leave us a legacy of “sung prayer” that would remind us over and over again of God’s mercy and love.
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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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