Chant: God’s transforming Word
At Lauds this morning, we had a little trouble keeping ourselves in tune during one of the first psalms. We did a quick “re-pitch,” and something much more happened than just coming back into tune. The Psalm came to life! What had previously been a string of syllables or words became meaningful text. Other things also took place. We started looking at one another across the aisle, audibly “handing” each other our verse endings. People sat up straighter in their chairs. Chant prayed like this was literally beginning to physically lift us up.
Dom Eugene Cardine of Solesmes used to speak of chant as “heightened speech” — the sounds of the chant were actually drawn from the sounds inherent within the words themselves. He also used to speak of the chant’s ability to draw us out of ourselves and into a trans-formative worship that would change us as we prayed. This morning God gave us a little glimpse of how, when we engage with the chant, it lifts and transforms each of us in preparation for the day ahead!