Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

By Cantor

Follow the theme!

Friday Lauds opens with Psalm 51, perhaps the most famous of all the penitential psalms — Have mercy on me, O God. As we began Lauds last Friday, I thought again about the fact we always begin Friday morning asking God’s mercy. However, as we continued through the service, the word mercy began to present itself in other places — in the opening of the 2nd psalm # 143, O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in the brief response, Make me to hear your mercy in the morning; in the Gospel antiphon, By the inmost mercies of our God, the rising sun has visited us from on high; and the 4th verse of the Benedictus, to show mercy to our fathers. I realized that we had been moved through an entire service by the theme of God’s mercy!

This idea of a theme throughout a worship service — the Divine Office or the Eucharist —  is not new. On the contrary, it is quite old! But the power of a theme to speak is not diminished by time, only enhanced. Mary Berry used to call these themes the “hidden gems.”

The Community of Jesus







Credit for Chant Image:Concert of Gregorian Chant – Mdina, Malta

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This entry was posted in Eucharist, God, Gregorian Chant, Liturgy of the Hours, Prayer, Scripture 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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