by Sister Fidelis
This week we celebrated the Dormition or Assumption of Mary. In preparation for this feast I pulled out a CD recorded by the Gloriae Dei Cantores Men’s Schola entitled, “The Chants of Mary.” As I listened I was struck with the richness of the chant written in Mary’s honor, and thought again about how well-known these pieces are — pieces such as Salve Regina, Ave Maria, Regina Caeli, Ave Maris Stella. These are the beloved chants that many congregations can still sing by heart. Here, I think, is an example of our “human-ness” – the part of us that will still, even in our old age, respond to and be touched by the love and care of a true Mother, and the honor and respect we feel toward one who was willing to be simple and vulnerable, and to accept of all that God asked of her.
Taking a moment to look at Salve Regina a couple of thoughts come to mind. The simplicity and tenderness of the piece are evident in the simple structure, lack of melismas and “frills.” The line of the melody sweeps up and down peaking on important words and thoughts in a most straight-forward and child-like manner. The prayer that these words spell out has lasted through the centuries, still as pertinent as ever. Sometimes it is important just to take a moment to enjoy a little gem such as this. Listen here!