By: Sr. Fidelis
Did you know we can actually trace our chant “ancestry” back to the music of the first Christians, who were Jews? The ancient custom of chanting aloud the words of Scripture – especially the Psalms – grew right out of the Jewish ritual. In fact, the melodies we use in chanting the psalms today have similar counterparts that we can recognize in Jewish practice. There are lots of benefits in chanting the Scriptures out loud, and the ancients knew this. Besides the fact that many can hear the Word of God, there’s an added beauty and dignity that surrounds the text. It’s exciting that we, as 21st century believers, can really immerse ourselves in this practice of our early Christian ancestors. This isn’t just an historical exercise….the Words of Scripture actually live in us. They have the ability to transform us just as they did centuries earlier.
“The pure rhythm of liturgical prayer is a primeval channel of grace, and while it is necessary to look for ways of adapting the Church’s patterns of prayer to modern life, there is much that the old patterns have to give us, even at the cost of forcing our lives to adapt to them rather than vice versa.”