Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Sr Fidelis    
“What’s in a Name?”

You might be wondering how this early music of the Western Church got its name.  The terms “chant”, “plainchant” or “plainsong” all refer to this same music, but “Gregorian chant” is the most common title – linking it to Gregory the Great. What role did he play?  There was a medieval legend – depicted in early paintings of Gregory,  showing  him with a quill pen in his hand, a parchment filled with neumes (early chant notation) on his desk, and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, whispering in his ear, perhaps imparting the divinely inspired chant tunes!  History has clarified this and we’ve learned that Gregory’s contribution was his organization of the Mass chants, and his forming song schools for the teaching of the chant.  What we know for certain is that this music of the early church still bears his name to this day.

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About Sr. Fidelis

I am 46 years old, and have been a Sister at the Community of Jesus for 26 years. Having grown up here, I have been singing Gregorian chant since I was 10! I was very blessed to study Gregorian chant with Dr. Mary Berry in Cambridge, England and here at home. Recently, I have been able to do some radio and tv interviews, sharing about the blessings of Gregorian chant. I love leading chant workshops, and have been able to do that in the US and abroad.

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