Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Gregorian Chant is a Blessing to the Church

I had a sort of epiphany recently. In the recent few months, I have been letting myself get upset when things didn't go perfectly in my little chant world. Let's face it -- how often does everything go perfectly anyway? Well, it was making me crabby and narrow-minded and negative about things completely unrelated to it... Then, for some unknown reason, I suddenly began to see it in a different light.

Awhile back, I read a book about household (and life) organization by a woman who calls herself "flylady". She would get flashes of inspiration her husband named 'God-breezes'. One of her pearls of wisdom had to do with housework and (roughly paraphrased) went like this: "All housework, even when done imperfectly, blesses your home."

What I am thinking goes along those same lines... all Gregorian chant sung as part of a Roman Catholic liturgy, even when sung imperfectly, blesses the Church. In other words, whether I think the phrasing is exactly right on, or whether the choir members are being taught the theory behind reading the notation, or whether I like the organ accompaniment is all irrelevant to the greater good of the Church!

Now, I would like it better if it were perfectly beautiful each and every time our parishioners heard chant... and that is what we must strive toward... but in the meantime, it is still a blessing. Having this attitude is helping me a great deal.
Postscript: And I also have to realize and accept the limitations of what I personally can do in the promotion of chant singing and the training of others... I am not in charge! At the same time, those of us working toward the greater good must not be faint-hearted when hard times and obstacles are put in our paths. We have to cheerfully muddle on, humbly accepting the opportunities we have to move forward, as well as those occasions when it isn't possible.

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