Pope Benedict XVI on the Organ

 

"Music and Song

Are More than an

Embellishment of Worship"

 

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI is an accomplished
pianist, who has eloquently expressed
the importance of the pipe organ in
worship.

Traditional music and traditional liturgy have gained a new appreciation recently in almost all Christian denominations.  Even the Roman Catholic Church, which since the Second Vatican Council has seemed inclined to throw the baby out with the liturgical bathwater (to borrow an aphorism), has shown new interest and a new appreciation for older established worship formats 

Pope Benedict XVI visited his home country of Bavaria in September, 2006, and dedicated a new pipe organ in the Atle Kapelle in Regensburg.  

According to an online article of the Catholic News Agency, the Pope recognized the unique place the pipe organ holds in Christian worship.  His words are worthy of Balzac, and are reminiscent of the French writers lofty comments about the King of Instruments:

"Benedict, a piano player himself, has been vocal about his deep appreciation for music, particularly sacred liturgical music.  After a brief description of the process of restoration, which took eight years and almost one million dollars to complete, the Holy Father arose and spoke to the importance of music in the liturgies of the Church emphasizing the “king of musical instruments,” the organ. 

"Music and song are more than an embellishment of worship," said the Pope, "they are themselves part of the liturgical action."
 
The organ, "transcending the merely human sphere, as all music of quality does, evokes the divine. ... It is capable of echoing and expressing all the experiences of human life. The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God."

 

Read the Catholic News Agency article in full here

Read the entire text of the Pope's remarks here.

 

 

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