The November issue of The Priest magazine features an article by Brian MacMichael of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Michael Roesch of the Diocese of Evansville, Ind., on the opportunity for a renewed sense of reverence in the sacred liturgy that the new translation of the Roman Missal presents — not just in the spoken words, but in the sacred music of the liturgy as well. Here is what they write:
On the First Sunday of Advent in 2011, these words will mark the inaugural use of a newly translated Preface from the Third Edition of the Roman Missal. As with many of the revised texts in the new Missal, it more clearly calls to mind a scriptural passage — in this case, Colossians 1:16 and St. Paul’s reference to “thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.” However, this effusive segue into the Sanctus also underscores a key reality: that music is integral to divine worship both in heaven and on earth, and that the use of sacred music should be emphasized more heavily with this new Missal.
As evidenced by its prominence in the Old Testament and throughout human history, music is a fitting and intuitive work of praise to God. Sacred music might even be described as a sacramentalization of human speech, and its numinous potential as a reflection of the heavenly liturgy.
The new Missal presents many opportunities to encourage a greater appreciation for sacred music in divine worship. At a basic level, the revised Missal itself will include more musical notation for the prayers and dialogues in the Order of Mass. In addition, such beautiful sung texts as the Proclamation of the Birth of Christ at Christmas and the Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany will now be incorporated into the appendices of the Missal itself.
Read the rest of what they say about the revival of sacred music.