Bis Orat Qui Bene Cantat

Illuminated Manuscript With Chant Neumes

Photo Credit: ffom.org

Good news, Internet people!  I received an email earlier this evening informing me that the paper I submitted to this year’s UNIV Congress in Rome has been selected to be presented at the conference!  So not only am I going to the Eternal City during the holiest week of the year, I also get to talk to some sort of audience there about one of my favorite things ever, Gregorian chant!  So now I guess I have to figure out what to say.  I heard a speaker once (the philosopher Alastair McIntyre) read an essay of his out loud to us, pausing every so often to engage us in discussion about the content.  I think that format could work for my paper, and I’m more than happy to get feedback so that I can really get to the issues my audience wants to hear about.  I’d love to hear what you think about that format, or if you have any other ideas.

The title of this post is the title of my paper.  It is a quote from St. Augustine and translates “He who chants well prays twice”.  You can read the whole paper here.  If you’re thinking, “I want to know what you wrote about, but I don’t want to read NINE WHOLE PAGES”, no problem!  Just read my abstract, posted below.  I’ll keep you all updated on my trip and such.  There will be plenty to write about.

Abstract
This essay by Kerri Sullivan seeks to make the reader aware that Gregorian chant is–and always has been–the cornerstone of Catholic music for worship.  It describes briefly the history of Gregorian chant and the Liturgy, then discusses the ways in which the chant is most befitting of the Mass.  This discussion is modeled on the description of the Mass’s meaning and purpose in the Second Vatican Council document Sacrosanctum Concilium.  The essay concludes with some practical suggestions for using music, especially chant, to re-invigorate Catholic liturgical worship today.  As the Mass is the “source, center, and summit of Christian life” (CCC 1324), Catholics have a solemn responsibility to ensure that it is celebrated properly according to the mission of the Church.  To safeguard this heavenly treasure for the benefit of souls, it is fitting to incorporate that music which has served the Mass so well for twenty centuries: Gregorian chant.
UPDATE: (Mar 6, 7pm)
I only have ten minutes to present this.  Guess it’s going to be another boring powerpoint without discussion, or perhaps a Prezi.