A new initiative launched by the Archdiocese of San Francisco last month seeks to train Church musicians to “recover a sense of our sacred music,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
The Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music & Divine Worship launched on Jan. 5, at a vespers service in celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, at which both the archbishop and the foundation’s director, Fr. Samuel Weber, spoke.
Fr. Weber, director of the Institute and a Benedictine priest, said,
“This is all about evangelization. We have lots of tools in the kit: a lot of them we’re not using, others we’re not using as well as we could. So let’s use them … let’s use them well.”
The Institute focuses on Gregorian chant, as it is was identified by the Second Vatican Council as “specially suited to the Roman liturgy,” but the Institute will include training and education for contemporary music as well. Archbishop Cordileone said,
“Musicians doing contemporary-style Church music should understand what is good music – because not all of it is even good musically – but also to understand the theology underlying the lyrics.”
Fr. Weber said of contemporary Church music,
“This is perhaps a good idea, that musicians understand how to use contemporary music well, because it is very popular, and that will draw people too.”
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