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Pope: Choral singing mirrors communion of the Church

Coral Singing's participants held a free concert in the Paul VI Hall on June 8. (Photo: Vatican News)

Pope Francis said that choral singing is “done together, not alone,” which mirrors the communion of the Church.

In his address to the participants of the IV International Meeting of Choirs in Rome on June 8, the Holy Father emphasized how the journey of the Church can be likened to the “performance of a great concert.”

“Each person offers their contribution according to their abilities, playing or singing their ‘part,’ and so discovering their unique richness from the symphony of communion,” he said.

Pope Francis said the collaborative nature of choral performances, where each person depends on the commitment of every individual “without seeking personal prominence,” reflects the life of the Church.

The pope also reminded choir members to become active custodians of sacred music, which he described as “a centuries-old treasure of art, beauty, and spirituality.”

“Do not let the mentality of the world taint it with self-interest, ambition, jealousy, or division,” he said. “For such things, as you know, can infiltrate the life of choirs as well as communities, making them places that are no longer joyful, but sad and burden, even leading to their disintegration,” said the pontiff.

He encouraged them to maintain the “lofty spiritual tenor” of their vocation through prayer and meditation on the Word of God.

Furthermore, Pope Francis defined music as a “universal and immediate language” that everyone can easily understand and therefore can be used to foster harmony.

He said that music can educate people on listening, paying attention, and studying, as well as a powerful guidance beyond negativity and materialism.

“[Music] grants to those who cultivate it a wise and serene outlook, which makes it easier to overcome divisions and rivalry and so to be in harmony, much like the instruments of an orchestra or the voices of the choir,” said the pope.

The IV International Meeting of Choirs in Rome took place on June 7-9, with around 300 singers and 80 musicians from different nations in attendance.

It was promoted by Msgr. Marco Frisina and Nova Opera to mark the 40th foundation anniversary of the Choir of the Diocese of Rome.

The gathering involved discussions about sacred music and the history of Gregorian chant, as well as practical workshops for musicians and choristers.

On June 8, participants held a free concert in the Paul VI Hall.

On June 9, they sang at the Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.


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