I have been thinking a lot about Gregorian chant these days. As often happens when I am pecking away at a subject, someone sends me a link to something useful.
There is a series of videos on YouTube in French taken from VHS of a course on Gregorian chant by the monks of Solesmes. If you have French, even remotely, you will find them interesting. They are not the final word and they are dated, but they are helpful.
One thing caught my eye in the video Le chant grégorien à Solesmes (4) : Modes, impacts, Legato. This inscription is displayed – I assume that it is at Solesmes, if not in the church then in the monastery – while a chant is played as a demonstration of a point that was made.
There is always going to be a tension between the insights of the past and the insights of the present, especially as we learn more and develop and deepen our understanding of an aspect of the Faith. There is also always a tension in this life between authority (external to us) and one’s own will. This applies to doctrine, as Bl. John Henry Newman pointed out, and to our liturgical worship, as Pope Benedict XVI so ably underscored. Bringing these elements into harmony can be the task of a lifetime. The inscription above provides a good starting point.