GUEST POST: Gregorian Chant Will Save the World

Save The Liturgy – Save The Word has been a by word around this blog for a long time.

I saw this on the blog The Back Of The World:

Gregorian Chant Will Save the World

Click to buy!

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at the computer while my two-year-old son noisily played with some tupperware behind me. I clicked on a link to listen to a song from “Angels and Saints at Ephesus”, a new CD by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles (which, incidentally, has been tearing up the Classical music charts). The beautiful, a capella voices of the Sisters came softly over the computer speakers as they began a Gregorian chant in Latin.Suddenly, I noticed that the banging of tupperware behind me had stopped.

I turned to see my two-year-old, standing, staring at the computer, eyes wide open and mouth slightly agape. He took a few steps forward, and then said, breathlessly: “Dada…that’s Jesus music.”

I was stunned. How on earth did he know that? (Our parish certainly doesn’t do any chanting at the N.O. Mass we attend…). He crawled up into my lap, and we listened to the rest of the chant together. And then we listened to it again. And then again. And then again. My boy was totally captivated, totally transfixed, totally enraptured…each time the chant would come to an end, he would look up at me and plead “again, Dada?”

I bought the album, and now every night my son asks to listen to the “Jesus music” as he falls asleep…

***

Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said: “Beauty will save the world.”

Cardinal Ratzinger once said: “The encounter with beauty can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the soul and thus makes it see clearly, so that henceforth it has criteria, based on what it has experienced, and can now weigh the arguments correctly.”

Mother Theresa once said: “You have to learn from the Heart of Jesus. That is why Jesus said ‘learn of me’–not from books.”

And somehow, in ways I will never understand, my two-year-old boy is listening to the beat of the Sacred Heart. He is encountering beauty, and listening to it with childlike ears of faith. He’s learning lessons that only the gentle notes and chords of Heaven can teach him. And all I can do is sit back and treasure up all of these things in my heart…

Ex ore infantium!

Fr Z Kudos to the 2 year old and his father!

If you are in Canada or the UK, copy and paste the CD title (above) into my amazon searchboxes at the bottom of the page.  Easy.  Otherwise, the UK link is HERE and Canada HERE.

A brief sampling!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to GUEST POST: Gregorian Chant Will Save the World

  1. cblanch says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z!

  2. Rich says:

    What a great post. Thanks for embedding the player, too, Fr. Z, I am listening to it ad infinitum at work. And, it’s doing something to me…Something good…

  3. HyacinthClare says:

    Just sent a CD to my granddaughter, who is three and autistic and has trouble going to sleep. And we won’t pay any attention to what the angels will be doing to her excellent (but protestant) parents in the process…..

  4. HyacinthClare says:

    and another for me…

  5. West of the Potomac says:

    My three year old recently started insisting that his mother or I stay in his room until he goes to sleep.

    I used to bring my iPad in and just sit there, but a couple of weeks ago I started signing him some chant. I’ll loop the triple Kyrie and Ite Missa Est from the EF, a plain chant O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo, the Pater Noster, and Angus Dei. And I’ll even throw in a verse or two of Silent Night (I know, not chant), because it’s the perfect lullaby.

    Even with my terrible voice my son is mesmerized and falls (and stays) asleep so peacefully. And then when he hears the chants at Mass or Exposition/Benediction he just lights up.

    If he’s not in the mood for chant, my wife and I will say the Rosary in his room while he fully and actively participates (by closing his eyes and prayerfully listening until he’s asleep).

    He now prefers this to the old standbys of Hands Hands, Fingers, Thumbs; Go Dogs Go; Clifford the Big Red Dog; and Curious George. Good taste that boy has.

  6. Sissy says:

    “If he’s not in the mood for chant, my wife and I will say the Rosary in his room while he fully and actively participates (by closing his eyes and prayerfully listening until he’s asleep).”

    Today, my 6 month old granddaughter was fretful and fussy at nap time. I started praying the Rosary, and she immediately quieted down, gazed up at my face, and then broke into a huge smile. She was asleep in no time. I’ve already sent the CD to my sister and to my brother….I guess I need one for my little darling, too. I’ll order it this evening!

  7. Pingback: Thanks, Fr. Z! | The Back of the World

  8. jaykay says:

    West of the Potomac: beautiful! I had the same experience, back in the (very) early 60s, of my then almost 80-years-old grandmother singing gently beside me at bedtime, her speciality being all the Marian hymns, including one I’ve never heard since of which one of the verses went “Daily, daily sing to Mary…”. We had neighbours surnamed “Daly” so I was convinced that… well, you can guess :) The Benediction hymns were favourites as well.

  9. Skeinster says:

    Good news, jaykay! “Daily, daily sing to Mary” is on their Marian CD.
    Their two non-seasonal CD’s are my constant companions in the car.
    Off to purchase the new one…

  10. Singing Mum says:

    Most children are drawn to chant and learn very easily. This goes for girls- and boys!
    This year we’ll have 80 children ages 7-18 attending our parish Chant Camp. There’ll be 42 boys (18 are teens) and 38 girls (also lots of teens) preparing chants for a Missa Cantata and playing soccer and frisbee with the priests on their daily long lunch break.

  11. Pingback: “Gregorian Chan… | Oh, for the love of chant!

  12. JMody says:

    This reminds me of one of my favorite Digby quotes:

    Music is said by some holy men to have drawn the gentiles frequently into the Church through mere curiosity, which ended in conversion of heart and desire of baptism. This gave occasion for Dr. Burney to say that “the generality of parochial music with the moderns is not likely to produce similar effects, it being such as would rather drive Christians with good ears out of the church than draw Pagans into it.”

    We used to have a pastor that mocked the “people who hate music and go to Saturday Mass” — I always retorted that it was because we LIKED music that we avoided the so-called choir … and dreamt of tattooing Dr. Burney’s words on his forehead.

    And — don’t forget, Digby published in the 19th century, so this Dr. Burney was referring to “modern music” which we might call traditional and wonderful today.