July 17, 2018

Timothy McDonnell, director, sacred music, was interviewed by Catholic Exchange about Gregorian chant.

... How different are such Puritans to the great St. Augustine who noted that praying in song is like praying twice. In other words, since prayer is beautiful and is the offering up of the mind and soul to God, it is appropriate that prayer and praise should be united to the beauty of the sung voice. It is for this reason that Timothy S. McDonnell, director of the Institute of Sacred Music at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, is a great advocate for Gregorian chant, the traditional form of sung prayer used in the liturgy.

Although Dr. McDonnell, who composes sacred music as well as teaching it, is an admirer of Renaissance polyphony, “with its elaborate texturized harmonies,” he stresses the primacy of chant, acknowledging the great benefits to the Church’s liturgy arising from the privileged place of chant in the liturgical reforms initiated by St. Pius X in his motu proprio, Tra Le Sollecitudini, promulgated in 1903, which were buttressed by Pius XII in the encyclical Mediator Dei issued in 1947 and reaffirmed by the documents of Vatican II. ... 

Continue reading at Catholic Exchange.