The Angelus - May/June 2024: Sacred Music and Gregorian Chant

This issue of The Angelus seeks to remind us of the priceless value of the music that makes up our traditional liturgy. Let us appreciate the beauty of the Sung Mass and the Gregorian chant that so dignifies it.

Letter from the District Superior:

Dear Reader,

Four days before the New Mass came into force, in November 1969, Pope Paul VI gave an address trying to justify the change of liturgy. He mentioned that setting Latin aside for the vernacular would be a great sacrifice and then noted that, since Latin would no longer be the language of the liturgy, “we will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, Gregorian chant.”

It is a characteristic of the Conciliar popes to lift up the age-old practices of the Church with one hand, and then immediately sweep them away with the other. Pope Paul characterized the elimination of Latin and Gregorian chant as a “reason for regret” and “almost for bewilderment” but ultimately justified it for the sake of “participation by the people…particularly participation by modern people.” When chant was shelved and “On Eagles’ Wings” was put in its place, however, tens of thousands of Catholics stopped participating and left the Church.

The loss of Gregorian chant in the life of the average Catholic for the past sixty years has been incalculable. No music is so capable of raising the soul to God as this sacred chant.

Gregorian chant is so spiritual because it is so simple. It purposely removes the musical elements of harmony from its pieces by allowing for only one pitch at a given moment and reduces that of rhythm by having the musical stress occur alternatively on the second or third note from the previous stress. This austerity of form leaves a pure melody that speaks directly to the highest faculties of man’s soul.

This authentic music of the Church has been sanctifying Catholics for practically the whole of her history, and it continues to sanctify us today, we who hold on to this treasure. This music must become a part of us, especially the Kyriales that the Church has assigned to the various parts of the liturgical year. We know that it is Easter when Kyrie I begins the Paschal Vigil Midnight Mass; what a contrast from Kyriale XVII that is used for Advent and Lent! Kyriale IX appears on feasts of Our Lady, Kyriale XI on Sundays throughout the year, and VIII, or the Mass of the Angels, as an optional setting for any Sung Mass. Blessed is the Catholic who can recognize and sing these sacred melodies.

The world has its music by which it forms souls; we also have ours. This issue of The Angelus seeks to remind us of the priceless value of the music that makes up our traditional liturgy. Let us appreciate the beauty of the Sung Mass and the Gregorian chant that so dignifies it.

Fr. John Fullerton


inside angelus 2024 may june


Gregorian Chant: Reflections & Considerations of a Vocal PilgrimAndrew Childs
A Path into the Realm of Silence: 
Sacred Music and Approaching the Divine 
Fr. Ian Andrew Palko, SSPX
The Rich Symbolism of Gregorian ChantJulian Kwasniewski 
Sacred Music at MassDavid Conder 
Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Lohengrin: 
Ecclesiastical efforts to promote chant and polyphony in wedding music
Sharon Kabel
The Mother of God In Polish Catholic HymnsAngeline Tan
Music at Low MassMichael J. Miller
Gregorian Chant at the University of Paris: 
Jerome of Moravia’s Tractatus de Musica
Joseph Ahmad 


REVIEWBearing False Witness: 
Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History
By Rodney Stark
Reviewed by Brendan D. King 


FROM THE ARCHBISHOPProblematic Post-Conciliar Liturgical MusicArchbishop Marcel Lefebvre
SERMONOn the Mystical Meaning of the Alleluia and the TractAscribed to Hugh of St. Victor, translated by Zachary Thomas
LITURGICAL STUDIESThe Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: 
New Emphases and Omissions for “Modern Man”
Matthew Hazell 
THEOLOGICAL STUDIESMusic Subjected to a Materialistic InfluenceBy Fr. Thibault de Maillard, translated by Mary Molline
INTERVIEWMy Path to TraditionGeorge and Demi Garza

The Last Word:

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” 

Resting his head on the Master’s heart on the evening of the Last Supper, St. John understood better than any of the other Apostles that the Mystery of the Incarnation was above all a mystery of Love.

Indeed, the life of Christ is nothing other than a perfect song of love magnifying God’s majesty and His great mercy for us.

His continuous prayer, His teaching, His miracles, His sufferings, and His victory over sin and death are a symphony in a major key extolling the glory of the Father and His burning love for the salvation of souls.

This song that rose up two thousand years ago in the land of Palestine has never since ceased to ring out.

A countless multitude of souls have united their voices to that of Christ and imitated His accents to glorify God and spread the good news of salvation.

Gregorian chant, the proper chant of the Church, is a sacramental that truly enables the faithful to unite themselves to Christ and to His redemptive mission.

But most importantly, Gregorian chant carries on the song of Christ on earth.

In the Church, the voice of the Redeemer still rises up as strong and pure as ever. It repeats His love for the Father over the course of the centuries, without ever tiring or growing repetitive.

Through Gregorian chant, Christ sings to men the glory of God and presents men’s prayer to His Father.

Plainchant is also the way Our Holy Mother the Church, the immaculate spouse of Christ, expresses her faith in her Spouse, proclaiming loud and clear that He is her only hope and singing His love.

Gregorian chant is truly the expression of the outpouring of the heart of Christ’s spouse, and it answers her maternal desire to form our hearts after His.

It allows her to send up before the throne of grace her profound adoration, her boundless admiration, her infinite respect, her unlimited devotion, and her total dependency, in a tone of noble sobriety.

Let us learn to savor the unique beauty of Gregorian chant that is more of Heaven than of Earth.

Uniting our voices to the voice of Christ and of His Church, let us enter into the most intimate secrets of the Heart of Christ and embrace His love for the Father so that our own lives may become a song that rises up before the throne of Grace.

In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,
Fr. Yves le Roux
District Superior of Canada


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