Friday, April 22, 2016

Monsignor Hilgartner on Music in the Liturgy

Monsignor Richard Hilgartner, Pastor of of Saint Joseph’s Parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and President of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, addressed the Seminary community on Music in the Liturgy last evening in Saint John’s Chapel.  Monsignor is a former Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship.  During his time in the Liturgy Secretariat he presided over the publication and implementation of the new Roman Missal.  This great liturgist and pastor shared some wonderful insights with the Seminary community

During his talk he quoted from the USCCB’s guidelines on Music in Divine Worship, entitled Sing to the Lord:  
Participation must also be external, so that internal participation can be expressed and reinforced by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes, and by the acclamations, responses, and singing. The quality of our participation in such sung praise comes less from our vocal ability than from the desire of our hearts to sing together of our love for God. Participation in the Sacred Liturgy both expresses and strengthens the faith that is in us.  (Sing to the Lord, no 13)

Monsignor Hilgartner went on to say: ”In other words, God gave you your voice and God deserves to hear it. That doesn't say anything about what the person sitting next to you might deserve to hear, but it does remind us that it is not so much the quality of our voice but the attempt to let our hearts sing, to sing to God what is welling up in our hearts.”