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from “Sing To The Lord”, the document on liturgical music issued
by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on
November 14, 2007
"God has bestowed upon his people the
gift of song. God dwells within each human person, in the place
where music takes its source. Indeed, God, the giver of song, is
present whenever his people sing his praises."
"A cry from deep within our being, music is a way for God to
lead us to the realm of higher things. As St. Augustine says,
“Singing is for the one who loves.” Music is therefore a sign of
God’s love for us and of our love for him. In this sense, it is
very personal. But unless music sounds, it is not music, and
whenever it sounds, it is accessible to others. By its very
nature song has both an individual and a communal dimension.
Thus, it is no wonder that singing together in church expresses
so well the sacramental presence of God to his people."
"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."
"Our participation in the Liturgy is challenging. Sometimes, our
voices do not correspond to the convictions of our hearts. At
other times, we are distracted or preoccupied by the cares of
the world. But Christ always invites us to enter into song, to
rise above our own preoccupations, and to give our entire selves
to the hymn of his Paschal Sacrifice for the honor and glory of
the Most Blessed Trinity."
"From the days when the Ark of the Covenant was accompanied in
procession by cymbals, harps, lyres, and trumpets, God’s people
have, in various periods, used a variety of musical instruments
to sing his praise. Each of these instruments, born of the
culture and the traditions of a particular people, has given
voice to a wide variety of forms and styles through which
Christ’s faithful continue to join their voices to his perfect
song of praise upon the Cross."
here for the full text of the U.S. Bishops' document.