"I could see from the enthusiastic participants in the clinic that a great movement (toward use of chant) is afoot in our diocese. It will still take time to mature, but the seeds have been planted."
He called the clinic "an awesome opportunity for formation in the rich tradition of sacred music that the Church has asked us to implement in our parishes."
"I think that many people do not realize," he explained, "the emphasis that Vatican Council II and the subsequent popes have placed on returning Gregorian chant to 'pride of place' in the Mass." He said he thought the clinic would be a "real force for years to come" toward achieving this goal for the diocese.
"I would encourage anyone in the music ministry to attend next year's music clinic," Ringer said, "to gain a deeper love for the Mass and for sacred music. One of the primary ways to evangelize is through beauty, and I think that everyone who participated in Saturday evening's Mass was overwhelmed by the grace, dignity and solemnity of the liturgy."
In fact, the night before the clinic began, artist and writer David Clayton delivered a free lecture at the Newman Center on "The Way of Beauty." He explained how beauty can be the most basic form of evangelization, a detail Katie Dubas also took from the conference.
Dubas, who is director of youth ministry for the parishes of the Grant Deanery, also occasionally serves as a cantor. She said she learned a great deal about the different styles of music and how they are best suited for different occasions.
"I never thought about how some music is best for basic evangelization, some for private devotion and then the sacred music that was designed for the liturgy," she said. "Gregorian chant has a rich history in the life of the Church and it was good to learn about the history and role it plays in the Church today."
She got to see firsthand how chant can be brought to the present Church, when she attended a Sunday morning Mass at the Newman Center.
"I was surrounded by college students," she said. "Most of the Mass used chant, and all of the students around me were joining in song, so that showed me that they have been taught about sacred music and are embracing it wholeheartedly," she said.
"I do think young people today are open to learning about sacred music and how it was designed to help us have one united voice in response to Jesus' invitation to be inserted into the mystery of the Trinity."
This article originally appeared in the Southern Nebraska Register. Republished with permission.
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