Gallagher reported to CNA the words of Fr. Corwin, the chaplain at a recent chant camp, that "These kids get more catechesis at chant camp than some kids receive all year. They learn what the Mass is. They learn than chant is not performance, it's prayer."
Fr. Corwin added, "They are intrigued to find out they are singing the same prayers their favorite saints prayed through the ages. They are tasked with mastering the Tradition and then charged with handing it down. They love the responsibility. They love the Mystery. And they love the beauty they offer to glorify God and sanctify the Faithful."
The Benedict XVI Institute's promotion of Gregorian chant is in line with the Second Vatican Council, and with popes from St. Pius X to Pope Francis.
In his 1903 motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini promoting active participation in the liturgy, St. Pius X focused on the importance of chant, writing that "Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music."
He directed that "special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices."
Pius XI said, "so that the faithful may more actively participate in divine worship, let Gregorian chant be restored to popular use."
Ven. Pius XII wrote in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei that Gregorian chant "makes the celebration of the sacred mysteries not only more dignified and solemn but helps very much to increase the faith and devotion of the congregation."
In his 2007 apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, Benedict XVI wrote that "while respecting various styles and different and highly praiseworthy traditions, I desire, in accordance with the request advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy," adding that "nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant."
The 1967 instruction on music in the liturgy, Musicam sacram, which was an implementation of Vatican II, stated that "the study and practice of Gregorian chant is to be promoted, because, with its special characteristics, it is a basis of great importance for the development of sacred music."
And in an address marking the 50th anniversary of Musicam sacram, Pope Francis praised the instruction and its focus on active, conscious, and full participation in the liturgy.
In his March 4, 2017 address to participants in a sacred music conference, Francis lamented that "At times a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of liturgical celebrations."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
He urged that musicians and others "make a precious contribution to the renewal, especially in qualitative terms, of sacred music and of liturgical chant."
Among the participants in the Benedict XVI Institute's Aug. 9-12 workshop are the Missionaries of Charity, who Gallagher has said "told us they wanted our help to learn both to improve their own prayer life and so they can teach children how to participate in the Mass in this special way."
Gallagher told CNA that "if you'd like to bring a chant camp or a chant camp workshop to your parish or school or youth choir, contact us Rose Marie Wong at email@example.com."
She added that one or two slots with scholarships for the Aug. 9-12 How to Teach Children Chant workshop are available.
Editor's note, 12:26 July 27, 2018: An earlier version of this article misquoted Fr. Corwin; it has been amended.