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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Spirituality and Music

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

A Message from the Editor

When I was in my grade school choir, we often sang the Gregorian Mass. I loved Gregorian Music My favorite composer of Sacred Music is Johan Sebastian Bach. I also like contemporary religious composers including Arvo Pärt, James MacMillan, and Marco Lo Russo Rouge. I love Marco’s Ave Maria which he dedicated to Pope Francis and which is featured in this month’s Videos.

There was much sad news this past month starting with the Hamas/Israeli war in which an estimated 4000 children have been killed. Please pray for these children and .to prevent further killing of these precious lives.

October was a challenging time for the Catholic Church. We learned that there are more than 440,000 living victims of sexual abuse that took place within the Spanish Catholic Church. In addition to imprisonment for the guilty, some critics want the Spanish government to imprison those how covered up these crimes. One columnist had stated that the abuse scandal could mean the end of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain.

Then there was the mishandling of the case of Father Marco Rupnik who allegedly had sex with more than twenty women. Rather then suspend him, he was sent to a church in Slovenia. There was also the alleged incident that one of his sex partners came to him for confession and he gave her absolution. According to many critics, he should be suspended immediately while a thorough investigation is made of his actions.

Also the Baltimore Archdiocese shut down city parish after priest abuse scandal.

Antisemitism is becoming epidemic. The Hamas/Israel war is the catalyst and antisemitism is propagated by social media, political figures such as Donald Trump, broadcast journalists such as Sean Hannity, and social influencers such as Elon Musk. Please pray to prevent Antisemitism.

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Please pray for al those afflicted with AIDS.

A Quote to Remember

Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity. On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the suprememodel for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple. The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone. 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, as was the case in ancient times.”

by Pope Saint Pius X


A Prayer for Sacred Music Musicians.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, Help us!

Lord, talents and gifts are as abundantly diverse and subtly similar as so many of your plants and stars and, indeed, so many of our skills and works are a surprising source of wit and wisdom!

A painter and decorator once said to me that colours which work well together, sing, even call out and likely lead to songs of praise, blessing, and thanksgiving, transforming where we live into a house of sung prayers, rising, all the while, off our opening hearts.

Lord, the music of shapes and sounds, textures and surfaces, polished and dull, cavernous and strung, stretched skins and empty drums, ready to roll and rhythm, is falling totally together.

As we walk amidst nature’s autumnal choir, it calls out, loudly, softly, in a variety of ways, through many shadows and shades, hues and contrasts, a veritable medley of colours echoing around and about, with yellow on shady yellow and drum rolling browns.

Lord, what inventiveness you have planted and plunged into the depths of us, whether alone or with others, solo or orchestrally, making play of many instruments, tones, and autumnal melodies.

Look at those leaves, curling at the edge, lying still, it seems, but

more like gentle waves, standing up and rocking with the wash of silver lipped water, lilting across the lake, set off by sparkling touches of dark-bright bursts of a deep down foliage base mixing.

Lord, take the trumpet, announcing it’s time to awake to your coming, whether with tumultuous winds, wailing through the trees, bending us down to worship or breezes, kneeling us quietly.

Note the cascading willow branches, more than drooping down, pouring down, waterfalling leaf and dropping branch, going nowhere, in contrast to the dazzling clash of soaked iron red

and a scale of green through yellow to burning red tipped leaves.

Lord, oh how this song reaches high into the heavens, drawing out the cry of human suffering, converting it only you know how, to a sounding chorus, calling heart to heart, hoping in your help.

What about the stunning, stop as you walk, fast fingered guitar playing, oboe blowing, violin and piano dancing, coaxed and combed by composers and conductors into a soaring, then scarcely audible change of key across a lake, rising to raise us up.

Lord, how many cultures sound, time upon time, telling of being beaten, crushed, bleeding and bloodied, only to search out the unconquerable prayer for mercy, forgiveness, hope and true love.

by Francis Etheredge Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer to Prevent Antisemitism

Lord God, through the covenant you established with the Jewish People, we Christians have been grafted into this covenantal tradition according to St. Paul. But very often throughout history, we have shown ourselves ungrateful for this gift given us through Jesus who imbued in his teachings this Jewish covenantal tradition through acts of antisemitism. We join with Popes St. John Paul II and Francis in confessing our sins of antisemitism past and present. Through this prayer, we commit ourselves to the elimination of any remaining anti-Semitic teachings in the Catholic community and pledge to add our public voice in denouncing any manifestations of antisemitism in contemporary society. We ask your blessing so that we may have the strength to fulfill this pledge we make in your presence.

by John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Profiles in Catholicism

A prayer to end the Hamas/Israel War

Dear Lord, The uprising and bloodshed in Israel and Palestine is difficult to endure for all of us. Please remember their faithfulness to you for generations -especially Abraham who was willing to give his son as you were lovingly giving of your Son, Jesus. Jesus was willing to give His life for all of us in reparation for sin. . Help us all to remember how much you love us and let us return that very love to all in our world especially in Israel, and Palestine. War is no answer to our living or anything else. Please help the people of Palestine an d Israel to open their hearts to your love and stop the violence that hurts all those who love you. by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for the Children of Ukraine

Oh Lord, we pray for all the people of Ukraine, innocent victims of Russia’s merciless and murderous attack on their country and all who live within it. So many have died, so many have been injured, so many have had to flee from their homes to be able to survive. We pray for all Ukrainians in this time of great need and suffering. Oh Lord, we pray especially for the children of Ukraine whose lives have been so seriously disrupted, who are living in poverty, living with injuries, living with the knowledge that many of their relatives and friends have died, and whom they will never see again. Oh Lord, we pray for the children who have died and we pray for those who have, so far, survived. May those who have died rest in your Peace, Oh Lord. May those who survive be found by their families. May they receive the care that they need, To heal from their suffering, pain and trauma. And live to rebuild their lives and their country. Amen by Dr. Eugene Fisher Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer to end child abuse

What has happened to the world Lord Jesus that so many abuse the children? Many look away and hide the crimes, they do not cry out for justice. You said the children are the most important in the Kingdom, To accept a child, you said, is to accept you. Bring the children to me you told the disciples that they be blessed and protected. You said let the abusers be brought to account and do penance as if a mill stone were tied around their necks and they be thrown into the deep sea, you said Lord in Matthew (Ch.18: 6-7) Lord, inspire us and strengthen our faith by your words and actions, that goodness, love of neighbor and action for justice will over come evil. Inspire us to save and heal the children through justice, peace so they can live a new happier life. Amen by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for Morocco and Libya

Our Father who art in Heaven, in our world and even closer within our hearts, we come to you begging for mercy for our brothers

and sisters of Morocco and Libya. The devastating forces of nature reached out to them this time and they need your comfort.

Send them your Holy Spirit to be strengthened in body and soul. They need you and the generous support of other nations to

be able to put behind these catastrophes in their communities and begin again. We ask you most loving God, to be with them,

to touch their hearts and to give them courage to farewell their loved ones, to rebuild their homes and towns, to be united

within you. May all of us in the world recognize that you are the Lord, that all of us are members of one family and what aches

and hurts one, aches and hurts us all. Thank you, Father, for graciously listening to us, consoling us, and granting us what

we need to keep loving you and each other. Amen! by Margarita Carreon De Alba Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st of December each year. It is an opportunity for people worldwide, and especially the men and women in Catholic health ministry who have served those living with HIV/AIDS, to unite in the fight against HIV, to continue to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

And so we pray …

God of Promise, today we are mindful of our sisters and brothers suffering with HIV and AIDS. We ask your healing presence on millions of people living with the disease today; particularly the children who are infected or who have been orphaned by the disease. Make of us a safe haven for those who are abandoned, discriminated against and rejected on account of their illness. Inspire us to speak out for a just distribution of health care and medical aid in this country and for generosity in sharing our resources with those struggling under the weight of this epidemic overseas.

As we begin our Advent celebration of waiting in hope for the birth of your Son, let us remember those across the world who wait in hope for a cure. Amen. by The Catholic Health Association

A Request for Donations

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Spirituality and Music Interviews

General Interviews

General Spirituality and Music Articles and Commentaries

General Articles and Commentaries

Featured Report

Medical Journal Articles

Book Announcements, Reviews and Commentaries

Film Reviews and Commentaries

Opera Reviews and Commentaries

Remembering Those Who Have Passed

Age is in debt to Death

and Death shall Sue

when Age Outruns the Issue of It’s Bond


Ave Maria - Marco Lo Russo Coro Voces del Mar OEPV Made in Italy concert Teatro Vallarta Mexico 2018

To God's Ear: Music and Song of the Jewish Liturgy

Gregorian Chant - Liturgy of St Anthony

Henry Purcell - Christ is made the sure foundation

Gregorian Chants For The Mother Of Jesus | Sacred Choir In Honor Of Mary

Immaculate Mary | Ave Ave Maria | Lourdes Hymn | Emmaus Music

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