We are not out of the woods yet but the progress is very much in evidence. The future is clear. Chant will again be the universal music of the Roman Rite. New compositions will be inspired by it. It will have first place in the liturgy. Music appropriate to the liturgy will follow its inspiration.
What I find most impressive is the method that the pope used to achieve this. It was through inspiration and not imposition. For this reason, this change is fundamental and lasting. Mark my words: chant will come to a parish near you. We can thank Benedict XVI for his wisdom and foresight in achieving what most people thought was impossible.
As he has understood, the musical question is only superficially about style. The real substance of the question concerns what elevates the text and reflects the liturgical purpose of glorifying God. In the long run, there can be no separation between the Roman Rite and the music that is native to it. If that point seems obvious now, it is only because the papacy of Benedict XVI made it so.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Jeffrey Tucker, "Pope Benedict XVI’s Musical Legacy" (Crisis magazine, February 12, 2013). Excerpt: