Singing, raising the minds, hearts

November 8, 2011

HOUSTON — On the First Sunday of Advent, Catholic parishes around the English-speaking world will be using the revised Roman Missal — but what exactly does this mean for the musical parts of the Mass? 

Music has always been an integral part of the Liturgy and since September, there has been a gradual introduction of musical settings of the acclamations at parishes around the Archdiocese. 

Pope Benedict XVI commented on the significance of music after attending a concert by the International Piano Academy of Imola, Italy in 2009 saying, “music distends the spirit, arouses profound, emotions and almost naturally invites us to raise our minds and hearts to God in all situations of human existence, the joyful and the sad. Music can become prayer.”

Archdiocesan parishes were encouraged to begin the initial phase of introducing the new Roman Missal to learn the new International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) chant settings of the Mass that will be part of the new Roman Missal. 

“Now singing dialogues, acclamations and prayers by their very nature promotes participation of all,” said Dr. Rick Lopez, Associate Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Worship.

Introducing these new chant settings of the Mass to parishioners is an “excellent way of teaching the dialogues and prayers of the new translation. In addition, we now have a new opportunity to comply with the Church documents that have consistently supported the use of chant in the Liturgy,” according to the Archdiocesan Office of Worship.

Lopez said the Gregorian chants are more powerful “during all liturgical seasons. It’s more reflective and introspective and [it] helps us to achieve a sense of prayerfulness … for the goal of achieving the next level which is led by the celebrants of the Liturgy.”

For Roman Missal formational materials or to learn more, visit or contact Lopez at You can also visit for downloadable MP3 recordings of the chants of the Mass, including the parts for the priests and the congregation. †