Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Westminster Abbey, Sistine Chapel choirs unite

Concert educates listeners to 'appreciate beauty, wonder of God's creation'
The Holy Father poses with the Sistine Chapel Choir (Cappella Musicale Pontificia).

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, reports that the Anglican choir from Westminster Abbey in London, England, recently joined the Sistine Chapel choir for a dual concert in St. Peter's Basilica. Composer Colin Mawkby, a former Master of Music at Westminster Abbey, writes on the vocal encounter.
This unique event had two aspects: the first spiritual and evangelical; the second musical. Music creates a sense of unity, and this is precisely what different communions are striving to achieve. The combination of these two fine choirs would have been unthinkable 50 years ago, and it underlines how well, despite many difficulties, relations between the Catholic and Anglican Churches have developed over recent years.
Music has an important role in ecumenism: it educates performers and listeners to appreciate the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. 
The Holy Father has spoken about the evangelical work of sacred music. Hearing these two great choirs underlined precisely what he meant. Religious music superbly sung can be a shining beacon for open-minded non-believers. How can one listen to sacred music without questioning its ultimate source? In a spiritually troubled world it forms a deeply rooted and secure spiritual anchor to which most people can cling.
 Read the full article here.

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