Cardinal Newman Week got off to a harmonious start this past weekend when 54 music enthusiasts attended the Gregorian Chant Workshop, sponsored by the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies. The workshop was led by former Wichitan and chant expert James Jordan, Music Editor at Paraclete Press in Brewster, Mass.
Following the workshop on Feb. 14 and 15, many participants took part in the Feb. 15 evening Mass in St. John’s Chapel at Newman.
“I was very well-pleased with both the workshop and the liturgy,” said Associate Professor of Theology John McCormick, Ph.D., following the completion of the two-day event. “The response I had from the participants, as well as some of the people who attended the liturgy, was how beautiful the whole experience was for them.”
McCormick, director of the Gerber Institute and organizer of the workshop, said Gregorian chant is a great way to worship.
“It’s a beautiful part of our rich liturgical tradition that offers one way to live out the call of the Second Vatican Council to active participation in the liturgy,” McCormick said. “Chant is a way to enter into the rhythm of the liturgy, utilizing our bodies and voices, joined with others, in a communal act of worship. Chant is not meant to simply be heard, but is something to actively participate in. It helps people to be caught up into a world of prayer.
“In some ways, chant has become a lost art,” McCormick added, “and one of the challenges the Church faces is helping people to recover their ability to participate in chant.
For more information about Gregorian chant, visit Jordan’s Facebook Page called Gregorian Chant is for Everyone. Its purpose is to be a forum for asking questions, exchanging ideas, and finding resources in regard to “the power of Gregorian chant as a means of prayer and worship.”