In order to break the cycle of poverty, we must first start with the heart. Catholic Online School is something very special, providing FREE Catholic Education to anyone, anywhere. Learn more about the Catholic Online School
Help us create new hope with your donation. This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to support Catholic Online School. Support Catholic Online School
Music as a Way to Speak of God
Interview With Benedictine Jordi-Agusti Piqué
MONTSERRAT, Spain, OCT. 10, 2006 (Zenit) - Music is much more than a simple ornament for the liturgy, says a doctoral thesis defended by Benedictine Jordi-Agustí Piqué Collado.
He entered the Abbey of Montserrat in 1990 as a monk, after pursuing higher studies in music, specializing in the organ. In 2005 he received a doctorate from the Gregorian University.
In this interview with us, Brother Piqué Collado explains how the language of music can open men and women of our time to the experience of God.
Q: Have theology and music always dialogued or have you found a specific moment when these two disciplines united?
Brother Piqué: Music has always been present in the celebration of Christian worship.
Singing, as one of the fundamental elements, as the basis of all liturgical prayer, contributes something more than a simple ornament or solemnity to the celebration, as Pius X well pointed out in his "motu proprio" "Tra le Sollecitudini" on sacred music.
Here one finds a possible explanation of this dialogue: If theology seeks to say a word, something comprehensible about the ineffable mystery of God, and music helps to understand, to celebrate and to participate in this mystery, especially when united to the Word, I do not think it daring to state that a profound dialogue can be analyzed about the comprehension of the experience of the mystery of God.
All periods of thought are related to a specific music. I believe that both theology and music can be languages of transcendence.
Q: You allude to the "drama of the incommunicability of the experience of God." Why is the drama of "saying God" so difficult?
Brother Piqué: I believe, as some phenomenologists point out, that the problem of our age is, essentially, a problem of language.
I believe sincerely that the question of the existence of God is today already surmounted, that is, it is not the center of reflection of many men and women who deep down continue to seek God, but they seek him experientially; a formula or definition is not good for them.
The language of theology, today, does not help in this search. Hence it is dramatic to see how many abandon their relationship with God and with religious practice because they do not find a language to communicate their experience; moreover, languages to understand or live the faith, languages with which they are told about God, are not, at least for them, relevant.
I believe that in our contemporary period, as [a Christian], I as a theologian have the obligation to "say God," to communicate my experience, to make it empathic, participatory, comprehensive.
It is Moses' drama in Schönberg's opera which I analyze in my thesis: He has experience of God, with whom he speaks, but he cannot find the just, beautiful and moving word to transmit to his people the grandeur of that experience, and his people prefer to adore a god of metal, the golden calf, because at least they can see and perceive it.
I believe this is the drama of our time. It is the paradigm of the conversion of St. Augustine, one of the theologians analyzed, who -- through the singing of the Church, gathered together -- feels overwhelmed by the singing that leads him to tears -- and those tears, he says, did him good.
Q: You suggest a "word of God that moves one." Is this word music?
Brother Piqué: Music is a language that can lead to perception, to understanding something of the Mystery of God and in that sense it is, also, theology.
The Church has always adopted it as an essential element of her liturgy. But today I think that, even outside the liturgy, it can be a key of openness to transcendence.
I could mention the examples of Taizé, or the phenomenon of Gregorian chant: They are two aesthetic experiences that open to an experience of transcendence.
But, just as I explain in my thesis, the experience that passes through sensible perception is not always unanimous: The distorted music of a discothčque can lead to alienation; the music of an ad can lead to compulsive consumption.
But, I believe that an aesthetic experience can open ways to understanding the transcendence and Mystery of God.
Perhaps today, when addresses and words are so devalued, the aesthetic experience might be the key to open to the men and women of our time to the experience of God.
Of course this experience will have to be followed by catechesis and formation, but at least the indifference is surmounted which seems to lull our Western world.
Q: You quote theologian Joseph Ratzinger several times. What contribution has he made to the field of music and liturgy?
Brother Piqué: In my thesis, I analyze some theologians who, at different times, have treated music as a theological problem. St. Augustine, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Pierangelo Sequeri are the main ones.
But in the writings of the theologian Ratzinger -- who as known, is also a good musician -- a theme appears that is key for me: the biblical foundation of the theological reason for music within the liturgy.
The Pope was able to establish the basis for that understanding from a reading based on the Psalms, the Bible's book of music par excellence, and in the reading of St. Thomas. From here he explains how song and music, within the liturgy, are elements that lead to an understanding of God.
In my work, I have enlarged this vision with the analysis of some composer musicians who in their works have addressed some theological problems: Tomás Luis de Victoria, Arnold Schönberg and Olivier Messiaen.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Music, God, Pique, Montserrat
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., meets with Pope ...
- Daily Reading for Sunday, December 17th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Friday, December 15, 2017
- St. Mary Di Rosa: Saint of the Day for Friday, December 15, 2017
- Daily Reading for Saturday, December 16th, 2017 HD Video
- Pope Francis says you need to go to Mass!
- The world's suffering little ones - don't forget them this Christmas
- The Net Neutrality Scam: Get ready to pay a lot more for a lot less HD
- Could it be an alien spacecraft? Scientists listening today for signals from strange object HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, December 15th, 2017 HD
- Is Facebook ripping apart human civilization? HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way