Music is a portal to discovering God’s greatness, pope says

Pope Francis has called on liturgical musicians to be more joyful interpreters of the Gospel, telling them that they have a unique ability to proclaim Gods will and love through music and song.

“Every Christian, in fact, is an interpreter of the will of God in his or her own life, and by his or her life sings a joyful hymn of praise and thanksgiving to God,” the pope told participants at a Vatican gathering on interpreting religious music.

The conference, “Church, Music, Interpreters: A Necessary Dialogue,” was jointly organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music and the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm.

Most people see interpreters as a type of translator who conveys what “he or she has received in such a way that another person can understand it,” Pope Francis said reported CNS.

“A good interpreter (in the field of music) feels great humility before a work of art that is not his or her property,” he said. 

Music is a way for Christians “to serve others through the works they perform.”

“Every interpreter is called to develop a distinctive sensibility and genius in the service of art which refreshes the human spirit and in service to the community,” the pope said. “This is especially the case if the interpreter carries out a liturgical ministry.”

Recalling the words of Pope St. Paul VI, he told conference participants they had the task of “grasping treasures from the heavenly realm of the spirit and clothing them in words, colors and forms, thus making them accessible.”

“The artist, the interpreter and — in the case of music — the listener, all have the same desire,” the pope said. “To understand what beauty, music and art allow us to know of God’s grandeur.”

“Now perhaps more than ever, men and women have need of this. Interpreting that reality is essential for today’s world.”

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