Friday, December 31, 2010

Little singers bring a bit of Heaven to Vatican

Five thousand “little singers” lifted spirits in the Vatican Thursday with the pure notes of Christmas carols new and old, delighting Pope Benedict XVI who greeted them in the Paul VI audience hall. 

They are the boys and girls of the International Pueri Cantores Federation, ranging in age from 7 to 17, who had come to Rome to sing and pray for peace this Christmas.

Greeting them in eight languages, from English to Russian, Pope Benedict XVI said that seeking the right notes and words to sing to God means bringing a little bit of Heaven to those who listen. 

The Pueri Cantores is a federation of children’s choirs dedicated to sacred music.

He told them “Always remember that your singing is a service. Firstly, it is a service to God, a way of giving him the praise that is due. It is also a service to your fellow worshippers, helping them to raise their hearts and minds to the Lord in prayer. And it is a service to the whole Church, offering a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy that is the goal of all true worship, when the choirs of angels and saints unite in one unending song of love and praise”.

The full text of the Pope’s greeting:

Dear young members of the Pueri Cantores Federation,

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you today as you celebrate your thirty-sixth International Congress here in Rome and I thank you for the commitment you have shown to the apostolate of choral singing in the liturgy. 

In Saint Augustine’s words: “singing is an expression of joy and … love” (Sermo 34:1). 

As you use your talents and your faith to sing God’s praises, you give voice to the natural desire of every human being to glorify him, with songs of love. It is hard to find words to convey the sheer joy of the soul’s loving encounter with God, indeed the great mystics could only remain silent before the mystery.

Yet beautiful music is able to express something of the mystery of God’s love for us and ours for him, as we are reminded by the theme chosen for your Congress, Deus Caritas Est.

Always remember that your singing is a service. 

Firstly, it is a service to God, a way of giving him the praise that is due. It is also a service to your fellow worshippers, helping them to raise their hearts and minds to the Lord in prayer. 

And it is a service to the whole Church, offering a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy that is the goal of all true worship, when the choirs of angels and saints unite in one unending song of love and praise.

I greet especially the groups present today from the United States, Sweden, Ireland, Latvia and South Korea. 

I encourage you to persevere in your good work, I assure you of my prayers, and I gladly invoke upon you God’s abundant blessings.

SIC: VR/INT'L

1 comment:

Jimmy Mac said...

And they all kept their shirts on, too!