Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Truly Catholic Experience!

This is a report from a fellow participant of the Chicago chant workshop by CMAA this summer. There were lots of wonderful stories reported after the workshop, but this is my favorite.

After hearing amazing stories from various chanters, I supposed I should write something to report the chant activity at N.
'Right after the chant intensive workshop, I went to Quebec city for the International Eucharistic Congress. There was a 3-mile long Corpus Christi procession in downtown Quebec city. A friend of mine in the schola and myself started singing Gregorian chants during the procession. We sang Salve Regina, Tantum ergo, Pange Lingua, Missa de Angelis, Credo III. Gradually, some people around us (mostly young people and seminarians in their twenties like myself) started joining us. Later on, we found older people (over 60) joined us singing. It's very interesting so see that young people like us can connect with older Catholics in such a unique, and CATHOLIC way. After we were done singing Tantum ergo, a Canadian gentleman chanted the first part of the versicle: Panem de caelis praestitisti eis, and then an African nun 5 feet away responded him by chanting the second part of the versicle: Omne delectamentum in se habentem. I was deeply impressed by that scene. An African nun, a Canadian man, and myself (who was born and raised in Hong Kong) had no problem communicating our faith at all because we sing the same chants everywhere in the world. I was's REALLY CATHOLIC. Having people sing the Credo in Latin in international gathering of Catholics exemplifies the universality of the Catholic Church much better than having 10 different languages sung in the same Creed. And I'm glad that we did sing the Credo in Latin at the big Mass in the Eucharistic Congress. They actually used a lot more chants than I expected. The Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Orbis Factor were used almost daily during the Congress. Pater Noster and all the responses before the Gospel and Preface were sung in every Mass.

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