Pope Francis attended the Third International Meeting of Choirs, and had some wise words for parish choirs, vocalists, and musicians!

The Catholic Church celebrates St. Cecilia‘s feast day on Nov. 22. She is the patroness of musicians, so it is fitting that he discussed this!

Words of Encouragement

He first encouraged parish musicians, explaining that “your music and song are truly an instrument of evangelization to the extent that you bear witness to the depth of the Word of God.”

He continued, saying that this “touches people’s hearts, and to the extent that you assist in the celebration of the Sacraments, in particular the Holy Eucharist, allowing us to perceive the beauty of Paradise.”

He added that “music and song can often make certain moments unique in a person’s life, because they become a precious memory that has marked their lives.”

“Don’t take the congregation’s place”

Pope Francis also asked musicians to ensure the congregation can participate in the liturgy through music.

According to the Vatican press release, he “warned choirs against the temptation of letting their talent outshine the Church community, discouraging the people in the pews from actively participating during Mass.”

He said, “You are the musical animators of the whole congregation. Don’t take its place, depriving the people of God of the chance to sing with you and bear witness to the Church’s communal prayer.

St. Cecilia, please pray for all musicians!

[See also: This Filmmaker Powerfully Explains Why Mass Should NOT Have Trivial Music]

[See also: “The Bible Comes Alive”: Why This YouTube Star Loves Praying the Rosary]

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