Can sacred music transform our connection to God?
Recently on The Catholic Gentleman, podcast hosts Sam Guzman and John Heinen sat down with composer, convert, and man of wisdom, Paul Jernberg. His journey to Catholicism began in Sweden, where he was drawn to the divine presence and integrity he found in the Church.
“I felt a consolation and a sense of presence and ability to pray that I didn’t sense anywhere else.”
His experiences, plus the intellectual depth and wisdom he discovered with newly-found Catholic friends, led him on a path of conversion. As he immersed himself in the faith, Jernberg realized that “there’s a continuity, there’s a glorious continuity” within the Church.
As a musician, Jernberg saw how music could reveal the glory of God and edify the faithful.
He noticed a void in the quality of music within the Church, and decided to devote his life to restoring the glory of sacred music. Talk about a heaven-sent vocation!
Jernberg’s immersion into the great traditions of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony enabled him to better understand the power of these forms of music when performed with heartfelt prayer.
For Jernberg, sacred music should not only be beautiful, but also inspire you to be steadfast in your Faith.
“Does the music in our Mass inspire people to be faithful martyrs…to march onward in the midst of resistance and persecution?” Jernberg asks.
Sacred music, according to Jernberg, has a dual purpose: glorifying God and sanctifying the faithful.
This means that the music used in the liturgy should reveal the transcendent dignity of the Mass and have the ability to evangelize, bringing people closer to God.
He believes that music should not be superficial or casual, but should instead reflect the glory of God and spur witnesses of the Faith.
“If our music does not do that… we need to fix that,” Jernberg reiterates.
In a world where sacred music is often reduced to mere entertainment, Jernberg’s inspiring journey serves as a reminder of the true purpose of music within the Church.
By restoring the glory of sacred music, he hopes to bring the faithful closer to God and foster a deeper appreciation for the beauty and power of music in the liturgy.