So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pope Saint Pius X and Team Faithful

Here is another excerpt from Igino Giordani's Pius X, A Country Priest (Pio X, Un Prete di Campagna). Translation by Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Tobin (Bruce Publishing, 1954).
The Pope tells me what the music was like in Venice when he went there... he had to change everything. There were two executions of a Mass by Palestrina, directed by (Monsignor) Perosi. Success, the enthusiasm of the faithful. The first time they were charmed; the second time they were enchanted... We shall have a fight on our hands, but we have had worse here in Rome. He speaks of his dear Benedictines of Solesmes... 'Holy Father, you should have taken the name Gregory.' And the Pope, somewhat embarassed, makes a gesture of protest: 'I should sign as Gregory XVIII! That would have been frightening!'"

On another occasion the Pope told Bellaigue: "I want my people to pray in beauty." As he had promised, Pius X quickly issued notable documents on reform in Church music: the Motu Proprio of November 22, 1903, a letter dated December 8, 1903 (the Immaculate Conception would be a pledge of purity), the decree Urbis et Orbis of the Sacred Congregation of Rites on January 8, 1904. His urgency broke through every bureaucratic delay; he was a workman who had no time to lose. In the decree there is a summarizing of the Pope's work of reform: restoration of the primitive use of Gregorian chant in the church; a listing of the principal prescripts designed by it, to promote and strengthen the sanctity and dignity of liturgical music in a juridical code of sacred music having the force of law. All contrary privileges, no matter how long established, were abrogated. But there was encouragement for modern sacred music in the spirit of Palestrina, illustrated by Perosi.

Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Cardinal Schuster/Wikipedia 

The words were followed by action. In deference to the Motu Proprio, there was established, at the beginning of 1911, the Advanced School of Sacred Music, to teach Gregorian chant, harmony, organ, and so forth; and it was staffed by capable experts such as Dom Ildefonso Schuster, Monsignor Antonio Rella, Licinio Refice, Capocci, and Boezi.—pp.174-175.

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