Magazine article Pastoral Music

From the President

Magazine article Pastoral Music

From the President

Article excerpt

That All May Be One

During the second week of July more than 3,300 NPM members and friends gathered in Indianapolis to celebrate our unity in the one Spirit and to make our own the prayer of Jesus: "That all may be one" (John 17:21).

Pastoral musicians have a deep appreciation for the value of unity. We know the power communicated by a congregation or choir that sings with one voice. We revel in the beauty of one song of praise built from text, melody, harmony, and rhythm.

We also know that unity can be difficult. Singing or playing in harmony requires that the many voices of singers and instruments blend with one another in one musical work that draws its vitality and beauty from the many layers of sound. For many persons to sing beautifully in unison, each one must listen intently to the others and then sing in such a way that the individuality of one's own voice is subsumed into the larger group.

The experience of musicians in building unity among singers and players offers us a unique perspective on the unity that binds together the members of the Christian community and the unity to which God calls the whole human race. We know from our own experience the important contribution of each voice and the value of listening to one another as we seek to sing with one voice and in the harmony of one grand chorus.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke eloquently last September of the unity to which musicians give witness. Consider these remarks that he made at the blessing of the new organ in the Old Chapel at Regensburg, Germany: "In the organ, the many pipes and voices must form a unity. …

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