As a musician myself, I love good worship music. I can pray and worship to anything from Hillsong to hymns to good hand-clappin’ Gospel. Recently, I discovered Gregorian chant. It is not that I had not known about chant before—I had once heard it in fifth or sixth grade in a video on music and sound—but I had never paid attention to it.
Chant is or has been quite popular, although maybe less so in the United States. The German New Age group Enigma had sampled chant in songs like “Sadeness” and “Mea Culpa.” In 1994, the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 with their album Chant (here). Their Chant Noel and Chant II also peaked at #78 and #172, respectively (here), although these standings were relatively short lived.
Chant is one of the reasons I have had an interest in Latin. I also appreciate the beauty of the chanted melodies, but more importantly I love that these are prayers in addition to being worship music. The church I attend has a Sunday Mass in Latin, and also does also in Latin a monthly Missa Cantata (Sung Mass) according to the Dominican Rite. Perhaps this is just me and the way I am more introspective, but in the midst of the soothing sung prayers I find myself praying along, the melodies arising to God, and I end up drawing closer to Him.
For those not familiar with Gregorian chant, here is a short video on Gregorian chant, the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, and the making of their CD.
What music do you find helpful in drawing you into worship and relationship with the holy God of the universe?