Beauty increases desire.
How many of us attend a beautiful Mass each week? The question is striking: who even expects that Sunday Mass will be beautiful? What does beauty (whatever that is) have to do with Mass, anyway?
The thing is, one of God’s innumerable titles is the Author of Beauty. And we know this instinctively, when we’re awestruck by a peaceful river vista, a mountain’s mighty heights, the sunset, or another marvel of nature — created by God’s own hands.
We know, too, that as human beings created in His image, we have been given a share of His gift of creation. We fashion our own, man-made, beauty — witness the gorgeous churches from all over the world, whose images adorn this website. Think of the great masters of visual art — the Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo, his sculpture of David, or Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Consider the timeless music of J.S. Bach, Maurice Duruflé, and so many other wonderful composers.
How much of this music was composed, in fact, for the Mass? There have been hundreds of great composers who dedicated much, or even all, of their skills towards beautifying our human experience of worship. The Church has long been a curator of great art — just think of the Vatican Museums — and the Second Vatican Council is very clear, telling us that
“The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.” Sacrosanctum Concilium 112 (emphasis added)
How did we lose this greatest of treasures? And more importantly, how can we regain it?
This foundation exists to promote the use of polyphony and Gregorian chant, to be sung at Mass, in the context for which this music was originally conceived. Through our efforts and yours, we hope to rediscover, sing, and share polyphony and chant. Our vision is that parishes may one by one make a return to the musical traditions of the Church, and that Masses everywhere may be beautiful. To start, we propose that one Mass a week be sung with polyphony and chant throughout in every parish. We will share all the resources we can from the many talented and dedicated musicians out there for this purpose. This is what we hope for, to strengthen the faith through the gospel of beauty, nothing less than the Word of God sung with beauty, and to open hearts to God and His Eternal Beauty!