GUADALAJARA, Mexico, FEB. 23, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Every year the music department of the Mexican bishops' liturgy commission organizes a national conference on liturgical music, attracting priests, seminarians, religious, and laypeople from Mexico and surrounding countries for five days of conferences, open forums, workshops, concerts and sung liturgies.
The department (abbreviated DEMUSLI, from the full Spanish title) just last week hosted this year's conference, in the city of Guadalajara. The event coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Higher School of Sacred Music of the Guadalajara Archdiocese.
Among those present was Melicia Antonio, a lay consecrated member of the Regnum Christi Movement and organist for the formation center for consecrated women in Monterrey, Mexico. ZENIT asked her to share her experience of the conference.
ZENIT: What was your general impression of the conference?
Antonio: This was my first time attending this congress and I was deeply impressed. Sacred music is something of a rarity here in northern Mexico; in fact, in the four years I have lived here, I have not yet heard a choir sing polyphony or Gregorian chant in a church. Most Masses are accompanied by bands and choirs playing pop-style music, or by congregations singing the same, tired songs. What I encountered in the DEMUSLI congress was a vibrant, creative, and highly educated musical community, dedicated to restoring genuine sacred music to the cathedrals, parishes, seminaries and religious houses of Mexico. The liturgies we celebrated those days were among the most beautiful I have ever experienced; we were introduced to a great variety of polyphonies, Gregorian chants, and modern works composed and executed according to the liturgical tradition of the Church.