It is clear that the Council calls for the liturgy to be sung. In recent decades we’ve adopted the practice of singing songs at Mass. We take the Mass, and attach four hymns or songs to it. But this is not the Church’s vision. We need to sing the Mass. It is meant to be sung. The texts of the Mass are meant to be sung.
The Church provides us with chant, which is integral to liturgy, and should inspire the music of the Mass. We need to get away from singing songs at Mass and return to singing the Mass. And Gregorian chant is best suited to the Mass. The new director I hired [in the Diocese of Marquette] will introduce chant. It will be a huge shift for the people.
I mean no criticism of our sacred musicians, who are very dedicated. It will be a shift for them as well.
And, in addition to Latin chant, we also need to introduce chant in English. Although the Second Vatican Council said that chant should be given “pride of place,”one rarely hears it in parishes. Music is an important part of celebrating the Mass. As Pope Benedict has said, if we get the music right, we’ll get the spirit of the Mass right.