Benedict XVI Blog

Published on Friday, July 15, 2022

Cantare, Amantis Est

Last Wednesday, we had a sacred music session with Mr. Bryce and he explained how to chant the Little Office for the three o’clock mid-afternoon prayer. Mr. Bryce taught the Way of Beauty class last year, and through that class, I gained a greater love for sacred music and Gregorian chant. I learned to understand how sacred music leads to God’s glory and to the sanctification of the soul.

We have only started praying the Little Office at three o’clock last week as part of the liturgical aspect of the internship, and I have already noticed a couple things that have struck me.

Firstly, I look forward to that prayerful time every afternoon. By three o’clock, the body is weary and the soul needs refreshment. By prayerfully chanting the Little Office, I have allowed myself to rest a while from my daily duties and to be strengthened in spirit.

Secondly, singing has helped me to refocus my thoughts on God. Sacred music does elevate the soul to higher realities. By taking time mid-afternoon to pray, I take time to give God glory and ask Him to sanctify my time and myself. Singing the Little Office has helped to take time to return my gaze toward God and to bring me closer to Him.

Thirdly, I have found it fruitful for me on a spiritual level to be singing with the text of the Church. After all, the Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church. And how powerful is it to unite oneself with the song of the Church! Further, by singing the psalms, I have had the opportunity to meditate upon them more deeply. I see the truth in Saint Augustine’s words: 

“I feel that our souls are moved to the ardor of piety by the sacred words more piously and powerfully when these words are sung than when they are not sung, and that all the affections of our soul in their variety have modes of their own in song and chant by which they are stirred up by an indescribable and secret sympathy” (Confessions, 10.33). 

I have found that when I sing, I am moved to greater piety and love for God.

Sacred singing is a way for me to show my love for God. As Saint Augustine said, “singing belongs to one who loves” and so do I sing to God for I love Him. It is certainly a learning curve to sing the Little Office well, yet I have found much peace and joy in singing the Little Office, for it is good to give glory to God and love Him not only with our hearts and minds but also with our whole person.

Written by Miss Eve Bussére

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Author: Eve Bussére

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