Does Catholic Prayer have a distinct sound?
My first visit to a Catholic Church was quite frightening: I remember as a child of ten or so, a protestant, child going into a Catholic Church and hearing what I later discovered must have been the Rosary. It was said in the way that was peculiar to Irish matrons of a certain generation, that extenuated "Heeeeil Maiee-ry" followed by the rest as fast as possible, which I couldn't understand. As there were about thirty of these ladies the response was quite thunderous. I left, actually quite frightened, thinking more of spells and witchcraft than worship. It was quite unlike worship I had encountered in the Church of England.
Pope John Paul ii leading The Rosary
In the Divine Office from Ampleforth in the vernacular.
Carthusian Monks sing the Te Deum
The Canon of the Traditional Mass
It strikes me there is a common "sound" to these different examples of prayer.
There is an absence of self, a conformity of self to the liturgy.
What is vocalised is important, but not the most important thing.
The "sound" that lies behind the sound is silence or stillness in the presence of God.
I am trying to clarify my own thoughts ...I am wondering whether traditional musical forms are important to prayer. Can the same thing exist in the type of prayer that is essentially, "Lord, I just want to bring before you ...", or music that is accompanied by electric guitars and a drum kit.
...or am I just rambling?
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