Conference on Music

st cecilia
St Cecilia, J. Hajnal

The Holy Father's Talk

Music and Church: Cult and Culture

50 years after Musicam Sacram

Rome, 2-4 March 2017

Congress Centre “Augustinianum” (via Paolo VI, 25)


The Conference seeks to stimulate a deep reflection in musical, liturgical, theological and phenomenological terms that, leaving aside sterile polemics, can be a positive proposal for Christian  worship, expression of praise to God, pleasurable to the ear in the diversity of cultural models, with the following aims:

-          Reflect on the current interest for the musical phenomenon, always present in the history of the Church.

-          Evaluate the weight of paradigmatic change in the understanding of music in the Church, 50 years after the Instruction “Musicam Sacram” (1967).

-          Consider the languages most apt with which to celebrate in sonorous translation the Church’s public, official and solemn praise.

-          Remember the place and role of Church musicians, opening up to non-Roman liturgical traditions.

-          Recover musical heritage, in ecumenical dialogue and with contemporary culture.

-          Promote the urgent need for strong formation in the different musical ministries.


- Representatives of Episcopal Conferences and religious orders, musicians, curators of liturgical music, associations and movements.


Pontifical Athenaeum St Anselm – Pontifical Liturgical Institute

Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music – Rome


Biographical Notes


2 March

3pm – Welcome

3.45pm Opening Greetings – Bishop Carlos Moreira Azevedo, coordinator of the Conference; Card. Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education

1.      4pm - Music and Word of God: a hermeneutic approach. Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture

2.      4.45pm – Current cultural context of the musical phenomenon.  Michele Dall’Ongaro, President of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome

3.      5.15pm – The Search for the Sacred in Music Today. Paul Inwood (England)

7pm - Vespers – Sistine Chapel. Presiding Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household. Liturgical animation: Sistine Chapel Choir

3 March

8am Eucharistic Celebration – St Peter’s Basilica, Altare della Cattedra. Presiding Card. Giuseppe Versaldi. Liturgical animation: Choir of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

4.      9am -“Musicam sacram”: reception of the document in the historical context. Fr. Fergus Ryan, OP (Ireland)

5.      9.45am - Music, aesthetics and theology.  Fr. Jordi-A. Piqué, OSB, Pres. Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Sant’Anselmo – Rome

10.30am – coffee break

6.      10.45am – Music as a language of perception of the mystery of salvation. Fr. Elmar Salmann, OSB. (Germany)

7.      11.30am – New music for new communities: round table.  Sr. Marana Saad  (Lebanon), Fr. Alois, Prior of the Community of Taizé (France), moderating Richard Rouse, Pontifical Council for Culture

1pm – Lunch break

8.      3pm – Opening with an extract from a piano version of the Matthew Passion by J. S. Bach (Andrea Coen / Chiara Bertoglio – Première), Making the Most of the Church’s Musical Heritage: criteria and experience, Chiara Bertoglio (Turin), Miriam Escudero (Cuba)

9.      4.30pm – Promotion of Contemporary Music in the Church: continuity of heritage. Giorgio Battistelli  (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma); Gary Graden (Stockholm, Sweden, Lutheran); Bernat Vivancos (Composer – Barcelona, Spain).; moderating Marcello Filotei, composer, music critic, journalist of the Osservatore Romano

10.    5.15pm - Music and Inculturation: round-table. Fr. René Javier Hernandez Velez (Puerto Rico), Dr. Dominique Anoha Clokou (Ivory Coast), Sr.Veronica Yong, (South Korea), moderating Dinko Fabris, musicologist

4 March

11.  9am – The Schools of Sacred Music: training for ministry. Mons. Vincenzo De Gregorio, Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music (Rome)

12.  9.30am – Function of the Choir and Animator of the Assembly. Henri Chalet, Notre Dame de Paris (France)

10am – coffee break

13.  10.15am – Preparation of Deacons and Priests for Musical Ministry. Fr. Daniel Escobar (Spain)

14.  10.45am – The Musician at the Service of the Christian Community. Eugénio Amorim (Portugal)

11.15am - Conclusion

12 Audience of the Holy Father (The Holy Father's Talk)

Simultaneous translation into Italian and English

Inscriptions closed 11 February 2017