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

The Acts of the Conference are published by (July 2017)