An Introduction to the Church’s Documents on Liturgical Music
A beginner’s guide to what the Church teaches about music in the sacred liturgy
In this course you will learn the principles of liturgical music as requested and explained in the official documents of the Church, beginning with Pope Pius X's groundbreaking 1903 motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini and ending with the 2007 American bishops' document Sing to the Lord. Discussed throughout are the fundamental questions of music as sacramental revealer of the song of heaven and the relationship between music and active participation.
Dr. Denis McNamara is an Associate Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He is the former Academic Director of the Liturgical Institute. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture with Richard Guy Wilson and Carroll William Westfall.
Dr. McNamara makes a specialty of bridging the gap between the Church’s great artistic tradition and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. He has also done groundbreaking research on scriptural understandings of architecture and the sacramental meaning of the classical architectural tradition.
He is the author Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, and How to Read Churches: A Crash Course In Christian which was published in eight languages.
He has appeared on Catholic and secular television and radio and is a frequent presenter in academic as well as parish settings and is co-host of a podcast on the sacred liturgy called “The Liturgy Guys,” which won “Best Podcast” from Fisher’s Net in 2017.
An experienced singer, Dr. McNamara has been a member of numerous large and small vocal ensembles for over three decades. He has led training classes in liturgical singing and teaches the Liturgical Institute’s course on the documents of sacred music.
StartClass 1: Introduction (59:39)
StartClass 2: Tra le sollecitudini and Divini Cultis (65:47)
StartClass 3: De Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia and Musicae Sacrae Disciplina (58:41)
StartClass 4: Musicam Sacram and Sacrosanctum Concilium (47:31)
StartClass 5: General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Sing to the Lord (49:30)