Just as music has changed and defined numerous cultures over time, so has it influenced worship and reflection within Detroit area churches. Detroit is no stranger to the consistent evolution of music as a form of expression, but Old St. Mary’s Church does not forget the rich tradition of Catholic music’s roots.
An Early Influence
Gregorian chant is one type of music frequently employed in many forms within Detroit churches, particularly within the services of Old St. Mary’s Church. Gregorian chant earned its name from St. Gregory I, who served as pope for fourteen years between 590 and 604. This unique type of composition, sung entirely in Latin, heavily influenced the development of Western music during the Medieval and Renaissance periods.
Latin Isn’t Only For History Books
Despite its age, Gregorian chant remains a crucial component of many Catholics’ worship experience. The Catholic Herald has commented on this phenomenon, indicating a resurgence in appreciation for the traditional Gregorian chant, especially among younger generations. While the slow cadence and Latin lyrics may lead many to wonder about the appeal, even a brief listen to the quiet power of a Gregorian chant is enough to understand its beauty and the awe-inspiring attitudes it evokes within times of reverence and praise.
In the same way that reminiscing with songs from our past may elicit pleasant or comforting memories, this same refreshing peace can occur when we choose to return to the origins of music as it was used for the praise and glorification of God.
In bustling, urban Detroit, there are numerous opportunities to embrace worship within more modern genres. There are other Detroit churches, like Old St. Mary’s Church, where you can rediscover the roots of Catholic musical tradition and within this tradition find the mystery and wonder of Heaven, of God, and of the way that He works so miraculously within our lives.