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Church draws up sacred music guidelines

Experts say there should be a time, place and way for hymns and dances to be performed in Church

Participants discussing a draft of instructions on sacred music at the workshop Participants discussing a draft of instructions on sacred music at the workshop
  • ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vietnam
  • May 4, 2011
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Church people from across the country have drafted instructions on how to use sacred music in liturgical services at a special workshop.

Some 86 priests, Religious and laypeople attended the workshop yesterday at the Pastoral Center in Ho Chi Minh City. It was run by the Episcopal Commission for Sacred Music of the Vietnam Bishops’ Conference.

“Participants discussed general instructions on how to use hymns and musical instruments in liturgical services, train heads of choirs and perform dances during services,” said Father Roco Nguyen Kim Duy, secretary-general of the commission.

“These instructions aim to help Catholics sing hymns well according to Church teaching and get closer to God,” the 57-year-old priest added.

He said the local Church has had no national guidelines on religious music, noting that many heads of choirs use hymns without imprimatur, or not according to liturgical intentions.

Some participants said many Catholics change hymn lyrics, others even use recorded music in services or use secular music at funeral rites.

Father Peter Nguyen Kim Long, a commission deputy, said heads of choirs should choose from 500 hymns from the Collection of Vietnamese Hymns which the commission published in 2009.

Bishop Vincent Nguyen Van Ban, head of the commission, said the Church disapproves of dancing and recorded music during the liturgy.

Bishop Ban said the draft regulations will be revised and finalized at their next workshop scheduled for October 11.

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