Four Reasons I am Making a Gregorian Chant Playlist This Lent
1. Spiritual Warfare- The first thing to know about Gregorian Chant is that it is prayer. Not only that, but it is prayer chanted by people who are presumably in a state of grace, so it is efficacious prayer. As Scripture says,”The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful” (James 5:16).
It is sacred music because much of the prayers chanted are from the liturgy or are traditional Catholic prayers. In addition, the Latin language is ancient and set apart and therefore it always has a more direct effect on the angelic realm.
Renowned exorcist, Father Chad Ripperger, author of Dominion, has covered this topic in a video called, ‘Demons Hate Gregorian Chant’. One commenter on the Fr, Ripperger video said, “I wake up at 3 am and pray until 5 am. The St. Michael Gregorian Chant is playing during this time to let any demons know to stay away. It's very peaceful.”
2. Mental Health- There has been a lot of talk recently of the mental health crisis that is currently taking place in our post-Covid world.
One of the unseen benefits of listening to Gregorian Chant is that it has been proven to have a positive effect on our brains. ‘It has been shown in many studies to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and to even help the speech fluency of stroke victims. It positively charges the central nervous system and the cortex of the brain in such a way that it actually reduces the number of hours of sleep one properly needs to function at its best. More benefits include a regulated cardiac system, positive brain activity due to the high frequency response of Latin vowels, and greater neuro-communication between the left and right hemisphere.’ (1)
3. Biblical Worship- I want to be connected to ancient worship which the apostles themselves engaged in. “However, early Christian rites did incorporate elements of Jewish worship that survived in later chant tradition.” (2) The Psalms were chanted during the Temple liturgy as the sacrifices were offered on the altar by the Levites. The traditional rituals of the Passover meal involve singing or chanting a hymn. Part of the reason we know that the Last Supper was a Passover meal is because Jesus and the 12 chanted a hymn before they went to the Garden of Gethsemane. "When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Mt 26:30).
4. ‘Everyone’s Doing it’- I want to develop a deeper appreciation for the parts of Mass that are sung. Throughout the centuries, Gregorian Chant became a natural part of the liturgy, because of the sung recitation from the priest and response being chanted back. “Most Catholics have performed Gregorian chant, whether they know it or not, said David Lang, music director of Theological College, a national seminary at The Catholic University of America."If you are singing a part of the liturgy that is an essential part of the Mass, you are singing Gregorian chant," Lang said. ‘Even if you are singing a simple response, that's chant’.” (3)
I am a life-long Catholic, husband, dad, teacher and former football coach. I've been teaching the Catholic Faith to young men, religious educators and catechists since 1998. My academic background, MA is in Theology and Catechetics. I am the creator of www.apexcatechetics.com, the home of high quality catechetical resources for those who teach the Catholic Faith.