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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

299

psalms, often accompanied by musical instruments, were already

closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant.

The Church continues and develops this tradition: “Address . . .

one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and

making melody to the Lord with all your heart.” “He who sings

prays twice.”

21

1157

Song andmusic fulfill their function as signs in a manner all

the more significant when they are “more closely connected . . . with

the liturgical action,”

22

according to three principal criteria: beauty

expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly

at the designated moments, and the solemn character of the cele­

bration. In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical

words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the

faithful:

23

How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs, and the

voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I

experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears,

distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged

within me, and tears streamed down my face—tears that did

me good.

24

1158

The harmony of signs (song, music, words, and actions) is

all the more expressive and fruitful when expressed in the

cultural

richness

of the People of God who celebrate.

25

Hence “religious

singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered so that in

devotions and sacred exercises as well as in liturgical services,” in

conformity with the Church’s norms, “the voices of the faithful

may be heard.” But “the texts intended to be sung must always be

in conformity with Catholic doctrine. Indeed they should be drawn

chiefly from the Sacred Scripture and from liturgical sources.”

26

Holy images

1159

The sacred image, the liturgical icon, principally repre­

sents

Christ.

It cannot represent the invisible and incomprehensible

God, but the incarnation of the Son of God has ushered in a new

“economy” of images:

21

Eph

5:19; St. Augustine,

En. in Ps.

72, 1: PL 36, 914; cf.

Col

3:16.

22

SC

112 § 3.

23 Cf.

SC

112.

24 St. Augustine,

Conf.

9, 6, 14: PL 32, 769-770.

25 Cf.

SC

119.

26

SC

118; 121.

2502

1201

1674

476-477

2129-2132