By Lydia O’Kane
Over the past few days’ attendees to this third International Congress have focused their attention on the interpretation of sacred music, intercultural perspectives involving art forms and vocal qualities.
In his address to Congress participants on Saturday, Pope Francis described how an interpreter, especially in the field of music, ““translates” in a unique and personal way what the composer has written, in order to create a beautiful and outstanding artistic experience.”
He added that, “a good interpreter feels great humility before a work of art that is not his or her property.”
Every interpreter, the Pope underlined, “is called to develop a distinctive sensibility and genius in the service of art which refreshes the human spirit, and in service to the community.” This, he said, “is especially the case if the interpreter carries out a liturgical ministry.”
Music and dialogue
The interpreter of music, noted the Pontiff, “has much in common with those who seek to interpret the signs of the times”, and with those who are open and attentive to others in sincere dialogue. He continued by saying, that dialogue is one that exists between the author, the work and the artist and it allows for a unique interpretation by the performer.
A joyful hymn to God
The Pope told those gathered that “every Christian… is an interpreter of the will of God in his or her own life, and by his or her life sings a joyful hymn of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Through that song, he continued, “the Church interprets the Gospel as she makes her pilgrim way through history.”
Recalling the words of St Paul VI, Pope Francis said, “it is your task, your mission; and your art consists in grasping treasures from the heavenly realm of the spirit and clothing them in words, colours, forms, thus making them accessible”.
In conclusion, the Pope said that “the artist, the interpreter and – in the case of music – the listener, all have the same desire: to understand what beauty, music and art allow us to know of God’s grandeur.”
He added, “Now perhaps more than ever, men and women have need of this; interpreting that reality is essential for today’s world.