A privileged and multisecular place…
“Sing to God with all your heart with thanksgiving, in psalms, hymns and inspired songs”
(Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians 3.16)
The tradition of liturgical music in Chartres goes back several centuries, where the Cathedral’s choir is one of the oldest in the world…
A text from the year 485 attests that under Bishop Flavius, there was a choir of young clerics singing the services.
The impulse was essentially given by Saint Fulbert (960-1028): the Cathedral School of Chartres became one of the most important centers of study in Europe where philosophy, theology and liberal arts were always closely linked.
Sacred music is an integral part of the solemn liturgy and contributes to the dignity and brilliance of ceremonies.
Today, all the actors of music in the cathedral strive to maintain this brilliance, whether through the expression of the great organs which introduce the mysteries with preludes, or which maintain the prayer by postluding the homilies; but also through the chant, an element of unity, giving the texts a greater effectiveness.
The expression “treasure of sacred music” from the Vatican II constitution “Sacrosanctum Concilium” is also often used. More precisely, it says: “the treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and cultivated with the greatest solicitude”.
For the fathers of the Second Vatican Council, this “treasure of sacred music” referred to Gregorian chant as well as to the polyphony of Palestrina and the Roman school of the late 16th century. These two repertoires were designated as models of liturgical music by Pius X in his Motu Proprio of 1903.
Today, the value of worship music is no longer defined by its style or historical period: songs are considered worthy of worship if they are in keeping with the spirit of the liturgical action.
This means, above all, that they should encourage the active participation of the congregation. With this criterion, the 1963 Constitution legitimizes the use of new chants, regardless of style.
The Cathedral’s choir participates fully in this enhancement of the services.
You can find on our calendar the dates of its interventions.