March 9, 2015
ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — From the softest pianissimo to the most dramatic swells of sound, the pipe organ’s range and capacity to lift the voice and spirit accord it “pride of place” among instruments used in Catholic liturgy.
It “gives resonance to the fullness of human sentiments, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation,” said Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 during an organ blessing. “The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.”
But recent headlines strike a somber note for the majestic instrument: “As number of church organists declines, fears of a dying art”; “Soaring instrument appeals to fewer churches”; “The decline of the church organ.”