By Lydia O’Kane
Seven thousand musicians and singers have descended on the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican to participate in the 3rd International Meeting of Choirs.
The 3 day gathering organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization in collaboration with Nova Opera Onlus includes conferences, workshops and testimonies, in addition to rehearsals and recitals that will actively involve all the participants who have come from near and far.
Drawing on the international theme of this meeting, there are speakers from Vietnam, Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Included among the attendees are some of the greatest experts in the field of sacred and liturgical music, including Monsignor Marco Frisina who is moderating the gathering which will focus on “Music in the Liturgy and in the Catechesis for the New Evangelization”.
On Saturday evening he Mons Frisina will conduct the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, of which he is Director, along with a seven thousand strong polyphonic choir and orchestra. The Concert will also feature the most representative songs of the sacred and liturgical tradition, and will be dedicated to St. Cecilia.
Speaking about Saturday's performance, Monsignor Frisina said, "they will be divided into voices in the hall, therefore, they will sing in four voices; all the choirs in a programme which is from the Gregorian tradition to today, which takes one on a journey through the history of liturgical and sacred music.”
On Saturday morning, a major highlight of this event will be a special audience with Pope Francis, where he will give the seven thousand participants his Paternal Blessing in the Paul VI hall. The curtain will come down on this choral meeting in St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday where Holy Mass will be presided over by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the President of Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.