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Saturday, 4 September 2004


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I now turn to you, dear leaders and members of the Italian Association of St Cecilia, gathered in Rome for a Meeting on Gregorian Chant in the Liturgy, on the occasion of the 14th Centenary of the death of St Gregory the Great. I extend my cordial greeting to you and express grateful appreciation for the care that you devote to the context of sacred music, always attentive to the teachings of the Magisterium. In this way, you offer a valid contribution to the implementation of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council. As I once again encourage you, I bless you and the entire Association from my heart, together with the numerous singers who today and tomorrow will gladden the celebrations in the Vatican.

2. I am delighted to welcome and greet you, representatives of the Pueri Cantores International Federation, gathered for your General Assembly in Rome.

I am pleased that thanks to your association, thousands of children and young people throughout the world can participate in the beauty of the liturgy, contributing in this way to "express adequately the mystery grasped in the fullness of the Church's faith and in accordance with the pastoral guidelines appropriately laid down by the competent Authority" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 50). I heartily encourage you to continue to be concerned with the formation of these youth so that through their song, they will be active members of the Church and living witnesses of the Gospel of Christ.

With all my heart I impart the Apostolic Blessing.

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