The arts are perhaps the most universal language we have. They are able to reach across cultural boundaries and have a unique ability to bring together those that have been scattered.
When it comes to the Liturgy, what does the Church actually tell us about the role of music, and why guidelines does the Church give us in selecting music?
Of the three sacred arts of art, architecture, and music, the Church has given us the most explicit direction when it comes to music. But as music acts (or should act) in concert with art and architecture, what is said of one can apply to the others.
Artists need the Church to remind them who they are and why they are here. They need the refuge of the Barq of Peter to shield them from the work of the Adversary that preys upon their ego and the wants and desires that are common to all people regardless of their vocation. Artists need the Church as much as the Church needs artists because it is in the Church that the Artists finds True Beauty and the meaning of their lives.
While the Council of Nicaea affirmed the validity of the use of sacred images, the Council of Trent defined the role of art in service to the Church. Still, some Protestant circles would not accept sacred art on any terms and a new wave of iconoclasm stripped many churches of their rich heritage of traditional iconography. But the Council of Trent paved the way for a new generation of artists to work with the Church on sacred imagery that would appeal to the people and be faithful to magisterial teaching. This came to be known as Baroque, or the art of the counter-reformation.