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Playlists for Pope Francis...

posted Mar 30, 2013, 8:00 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 17, 2015, 6:52 AM ]
The music streaming service Spotify recently teamed up with Notre Dame's Center for Liturgy to create a papal-themed playlist “intended to give the listener a disposition of wonder, of contemplation, of prayer to the God who first loved us.” Among its twenty-nine tracks are Maurice Duruflé's choral arrangements of the chants Tu es Petrus and Ubi caritas. That text can be found in Breaking Bread, along with three other hymns on the list: Be Still, And Know That I Am God; Come, Holy Ghost and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling. The Pentecost Sequence appears twice: as the chant Veni Sancte Spiritus and its translation as a hymn, Holy Spirit, Lord of Light. There are two psalms, Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd and Psalm 148: Lord, Who hast made us for thine own. Two tracks honor the Blessed Mother: Tomás Luis de Victoria's setting of Salve Regina and Franz Biebl's Ave Maria. There are also several instrumental tracks including Aaron Copland's Suite from the ballet Appalachian Spring, which features the Shaker melody that's become known as Simple Gifts; and Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. That’s an interesting choice, considering it’s based on a Russian folk tale of a magical glowing bird that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor.

MTV also put together a special selection of tunes they consider appropriate for the younger demographic, although admittedly more secular; including Beyonce's Halo and Carrie Underwood's Jesus, Take the Wheel.

But as Cardinal Egan told Brian Williams of NBC News, “I think you might be interested to know, Brian, that I sent him [Pope Francis] a couple of Metropolitan Opera recordings. He's a great follower of our opera here in New York.” So if you want your playlist to be in sync with the papal iPod, try Flower Duet from Lakmé, which you've heard in British Airways ads. Or Puccini's Un Bel dì from Madama Butterfly, also heard in the movies Love Is a Many Splendid Thing and Fatal Attraction. Another Puccini aria is Nessun dorma from the final act of Turandot, used as the theme of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

Viva il Papa!  Viva la musica!