It is a fact that liturgical music is an integral part of the liturgy itself, not merely a means to assist or enrich worship. It is worship itself, like color to a sunset, like thought to the mind. Sacred music is not like prayer; it is prayer. Sacred music raises the mind and heart to God, and not only to our neighbor.
Though all the great European composers before the modern age worked at one time or another for the Catholic Church, it is arguable that Palestrinas music, more than any other composer's, captures the sense of mystery and adoration characteristic of Catholic worship.
The title track of Rachel Lampa's first CD, "Live For You", quickly went to No. I on the Christian charts and has crossed over to the pop charts, She debuted the album Aug. 1 on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and was a featured performer at World Youth Day in Rome. She spoke recently with Register correspondent Wayne Laugesen near her home in suburban Denver.