That OTHER Deacon Greg

Okay.  Besides being a deacon, St. Gregory the Great was also a pope and a saint.   In his spare time, he wrote the first biography of St. Benedict and, when he had nothing better to do, composed the chant that bears his name.  Overachiever?  Just a bit.

Happy feast day, though, to all the Gregorys out there — those who are great and those (like me) who are barely adequate.  Below, is the prayer for this day from the Liturgy of the Hours.

God our Father,
your rule is a rule of love,
your providence is full of mercy for your people.
Through the intercession of Saint Gregory
grant the spirit of wisdom to those you have placed in authority,
so that the spiritual growth of the people may bring eternal joy to the pastors.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.


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5 responses to “That OTHER Deacon Greg”

  1. I pray Gregorian Chant makes a comeback in the Church. It did make a comeback in popular culture a few years ago (The Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos).

  2. Clarification:

    Pope Gregory the Great did not compose chant. He is responsible for simplifying and cataloging the liturgical music of his time. It is thought by some scholars to be an attribution made to him, several centuries later, in order to give the music some authority. (Doesn’t need it from my point of view.)

    What I like best about him is that he was the first pope to make use of the term “Servant of the Servants of God” in his official documents. Even today, Pope Benedict XVI uses the term at the beginning of his official pronouncements.

  3. Kathy Schitter:

    Your comment peaked my curiosity about why Pope Gregory would have decreased the role of deacons in the Roman liturgy, so I did a little searching. Can’t validate the truth of this statement since there is no citation but it does seem plausible. It is from a professor at Washington State, Michael Delahoyde.

    “The term “Gregorian” is derived from Pope Gregory I (the Great) (c. 540-604), but this pope actually reprimanded deacons for singing the liturgy — he felt they were better off preaching and caring for souls than winning praise for their voices.”

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