Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Voces8 are masters of sacred music

J-P Mauro - published on 06/23/17

This motet is not as easy to sing as they make it sound.

Voces8 is back with a freshly released motet written by Claudio Monteverdi, a 16th-century composer who helped transition western style from the Renaissance era to the Baroque.

Aside from The Coronation of Poppea, Monteverdi wrote many beautiful operas as well as many shorter vocal motets and madrigals. “Adoramus Te, Christe” is a motet, translated to “We adore thee, Christ.” Based on a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, it is most commonly recited or sung between the Stations of the Cross.

The main difference between a motet and a madrigal was the language. Motets were always in Latin and focused on the sacred, while madrigals were in the vernacular and could be more secular. Madrigals were also a bit more lively.

Motets were not like the hymns we know today. The people in the congregation did not sing along, since the average person was not trained to read music and motets were so intricate that they require a lot of preparation to sing.

While the organ had already been introduced to churches by the 16th-century, motets were generally written without instrumental accompaniment. This was partly a continuation of the Jewish tradition of vocal prayers, and also so small or poor churches could sing the prayers without an organ.

Follow Cecilia–Aleteia’s music page–on Facebook!

CeciliaSacred Music
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.