Sunday, November 24, 2013

Đọc Kinh

Today is the Feast of Christ the King; liturgically in other years it is the feast of the Holy Vietnamese Martyrs. So to express the global character of the Cross, I wanted to find either a Vietnamese icon of Christ the King or some Vietnamese cantillation of a relevant text. The following was the best I could find:

Đọc Kinh or Vietnamese cantillation is an independent tradition of liturgical chant, distinct from Western chant traditions, and based on the fact that Vietnamese is a tonal language. Vietnamese vowels come in six basic varieties, known as tones. In Vietnamese cantillation, each tone is assigned a note (which tones are assigned which notes vary). Thus chanting is quite easy -- if you can pronounce the word correctly, you know how to chant it. So most things are chanted in a Vietnamese liturgy.

It makes them rather intimidating; I live literally around the corner from a Vietnamese parish, and have yet to screw up my courage to attend. But someday.

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