You might think that just because I play guitar in church, my favorite religious music consists of tunes like "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love" and "Abba, Father."
You'd be wrong. (Actually, I'm not a big fan of either of those tunes, and I call them "tunes" on purpose. There's much better church music for guitar out there.)
One hymn that really sticks with me is the Salve Regina. I learned it in college; Father Campbell, the chaplain, held Night Prayer and Benediction each Sunday night. He "guilted" a few of us campus-ministry "folk groupies" into going, so that there'd be somebody there.
Father Campbell was smart. He knew that he'd only have to use the guilt trip once or twice. After that, we were hooked--we wanted to be there.
Having grown up on guitar Masses, Sunday Night Prayer was the first time I ever heard Gregorian chant. We concluded Night Prayer with the Salve Regina. It is so simple, spare but beautiful. I know all the words, and I love to pray it by singing it.
In honor of Mary's month, here is the Salve Regina:
Thanks go to Barb at Praying for Grace, who is hosting a whole month of Marian topics on her blog.