The Catholic Church has been and continues to be an advocate for the fine arts. Throughout its history, the Church has preserved and promoted art and music. In the document on the Sacred Liturgy, the first of the Second Vatican Council, the statement appears, "The fine arts are rightly classed among the noblest activities of man's genius; this is especially true of religious art and of its highest manifestation, sacred art. Of their nature the arts are directed toward expressing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works made by human hands." (122)
The same document also states, "The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy."(112) And later, "Great importance is to be attached to the teaching and practice of music in seminaries, in the novitiates and houses of studies of religious of both sexes, and also in other Catholic institutions and schools."(115)
In order for students to learn about our Catholic tradition, to foster participation and promotion of the fine arts, music and art, and to encourage the students to appreciate quality in various historical periods, as well as good contemporary works, the fine arts are a yearly part of the Catholic school curriculum in the Diocese of Lincoln in all grades. One focus of the programs is, of course, promotion and appreciation of Sacred Music and Art.