There are times when as I work or drive or walk I listen to the Office sung by Benedictine monks.
For those of you who would like to get to know more about Gregorian chant, or start a schola, I recommend the same.
There are a couple good options. The monks of Le Barroux, in France, and the monks at Norcia, in Italy (we like them – they make beer!).
The monks at Le Barroux are among the best signers of chant I have ever heard. The monks at Norcia are easier to understand, because of their acoustics, though they are a bit rougher and readier.
What I like about both of them is that they sing like men. There is a virile quality to their chant and it is not pretentious or overly scientific. They get that the texts are prayer and that prayer is language. Thus, they have a natural quality that I find helpful.
Le Barroux streams live on their website, which isn’t very convenient for people in other time zones. A nice fellow set up a site to capture their streams and make them available on demand. THANKS! You can also subscribe to the hours as a podcast. They only stream Prime, Sext (followed by the Angelus), Vespers and Compline. The Norcia monks generally provide us with Lauds, Mass and Vespers on a regular basis. Their feed is HERE. Sometimes they have Compline and Prime. They can be a bit spotty with posting their hours and I have had a troubles downloading on some days.
NOTA BENE: Sext and Le Barroux amused me today. Perhaps you who have been parents can affirm or comment… if you listen the recording HERE. There must have been some visitors to their abbey during Sext, including a baby.
QUAERITUR: Tell if you agree or not, but, toward the end, is the baby singing with the monks?
It seems to me that these monks, by streaming their hours, are using well the tools of social communication which are readily available these days. They are, therefore, offering people a tool for – in my opinion – the New Evangelization.
This is part of who we are as Catholics. We have to know this form or worship and rebuild it everywhere. It is the Church’s preferred music for worship. It is our patrimony.
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Are both of these using the old Office? When I pray it, I use that one, so it would be nice to be able to “tie in” some chant to that form of prayer. But I don’t know all that much about the two different forms, so I’m not sure how to differentiate between them.
I would love to start a schola, and indeed have tried to do so, but no-one is interested.
[Keep at it!]
Bless you, Father, for providing us with the links to this divine Chant, our Roman Catholic heritage and patrimony.
Wonderful! (You should hear the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux)
[Yes, I should. Please make that happen.]
One can use Chant in the OF Office as well.
Sid, and so the Benedictines do at Saint Mary’s Monastery, and Saint Scholastica Priory, Petersham, Massachusetts.