Why Gregorian Chant?

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Why Gregorian Chant

Why Gregorian Chant

“Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God” -The Rule of St. Benedict In monastic life, the Liturgy of the Hours serves as a return point for the monk, a reminder that God is the author of all work and creativity....

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The Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours

An Introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours The Liturgy of the Hours (or, the Divine Office, as it is sometimes known) is one form of prayer with both traditional and ecumenical dimensions. At its heart stands the word of...

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The History of Chant

The History of Chant

The sacred universe into which Gregorian chant introduces us is the world of prayer— or, if you prefer, of union with God, which is the ultimate goal of prayer. —Dom Jacques Hourlier What is Chant? What is this thing called...

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The Monastic Day

The Monastic Day

As with everything else in the Rule, Benedict’s rationale for the structure and content of each office was rooted in Scripture and in pastoral common sense. By following an ancient biblical practice of praying seven times during the day (“Seven...

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The Flowering of Chant

The Flowering of Chant

In the ninth century, Charlemagne joined various strands of spiritual practice—all having their roots in the ancient church—to help solidify his kingdom. Gregorian chant, as one of these strands, became a unifying force in Christian worship in an empire that...

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The Standardization and Change in Performance Style

The Standardization and Change in Performance Style

For several hundred years, regional variations of the chant continued in what was primarily an oral tradition handed down from one singer to another. Then in the eleventh century, the Italian monk Guido d’Arezzo invented a system of lines and...

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Restoration and New Interest

Restoration and New Interest

In the 1830s, the young French monk Dom Prosper Guéranger reopened the vacant monastery of Solesmes in his hometown of Sablé, and charged his monks with the task of restoring chant to its former beauty. This restoration consisted of two...

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Adapting the Divine Office to a Changing World

Adapting the Divine Office to a Changing World

In the second half of the twentieth century, many churches, Catholic and Protestant, felt the need to reform and renew their liturgy, bringing it up to date with the needs of a modern world that had been devastated by two...

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