Monday, November 13, 2006

Two new DVD offerings from Le Barroux

DVD: Dedicace de L'Eglise Abbatiale (Consecration of the Abbey Church of Le Barroux)

The Abbey of Le Barroux in France is of course well known for its liturgical excellence. Two archival DVD's have been made available from this monastery which give a nice view into the traditional Benedictine life and liturgy.

The first such DVD is that of the consecration of the Abbey Church in 1989 by Cardinal Gagnon.

This particular DVD shows highlights from the ceremonies of the consecration of the Church, along with highlights of the pontifical Mass celebrated afterward. The bulk of the DVD focuses upon the rite of consecration, which is rare enough to see, let alone in a magnificent French Benedictine setting.

Some may have purchased the DVD of the consecration of the Abbey Church of the Sisters, or of the installation of Dom Louis Marie, successor to Dom Gerard Calvet. This would go hand in hand nicely with these DVD's.

As one can expect, the quality of the chant is superb, and the liturgical rite is handled with great care. One can indeed see the instructions being given to Cardinal Gagnon as to the points of the rite, which might bother some viewers, however I personally do not believe that it detracts from the solemnity of the event -- these are often the cues that people in the congregation do not see.

It seems perhaps the best review of this DVD is to be found in showing stills from it, to that end, here following are a variety of stills taken from the DVD at various points of it.

For those who are wondering about compatibility, I have tried playing this DVD on 2 separate DVD players, including a newer, but very inexpensive one, and it has worked on both of them without problems. It would seem the days of worrying about North American or European DVD formats is quickly coming to an end.

If you would like to order the DVD, it may be done so here: Le Barroux

DVD: La Sainte Liturgie: Messe Pontificale a l'Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine

The second DVD I wish to bring to your attention is one I had seen awhile back on video tape. I was very pleased to see that a DVD had been made of it now. This DVD shows the solemn celebration of the Mass by Dom Gerard Calvet, then Abbot of the Abbey of St. Madeleine, Le Barroux.

Like the previous DVD, it should be noted that this is not the entire liturgy, but rather pieces of it. Of course, unlike the previous DVD whose focus is upon the consecration of the Abbey Church, this particular DVD's finds its raison d'etre in showing the celebration of the Mass in its abbatial context.

This particular DVD includes a French language commentary on the liturgy as the video plays in certain parts of the Mass.

While the vestments of the sacred ministers may not be so grand as in the previous DVD, nonetheless it is more than made up for by the reverence, the chant, and insofar as you will get a far greater insight into the celebration of the Mass at this monastery.

It should be mentioned as well that the quality of the resolution isn't quite as good in this DVD as in the former. Nonetheless, a wonderful DVD.

As before, I think a few stills from the DVD shall be sufficient for NLM readers to get a sense of the contents.

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