Sunday, January 20, 2008

Into Great Silence: The Carthusian Night Office

Last month, the Canadian distributor of Into Great Silence, Mongrel Media, sent me a copy of their Special Edition of "Le Grand Silence" (Into Great Silence).

This is their second release and is comprised of two discs.

By now, this superb film that allows one to peer into the life of the Carthusian monks of La Grande Chartreuse will, no doubt, be more than familiar, but what is of interest with regard to this "special edition" is that it includes on its second DVD a recording of the entire Carthusian night office.

Cinematically, there is little to speak to, but where the interest lay are for those interested in the Carthusian chant. The entire production focused upon the Carthusian chant, showing the chant pages as they are chanted (in Latin) from their liturgical books while you listen to the monks.

For those interested in chant, I think it will be of keen interest and it is certainly the main selling feature from my perspective.

One hopes that Philip Groning, who produced the film, might eventually consider releasing a video of more of the liturgical life of the Carthusians, in particular, the Carthusian rite liturgy.

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