Thursday, September 10, 2009

Use of Latin Antiphonale Monasticum Widened at St. Louis Abbey

The NLM recently heard tell of St. Louis Abbey widening its use of the Benedictine Antiphonale Monasticum in response to the desires of their younger monks.

Ever since the general introduction of the vernacular liturgy at St. Louis Abbey in the late 1960's the monks there have maintained the practice of singing I Vespers of the great Solemnities of the year in Latin from the 1934 Antiphonale Monasticum. It can therefore be said that the tradition was never totally extinguished and survives today as a living link to the past. St. Louis Abbey belongs to the English Benedictine Congregation and is one of three houses of that Congregation in the United States. The house has been fortunate to have had several young men enter and profess vows over the last ten years and in that time there has been a considerable renewal of interest among the younger part of the community in plainchant. This aspiration of the young has resulted in the community extending its Latin Offices to include I and II Vespers of Solemnities through the year. In addition the monks are also considering singing I and II Vespers for Sundays through the year as well. It is very common among the British Houses of the English Congregation to sing the traditional Latin Vespers on a daily basis, so this change in its practice will be a welcome development here in the United States. The monks also regularly sing Latin Ordinaries at festal Masses and some Sundays as well. During the week the monks sing the Propers of the Mass from a complete English Gradual that has been assembled at our founding House in Yorkshire. These simple English propers harmonize well with the Latin Ordinaries and are a modest contribution to the renewal of the sacred liturgy in our time. The monks consider this to be their small contribution toward the "reform of the reform" so earnestly desired by many of those who love the sacred liturgy.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: