Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,
Though the beauty of its sacred melodies rarely echoes in the parishes and religious communities of our time, Gregorian chant has a way of surviving the vicissitudes of liturgical decline and renewal. Despite the efforts of some to suppress it, this unique musical form, no doubt the greatest single musical repertory produced by our Western Christian culture, has a way of rising from the tomb.
“Like the music of the ancients,” wrote Dom André Mocquereau, the great restorer of Gregorian chant at Solesmes abbey in France, “the chant’s offspring is simple and discreet, sober in its effects; it is the humble servant, the vehicle of the sacred text, or, if you will, a reverent, faithful, and docile commentary thereon. Even as a healthy body is an instrument perfectly fitted to serve the soul and to interpret its workings, so the chant interprets the truth, and gives it a certain completeness, which words alone could not achieve.” Saint Pius X called it “the supreme model of Sacred Music,” a teaching echoed in more recent texts of the Church’s Magisterium (cf. Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 116, and John Paul II, Letter of November 22, 200).
It is therefore with great joy that I announce the publication, by our own Abbey Editions, of the first volume of a course in Gregorian chant, Laus in Ecclesia, Learning Gregorian Chant, Level One. This course, recently restructured by a French monk and translated into English by a monk of Clear Creek, is the fruit of teaching elaborated over some 80 years by Schola Saint Grégoire in France. This organization was founded in 1938 by church musicians inspired by the monks of Solesmes. It was recognized in 1998 by the Pontifical Council for Culture as an International Academy of Sacred Music.
The course is appropriate for teens, adults, and families who wish to make a methodical apprenticeship in Gregorian chant and renew its practice in the Church. Learners may choose to submit the written assignments, with a view toward passing an exam and acquiring a diploma acknowledging their formation (beginning in 2018). The present volume is one of three successive degrees that should allow everyone, according to his competence, progressively to enter into the service of the Church. Complete information about this course can be found at the following website: lausinecclesia.com
Laus in Ecclesia is available for purchase through our Clear Creek Abbey website.
+ br. Philip Anderson, abbot