13 October 2009

Contemporary Monastic Liturgical Song

One of my prized possessions is a giant binder containing a copy of a doctoral dissertation by a Benedictine nun, Sr. Victorine Fenton OSB, who in the early 1980s visited just about all of the Benedictine monasteries in the United States and wrote about their music: how they chanted the psalms, hymns, and other parts of their Divine Office and Mass. Today my various Google Reader sweeps brought me word of a similar study of selected European monasteries to find out how they are singing the Opus Dei today. One can download a PDF of the 410-page dissertation. It's in Swedish, but do not fret: go to p. 358 for an English summary. I've put the Pluscarden Abbey (Scotland) chapter through Google Translate to get a general idea, but I hope someone can translate the whole thing for us sometime. And perhaps now would be a good time for someone to redo Sr. Victorine's work and find out the current state of affairs in USA monasteries?

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