10 December 2010

Liturgical stocking fillers

What better to give at Christmas than a 'taste' of the sacred liturgy, as it were?

Most of us find it hard enough to be at a Sunday Mass that is liturgcaly optimal, let alone to live each day liturgically. The days are long gone when you could pop into the chapel of your local convent or friary or priory confident of catching Vespers, let alone a Conventual Mass. Only a priveledged few live near those monastic houses of men and women, and near those other communities, for whom the daily public celebration of the sacred liturgy is their lifeblood.

So the rest of us make do as best we can. We probably pray some of the Divine Office. We may look almost too often at encouraging liturgical things on-line. And we struggle on.

Well, as the time for giving gifts approaches, why not give some thing that touch the heart of the meaning of the coming season, and that promote and supports all good things liturgical?

The monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Clear Creek, Tulsa, Oaklahoma, are building a monastery and need our help. They live the Benedictine monastic life heroically and the sacred liturgy is their lifeblood. Their webiste has several CDs of Gregorian Chant available, which are recordings from their mother-house, the Abbey of Notre-Dame, Fontgombault, France. If you have not heard a recording of the monks of Fontgombault, you have not heard heaven sing.

The Abbeys of Clear Creek and Fontgombault both belong to the Solesmes Benedictine Congregation. Another Abbey of their family, Notre-Dame de Triors, France, offer this CD of Gregorian Chant, which records the propers of four main Masses in Christmastide.

When the realities of local liturgical life are grim, thanks be to God for giving us these monks and these recordings. Why not share them as gifts in the season of Christmas?

Oh, and for the seriously liturgically addicted, the Benedictine Monastery of Norcia, Italy, offer MP3 files of daily Mass and Vespers.

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