“The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.”
Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963), #112
Our Religious Family has always sought to give great attention to sacred music in our liturgies, thus forming polyphonic choirs with our seminarians as well as smaller scholas at our local convents.
In particular, our contemplative sisters live a whole life of prayer and of song. They chant all the hours of the liturgy in English while integrating Latin antiphons and singing many hymns in Latin according to the norms of Gregorian chant.
“The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”
Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963), #116
This summer two contemplative sisters from the Monastery of St. Edith Stein in Brooklyn were asked by the community to participate in a week-long “Gregorian Chant Practicum” at The Catholic University of America School of Music in Washington, DC.
The sisters were granted scholarships to make the course possible and they hope to strengthen the sung liturgy of the community by taking this time to study the Solesmes Abbey tradition of Gregorian chant within the pedagogical technique of the Ward Method with Fr. Robert Skeris. Among their fellow students was another contemplative sister who had come from the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut.
May this time of study deepen the life of prayer and chant for the sisters of the Monastery of St. Edith Stein at the Precious Blood Monastery, Borough Park, Brooklyn. St. Gregory, pray for us!
Note of interest: Special permission may be granted for a contemplative sister to leave the cloister temporarily in order to be instructed so as to enrich the life of the community. This has been the case of our cloistered contemplative sisters who have participated in icon courses in Argentina as well as those who attended in the first conference for contemplative life in Rome this past May in which all the prioresses with one sister came from the ten monasteries around the world.