Gates of Holiness (CD)

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From St. Joseph's Abbey
Lauds and Vespers

"Open to me the gates of holiness: I will enter and give thanks." - - Psalm 117(118)

If icons are often referred to as "windows into heaven," then the liturgy itself, and chant in particular, may perhaps be regarded as "gates of holiness." With this verse from Psalm 117 (118) the monks of St. Joseph's Abbey respond to the many requests from friends and relatives who have attended the Liturgy of the Hours at St. Joseph's Abbey, Spencer, as well as the queries of music devotees who are interested in the possibilities of vernacular chant.

33 selections
Total time: 53:46

For a track list and audio samples (using your Windows Media Player), select the MORE PRODUCT INFO tab below.

St. Joseph's Abbey: Spencer, Massachusetts

St. Joseph's Abbey is a monastery of the Catholic Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.), popularly known as the "Trappists", located in Spencer, Massachusetts.

The Abbey was founded in 1950 by Belgian and French Trappist monks from the Monastery of Our Lady of the Valley in Valley Falls, Rhode Island, which had burned to the ground. In the rustic hills of central New England, they established a new home in which to follow an age-old contemplative way of life.

The monastery became known internationally as the origin of the Centering Prayer movement, whose leading proponents were monks at the monastery: Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington and Fr. Thomas Keating.

Work has always been greatly esteemed in the Cistercian tradition, since it gives the monks the opportunity to follow in Christ' footsteps and share in His Divine work of creation and restoration. The monks produce products whose sale provides for their livelihood and for the care of the poor. Since the 1950s, they have produced Trappist Preserves, their popular line of jams and jellies. Since 1949, The Holy Rood Guild has created beautiful, finely-tailored liturgical vestments to enhance the dignity of the Sacred Liturgy.

To hear 30-second samples on your Windows Media Player, just click on SAMPLE.

1. Abbey Bells (SAMPLE)
2. Opening Verse (SAMPLE)
3. Hymn (SAMPLE)
4. Psalm 117 (SAMPLE)
5. Canticle: Dan
6. Psalm 150
7. Scripture reading
8. Responsory
9. Benedictus
10. Intercessions & Marian Antiphon
11. Our Father
12. Concluding Prayer
13. Final blessing & Closing verse
14. Angelus bells
15. Organ: Vesper Voluntaries, OP. 14, Introduction, Edward Elgar, 1857-1934
16. Abbey Bells
17. Opening Verse
18. Hymn
19. Psalm 109
20. Psalm 110
21. Canticle: Rev. 19:1-2,5-8
22. Scripture reading
23. Responsory
24. Magnificat
25. Intercessions & Marian Antiphon
26. Our Father
27. Concluding Prayer
28. Final blessing & Closing verse

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament:

29. Hymn: Hail True Body
30. Scripture reading
31. Hymn: Tantum Ergo
32. Hymn: The Day is Drawing Swiftly to a Close
33. Organ: postludium, Anton Bruckner, 1824-1896

Since the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance began to reform its liturgy in 1969, the daily Offices have had a two week cycle of psalmody. As arranged at St. Joseph's Abbey, Sunday Lauds has the same psalms each week, corresponding to Week II of the Roman Office, with seasonal variations.

The monks of Spencer began celebrating the liturgy in English over forty years ago. A variety of musical styles is currently in use, but traditional chant predominates in both the Divine Office and the Mass.

The psalm tones of Lauds (Morning Prayer) are composed on a simple accentual principle to suit the varying rhythms of English cadences. The Hallel Psalm (Ps. 150) is on the Gregorian sixth tone.

The psalmody of Vespers (Evening Prayer) is all on Gregorian tones, which requires pointing of the text for English use.
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2 reviews

Gates of Holiness CD
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Nov 1, 2016  |  By WILLIAM D
Not only it has a very beautiful relaxing music but also it reminds me again how nice I felt when I visited the Monks at their monastery.

Cistercian Oblate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 11, 2016  |  By Kathie B.
The best chant ever.
Kathie B.