At Saint Louis Abbey, we are trying in our own corner of the Church to contribute to the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy in our time. Integral to this renewal is the Catholic tradition of Sacred Music. We follow the words and inspiration of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as well as the continual reminder of Church authority, especially in recent times, that Sacred Music is exemplified by the two great musical traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony. These two forms of music are united organically and truly show forth the sacred, beautiful, and universal qualities necessary for Sacred Music. Here are some of the authoritative proclamations of the Church regarding Sacred Music:
"The more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple."
--Pope John Paul II, making his own the words of Pope Pius X
"An authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony."
--Pope Benedict XVI
Here at the Abbey we have recently begun Latin Vespers on Saturdays and Sundays each week according to the Antiphonale Monasticum of 1934, as well as on first and second Vespers of solemn feast days. In addition, our liturgical music is founded on a mixture of English plainchant and Gregorian Chant propers for all Sundays and many feast days. For solemn occasions, the Schola Cantorum will often provide a Polyphonic setting of Mass or motet, such as during Christmas, Easter, professions, and other feast days. Here is a selection of some of our recent pieces, sung by members of the Monastic Schola: