Monks Who Record Gregorian Chant

Chant (Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos album) – Wikipedia

Studio albumbyBenedictineMonks ofSanto Domingo de Silos
Released March 15, 1994
Recorded 1972-1982
Genre Gregorian chant
Length 58: 26
Label Angel
Producer Maria Francisca Bonmati
BenedictineMonks ofSanto Domingo de Siloschronology

In this compilation CD of Gregorian chant, the Benedictine Monks ofSanto Domingo de Silos in Spain sing Gregorian chant in their own style. Perhaps as early as the 1970s, performances were recorded in the Spanish province of Burgos or in the capital city of Madrid, where the performances took place. Until it was re-released by Angel in 1994, when it was heavily pushed as a panacea to the stresses of contemporary life, the song did not achieve considerable commercial success. Chant is the best-selling Gregorian chant record ever published, with over a million copies sold.

3 and was certified as doubleplatinum, which means it sold a total of two million copies across all platforms in the United States.


Since the 11th century, the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos have been chanting Gregorian chant in their chapel (before that, they usedMozarabic chant). The monastery was suppressed by the government in the 1830s as part of the so-calledEcclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal, which marked a rupture in the centuries-old practice. With the assistance of monks from Solesmes Monastery in France, the abbey was re-established in its original location. In addition to its dedication to plainsong, the Solesmes style of singing has impacted the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, despite the fact that the monks’ pronunciation of Latin reflects their Spanish heritage.

The specific dates, on the other hand, appear to be elusive.

Blair Sanderson speculates that a seminary in the Spanish city of Logrooinvited the monks to record a vinyl album of chant in order to popularize it among churchgoers, and that the majority of the music was recorded around 1980, with a greater proportion of music recorded in the 1970s appearing on the follow-up albumChant II, which was released in 1982.


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Many critics were taken aback by the album’s financial success, despite the fact that Gregorian chants had already piqued the public’s curiosity as a result of the popularity of the project Enigma in 1990/91, notably the single ” Sadeness (Part I) ” Previously, not only had Gregorian chant been a niche market for record companies, but other monastic choirs, such as that of Solesmes Abbey, had achieved a greater level of public recognition as recording artists than the Silos monks.

The monks typically follow a schedule that is dictated by their monastic responsibilities.

Sequel albums

Astonishment was voiced by reviewers at the album’s financial success, even though Gregorian chants had previously generated widespread attention in the 1990s and early 1990s, particularly with the release of the single ” Sadeness (Part I ) ” by the project Enigma. Not only had Gregorian chant been a niche market for record companies before to the 1980s, but other monastic choirs, such as that of Solesmes Abbey, had achieved a greater level of fame as recording artists than the monks of Silos before that period.

According to their monastic responsibilities, the monks usually follow a set schedule. However, with the commercial success of Chant, they began making public appearances and were interviewed on shows such as The Tonight Show and Good Morning America, among others.

Track listing

  1. ‘Puer Natus Est Nobis’: Introit (Mode VII) – 3:36
  2. ‘Os Iusti’: Gradual (Mode I) – 2:49
  3. ‘Mandatum Novum Do Vobis’: AntiphonalAndPsalm132 (Mode III) – 1:41
  4. ‘Alleluia, Beatus Vir Qui Suffert’: Alleluia (Mode I) – 3:10


  • Aimee Gautreau, Marketing
  • Angel Barco, Original Engineer
  • Maria Francisca Bonmati, Original Producer
  • Ismael Fernández de la Cuesta, Music Direction
  • Robert LaPorta, Compilation Producer
  • David Foil, Liner Notes
  • Richard Price / Ted Jensen, Mastering
  • Francisco Lara, Music Direction
  • Marvin Mattelson, Cover Design, Cover Art
  • Jay Barbieri, Art Direction


Jay Barbieri, Art Direction; Angel Barco, Original Engineer; Maria Francisca Bonmati, Original Producer; Ismael Fernández de la Cuesta, Music Direction; Robert LaPorta, Compilation Producer; David Foil, Liner Notes; Richard Price / Ted Jensen, Mastering; Francisco Lara, Music Direction; Marvin Mattelson, Cover Design, Cover Art; Aimee Gautreau, Marketing;


They prefer not to be photographed and dress in hooded robes. They do not participate in interviews. They don’t go on tour, for one thing. To those who are unfamiliar with them, they are monks who live and worship in a remote Benedictine monastery near the town of Burgos in northern Spain. They are also international recording stars with a hit single, which comes as a complete surprise to almost everyone. They achieved international success with their latest album, which spent five weeks at the top of the Spanish pop charts before making its way to the rest of Europe, where it debuted at No.

  1. The monks’ U.S.
  2. ), which issued “Chant” on March 15, supported by a marketing blitz more akin to that of the cloistered Michael Jackson than that of the cloistered monks themselves.
  3. 35 on the Billboard Classical list the week of March 26.
  4. The record received preliminary airing on radio shows.
  5. T-shirts, hoodies, and other promotional items will be available, of course.
  6. The country of Spain has sold more than 300,000 volumes so far, and early orders in the United States have already put the country on track to break the gold record of 500,000 copies.
  7. The rise in popularity coincides with the success of other recording projects that have taken use of the atmosphere created by exotic and distant vocal sounds.

Gregorian chant rock was made popular by the Orange County, Calif.-based band e-le-i-son, who released its debut album, “Kyrie,” last year.

The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, on the other hand, are not samples in a manufactured fantasy mix created by some producer.

In other words, there will be no gimmicks.

When an Associated Press wire article on the monks’ accomplishment in Spain was broadcast in the United States, whatever little chant was left on the shelves of record stores in the United States was quickly depleted.

“It really caught off in Spain with two different audiences,” Murphy explained.

Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of plainchant is why Generation X listeners would be drawn to it.

“Not dissimilar to the day when you might hear Jimi Hendrix and the acoustic Grateful Dead perform together.

They do not have to be mutually exclusive.” However, Murphy admits that integrating the medieval environment of the monastery with the hype-driven machinery of the entertainment industry has not been straightforward.

“On one level, I’m thrilled to be able to make this wonderful classical music available to the public.

“The monks are sitting there in their all-black robes, and I’m speaking in this trendy radio slang and sounding like Larry Levy,” says the author.

Monastic communities use chant as part of their daily devotion, singing it at morning prayers, daily Mass, again at lunchtime and evening vespers, and, lastly, before bed.

“The first thing that becomes difficult is taking deep breaths.

There are certain aspects of it that are more challenging than opera “Hernandez has performed in prominent tenor parts at Opera Pacific, the New Orleans Opera, the San Diego Opera, and the Spoleto Festival, among other venues.

In the chant, you must be able to match the other participants’ voices perfectly.

According to the Rev.

Michael’s Abbey choir on the recordings, many recordings of chant by the monks at St.

“I still receive calls from people begging for them,” he said of the books.

According to Smith, “I’m sure those men are more startled than anyone that this happened, and they are certainly reluctant to talk about it.” However, it is possible that much of the monks’ attractiveness stems from their shyness.

Smith explained that the spirituality and genuineness that may come out in their music is a result of the decisions they have made throughout their life. “As a result, vocalists with greater experience may attempt to copy it, but the result will not sound the same.”

These monks are convinced: Gregorian chant will make your life better

In addition, many prefer to remain anonymous and do not appreciate photographs of themselves or their belongings. No interviews are conducted with the company. Touring is definitely out of the question with them. To those who are unfamiliar with them, they are monks who live and worship in a remote Benedictine monastery in the northern Spanish town of Burgos. They are also international recording stars, which comes as a complete surprise to almost everyone. They have a hit single under their belts.

  • A marketing push more akin to that of cloistered Michael Jackson than that of cloistered monks accompanied the release of “Chant” on March 15 by the monks’ U.S.
  • 35 on the Billboard Classical list.
  • The record received advanced airing on radio stations.
  • T-shirts with hoods, of course, will be among the promotional items.
  • The country of Spain has sold more than 300,000 volumes so far, and early orders in the United States have put the country on track to set a gold record with 500,000 copies sold.
  • Amid the success of other recording projects that have taken use of the mood created by exotic and distant vocal sounds, this one has gained in popularity.
  • “Kyrie,” a Gregorian chant rock album by the Orange County, California, band e-le-i-son, was released last year.

However, the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos are not samples in some producer’s manufactured dream mix; rather, they are the subject of the music.

There will be no gimmicks, to put it another way.

When an Associated Press wire article on the monks’ accomplishment in Spain was broadcast in the United States, whatever little chant was left on the shelves of record stores in the United States was quickly depleted and eventually destroyed.

🙂 According to Murphy, “it was a huge success in Spain with two distinct audiences.” A pretty youthful audience (16 to 25 years old) was buying it, as well as an older audience (what we would term baby boomers) who had an interest in classical or New Age music,” says the narrator.

“Not dissimilar to the day when you might hear Jimi Hendrix and the acoustic Grateful Dead perform in concert together.

They do not operate in isolation.” It has not been simple, however, for Murphy to reconcile his medieval monastery with the hype-driven machinery of Hollywood’s film industry, he claims.

“A part of me is thrilled to be making this wonderful classical music available to the public.

As I speak, the monks are sitting there in their all-black robes, and I’m using trendy radio jargon and sounding like Larry Levy.

Monastic communities use chant as part of their daily worship, singing it at morning prayers, daily Mass, again at lunch and evening vespers, and, lastly, before going to bed.

“One of the first things that becomes difficult is taking deep breaths.

This form of music is in some respects harder to learn than opera, for example “According to Hernandez, who has performed major tenor parts at Opera Pacific, the New Orleans Operetta Festival, San Diego Opera, and the Spoleto Festival, he has a strong foundation in the operatic repertoire.

You must sing in unison with the other participants in the chant.

According to the Rev.

Michael’s Abbey choir on the recordings, many recordings of chant by the monks at St.

The request for them continues to come in, according to the man who made them.

As Smith put it, “I’m sure that group of guys is more startled than anyone that this has happened and are clearly hesitant about it.” This reluctance, though, may be a contributing factor to the monks’ attractiveness.

In Smith’s opinion, the spirituality and honesty that may be conveyed via their music are a result of the decisions they have made throughout their life. In order to avoid being ripped off, other vocalists with more experience may attempt to copy it, but the result will be different.

Listen to the Benedictine Monks of Silos singing Gregorian Chant

Latin (although it may also contain Greek) Gregorian Chant is a type of unaccompanied religious music performed in Latin (although it may also include Greek) that is associated with the Western, Roman Catholic heritage. Early medieval and early Renaissance periods saw significant development in western and central Europe, with minor alterations occurring in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance periods. Despite the fact that tradition attributes the invention of Gregorian chant to Pope Gregory I (hence the name “Gregorian”), most scholars today believe that this type of monophonic psalmody is a musical development derived from Carolingian, Roman, and Galician liturgical chants, rather than a new invention.

The monastery, which dates back to the seventh century and was originally known as the Monastery of Saint Sebastian de Silos, was named after the 11th-century Benedictine saint, Domingo de Silos (who also served as Abbot of the same monastery).

As members of the Solesmes Congregation, their singing is now influenced by the music of Solesmes Abbey, which they have joined.

In a very unusual review in Gramophone, the entire essence of this CD is summed up as follows: “The ensemble is not always faultless, yet even if these are not professional vocalists, they are, and they sound like, very professional monks.”

Press-Shy Monks Top the Pop Charts With Greatest Gregorian Chants

MADRID, Spain (AP) The Spanish capital is preparing to host the World Cup. With the help of some genuine golden oldies – Gregorian chants – a group of Benedictine monks has rocketed to the top of the pop music charts. No, they haven’t yet produced a music video commercial for MTV, but the celibate celebrities are feeling the pressure from the media, as well. You have to understand that we are monks, not rock stars,′′ said one reluctant monk at the monastery in northern Spain that dates back to the 11th century.

  • In Spain, it takes 50,000 discs to achieve gold status and 100,000 discs to achieve platinum status.
  • Some of them date back more than 1,300 years.
  • According to Jose Fernandez of Madrid Rock, one of the city’s most prestigious music stores, ′′you’re telling me it was a surprise,′′ he said.
  • However, this time they were successful.′′ The monks are attempting to avoid the cameras and reporters who are clamoring for interviews from their secluded corner of the world, but they are having difficulty.
  • In a statement issued shortly after Christmas, the monk, who asked not to be identified, explained that ′′journalists were asked to refrain from calling us.′′ Here at the monastery, things were starting to spiral out of control.
  • It was given this name in honor of Pope Gregory I (590-604), during whose reign the first collection of music was made.
  • 1,′′ she said.

The CD has only been available in Spain so far, but Ruiz has stated that there are plans to make it available in other countries as well.

Perez Arroyo stated that 25 of the monastery’s 36 monks-in-residence are members of the choir, but that only 16 to 20 of them are usually recorded due to the fact that some are over 90 years old.

Perez Arroyo stated that between 4 percent and 10 percent of the proceeds would be donated to the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.

′′It’s difficult to pinpoint why,′′ said Fernandez of Madrid Rock.

Trecet, who has been to the monastery, believes that the success of the recording represents a trend among record buyers to seek out unusual and unusually good music.

′′Can you tell me which radio station has been promoting the Gregorian chants?′′ he inquired. The appreciation of music is changing, and I believe that this album is only the beginning of an international evolution of tastes.′′ S-01-10-94 1554 EST S-01-10-94

The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos – Chant – Music

verified purchase reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2018Verified Purchase If you’re looking for a Gregorian Chant CD but aren’t sure which one to acquire, this is the one you should look for. I recall when it was first released. It was a huge success. Some others thought it sounded eerie. The cover is instantly recognizable. There are a variety of reasons why someone would wish to purchase a collection of Gregorian Chant. For starters, it serves as a foundation for Western music. Classical music evolved from chant, and as a result, it serves as an excellent beginning point for investigating “early” western music.

  • The majority of individuals will purchase a chant record since it has a calming impact on the psyche.
  • Third, it creates an ethereal sound world that you want to go to, lingering in the sky with floating bricks, and it makes you want to escape from reality.
  • Overall, I believe this will appeal to a wide range of people.
  • One more CD of Gregorian Chants that might be suggested is Lost in Meditation by Capella Gregoriana, which is available on iTunes.
  • There are two additional Chant recordings that appear interesting (but which I have not yet listened to): Chant- Music for the Soul by the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz and Benedicta: Marian Chant by the Norcian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz.
  • Every night, our kid falls asleep to the sound of this chorus.
  • He now sleeps like a baby, without the use of any medicines and without having to go up and down all night.

On August 6, 2021, a review will be conducted in the United States.

It was fantastic for meditation as well as napping while listening it.

It was necessary for me to obtain an old-school compact disc and rip it using my computer.

cooking is one of my favorite things to do!

Purchase that has been verified I first heard about this book when it was originally published in 1994, and I immediately purchased a copy, which I truly enjoyed.

My mother had asked me to find her a “stocking stuffer” for Christmas, and I happened to come across the exact original CD on Amazon while hunting for something else for her.

It receives overwhelmingly positive feedback.

lolYou have to hear this music to understand how relaxing it is to have it playing in the background or, more specifically, in your car as you are travelling to and from work.

Furthermore, it is an excellent value because, in addition to having 19 tracks instead of the piddly 10 tracks that you get on most popular CDs, it also includes Amazon’s AutoRip, which automatically saves individual MP3s of each track to your Amazon Cloud library (for free – you rule, Amazon!

  • Check that out, according to JoeBob!
  • Purchase was verified in 2004.
  • Some of my songs did not remain in my music library’s Amazon Music folder after it was deleted.
  • The voice and the music are both really great.
  • On January 24, 2016, a review was conducted in the United States.
  • However, my husband enjoys listening to them, so I purchased this as a gift for him.
  • I’ve purchased a number other chant CDs in the past, but they weren’t really worth the money I spent on them.
  • The songs/music are listed in the back, and there are more than I anticipated.
  • The quality of the recording is so high that if I had to purchase another chant CD, I would choose this one first.
  • I really like this music because it is very soothing and relaxing, and it makes it easy to concentrate on something that requires concentration, such as writing or reading, without being distracted.
  • On November 11, 2021, a review will be conducted in the United States.

Purchase that has been verified When I’m driving, I put on this CD and it helps me to relax. It changed tracks numerous times during the time I was listening to it, and I was completely unaware of what was happening. It sounded like a single, continuous tune. However, it is quite calming.

Top reviews from other countries

5.0 stars out of 5 for this product Music that is quite relaxing. The product was reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2021 and was verified to be genuine. It turned out just as I predicted. OUTSTANDING MUSIC! 5.0 stars out of 5 for this product It was my decision. verified purchase reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2014 This is a fantastic thing. Perfect for when you want to relax or when your stress levels are rising. In my opinion, it is well worth the money. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but I was most certainly not disappointed.

  1. Great CD that is simple to listen to and is perfect for unwinding after a long day at work.
  2. This is my second chant cd and I adore them.
  3. On January 26, 2016, a reviewer in the United Kingdom expressed satisfaction with their purchase.
  4. 5.0 stars out of 5 for this product Something should be treasured and kept for a long time On May 25, 2020, a reviewer in the United Kingdom expressed satisfaction with their purchase.

Austrian monks’ CD of Gregorian chant is topping pop charts worldwide

NEW YORK– The city of New York is a hive of activity. They are of Austrian descent. They’re devout Catholics. They are singing. Readers might be reminded of “The Sound of Music” and the von Trapp family when they hear that description, but the singers in question are Cistercian monks from Stift Heiligenkreuz Abbey, a 12th-century abbey near Vienna. Their CD of Gregorian chants has become a spectacular crossover success, reaching the top of pop charts all around the globe. The monastery was founded in 1133, and its community has existed continuously since that time without interruption.

  1. 7 in the country’s pop charts.
  2. When the CD was released on the Decca label in the United States on July 1, it quickly became the most popular classical recording in the country.
  3. Father Karl Wallner, 45, the monastery’s communications director and webmaster, spoke with Catholic News Service while on a visit to New York.
  4. The priest is also the director of the Pope Benedict Pontifical Institute, which is housed within the monastery’s theological college.
  5. We use ancient melodies from the earliest millennia to sing it back to God via our chants,” he explained.
  6. “Gregorian chant has always been a complex type of Christian mysticism,” says the author.
  7. As he went on to say, “our biggest success has been piqueing people’s curiosity in our music.” A very unique sort of prayer is being offered up today.

Gregorian chant is a method of communicating with God that we may use to our advantage.

“God’s presence is like a tune in my life.

“I’m not always paying attention.” According to Father Wallner, Gregorian chant is particularly popular among young people.

“We had no idea this CD would become as famous as it has,” Father Wallner stated.

“We are not the newest member of Vienna’s boy band.” Some of the monks were initially hesitant to collaborate on the creation of a holy music CD, but after receiving assurances from Universal Music that the CD would promote Christian spirituality, the hesitant monks agreed to participate.

This practice heals and brings one closer to one’s brethren as well as to God,” the priest explained.

If they were concerned about such things, I would have left the monastery long ago.

Furthermore, the chants may not be utilized as part of a computer game or incorporated into popular music without permission.

“Money is vital to the monastery, but it is not significant to the monks,” Father Wallner remarked.

It is also sacramentalized music, which means that it is devoted to God and used to show his love for us. “It’s critical for Christians and non-Christians alike to become acquainted with this magnificent musical style,” he stated.

Gregorian Chants Meet Thelonious Monk

I convinced myself that somewhere, among the stacks of long-forgotten LPs, I had a tape of Gregorian chants. But where exactly? After considerable searching, I ultimately located the record, and, to my surprise, my antique turntable was still functional, allowing me to hear the ethereal tranquility of this hypnotically appealing musical style for the first time in more than 40 years. What inspired me to return to the Gregorian chants in the first place? As for the book, naturally: The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise Penny, the most recent installment in her enormously successful series starring Armand Gamache, head inspector of the Sûreté de Québec.

  1. Generally speaking, I want my crime fiction to be completely hard-boiled, with no suggestion of softness to it.
  2. Unlike typical cozies, Penny’s stories are set in Three Pines, a Brigadoon-like community outside of Montreal, where there is an obviously cozy atmosphere, and there is frequently lots of muffin-making going on.
  3. The “wonderful mystery” of Gregorian chants lies at the heart of the novel’s storyline, which is set in the present day (a far cry from Thelonious Monk, who occupies pride of place on my iPod).
  4. It opens with the murder of the choir director of a monastery, whose skull is smashed in with a rock, and continues from there.
  5. It goes without saying that the closed room here is the monastery itself; outsiders are not permitted to inside the walls, where 24 cloistered monks pray, manufacture chocolate, and sing—though a handmade recording of their chants was published many years ago and caused quite a stir.

The pair are tasked with finding the perpetrator in the midst of a group of largely silent monks who, it soon becomes apparent, are engaged in a civil war over their music, a conflict that has so far been “fought with glances and small gestures”—at least until rocks are introduced into the mix.

“Even the deepest feelings may look dispassionate, the face a smooth plain while something colossal roiled away beneath,” Gamache thought, indicating not just his irritation with the case but, unknowingly, the impending crisis in his relationship with Beauvoir as a result of the case.

In all of Penny’s stories, there is always something huge boiling beneath the surface. This time the roiling is placed against the peace of the chanting, providing a contrapuntal tune of unusual intricacy and beauty—just what a lover of Thelonious Monk could ask for!

The Singing Monks of Norcia

THE COURTESY OF JUDY VALENTE: The city of Norcia, in the province of Tuscany, Italy. Under the mountains of Umbria, a tranquil village with stone alleys and tiled roofs, as well as stunning landscape, awaits you. Norcia, or Nursia, as it is often referred to, is a town in northern Italy known for its pig sausages and truffles, as well as for being the birthplace of St. Benedict, the founder of Western monastic tradition. Norcia will soon be recognized for something else as well: these monks who are known for their singing.

  1. So when you sum it all up, it’s about five hours, maybe five hours a day, every day, rain or shine, 365 days a year, every day of the year.
  2. Their album contains the Gregorian chant that they sing every day at their community prayer, and it has captured the attention of listeners far beyond the monastery’s walls and into the world at large.
  3. The demand for something more is strong, and because people do not obtain that something more in everyday life, they search for it in special occasions.
  4. VALENTE: Father Cassian Folsom is the prior, or head, of the monastery at Norcia, which is located in the town of Norcia.
  5. Father Cassian said that it was a method of demonstrating our devotion to God.
  6. VALENTE: Monastic music is seeing a revival in the United States right now.
  7. 1 on Billboard’s list in the last two years alone.

(In a conversation with Father Cassian) Would it be the same if different vocalists sang this song, such as an opera singer or a really talented pop singer, instead of the current group?

Well, most likely not, since you have to believe in what you’re singing in order for it to be effective.

The fact that it’s not simply for special occasions means that it has a naturalness, a sense of effortlessness, that comes from years of training and experience.

Benedict, which is a guide for monastic existence.

De Monfort’s chant means something to them, and you can tell by the earnestness with which they sing.

It has a timeless quality about it, as well.

In the case of Father Cassian, his voyage to Norcia and the study of monastery music was anything from straightforward.

In 1979, he became a member of the Benedictine order at St.

Norcia had been devoid of monks since 1810, when they were expelled under Napoleonic regulations as part of a wave of anti-clericalism that swept the country.

CASSIAN, FATHER: There are only approximately 5,000 individuals living in the township of Norcia, and they only collected around 5,000 signatures, despite the fact that this is not precisely how things operate in terms of superiors making judgments and so on.

VALENTE: Father Cassian has been enlisted to help re-establish the monastery named after St.

CHRISTOPHER CASSIAN: The locals turn to the monks when they are experiencing difficulties or when they want to speak with someone about their personal or family lives.

To the extent that there are monks present, it appears as though everything will be well in the long run.

As a result, when they are not praying or singing, they are at work.

FATHER CASSIAN: The Trappist monks in Belgium taught us how to do this.

When it comes to bottling days, all of the monks participate by signing up for a one-hour period to feed the bottling machine.

THE PRIEST CASSIAN: The beer is excellent, and it has worked, in a wonderful manner, as a type of drawing card for evangelism because, even if people do not attend church regularly, beer is enjoyed by the vast majority of the populace.

The Reverend Father Cassian has been thinking about some critical issues of his own lately, Valente says.

FATHER CASSIAN: Being diagnosed with cancer, as everyone who has been through it knows, transforms your life.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, I deserve a bit more than two cancer diagnoses, especially a serious illness?” FATHER CASSIAN: It’s just a part of life, that’s all I can say about it.

We are alarmed since a criminal has entered our home and stolen what we consider to be our most prized possession.

Consequently, it is the type of decision we must face today.

VALENTE:And it’s a messenger for you, as well?

According to Valente, his diagnosis has also brought him closer to the people of Norcia.

So, aside from helping me come to terms with mortality, it has helped me become more empathetic toward individuals who are going through similar experiences.

Father Cassian’s cancer is presently in remission for the second time, according to Father Valente.

Music has become an even larger source of comfort for him, and he wants to share that comfort with as many people as possible.

FATHER CASSIAN (in Italian): An experience of tranquillity and peace, as well as the de-escalation of irritability.

After seeing the newborn Jesus, he addressed the Lord, saying, “Now, Lord, dismiss your servant.” “Please allow him to depart in peace.” Judy Valente is a reporter for ReligionEthics NewsWeekly.

Sacred Songs Sell, Drawing Attention to Their Source (Published 2008)

HEILIGENKREUZ, Austria — As noon draws near, the monks glide into the church, their white cowls billowing behind them. They line up in silence, facing each other in long choir stalls. Wood carvings of saints peer down on them from the austere Romanesque nave. Bells peal and the chant begins — low at first, then swelling as all the monks join in. Their soft voices wash over the ancient stones, replacing the empty clatter of the day with something like the sound of eternity. Except, that is, for the clicks of a camera held by a photographer lurking behind a stone pillar.

When the album, “Chant: Music for Paradise,” was released in Europe in May — and shot to No.

(The CD will be released in the United States on Tuesday.) Now this monastery, where the daily rituals of prayer and work have guided life for 875 years, finds itself in a media whirligig at once exhilarating and unsettling for its 77 brothers.

“We’re not pop stars, and we don’t want to be pop stars.” Too late: the album has made the monks of Heiligenkreuz a crossover hit, the latest example of how Gregorian chant, a once-neglected 1,000-year-old part of the Roman Catholic liturgy, can be repackaged for a secular society that savors its soothing, otherworldly cadences.

When not in prayer, he spends his days fielding calls from reporters as far away as New Zealand.

“I’m like a shield around my community,” said Father Wallner, who has been a monk for 26 years.

For most, those risks are outweighed by what they believe is the music’s great potential: to stir feelings of faith in a society that has drifted far from religion.

In 1994, the Benedictines of Santo Domingo de Silos in Spain prompted the last big revival of Gregorian chant with an album that became a phenomenon.

Eager to get in on the trend, Universal’s classical music label took out an advertisement in Catholic publications, inviting chant groups to submit their work.


But the advertisement was spotted by the grandson of a monk from here.

“An Austrian monk would never know what Universal Music is,” Father Wallner said.

Father Wallner sent Mr.

While monks in many monasteries chant, Heiligenkreuz is particularly proud of its singing, which has been honed over years by one of the monks, who used to direct choirs in Germany.

Lewis was entranced, recalling that the video eclipsed the more than 100 other submissions.

Universal negotiated a contract with the monks, who proved to be anything but naïve in the ways of business.

and ran the Spanish outpost of a German shipping company before he entered the monastery in 1977.

The monks will never tour or perform on stage.

The monastery’s share, Father Henckel Donnersmark figures optimistically, could be between $1.5 million and $3.1 million, which it will use to help finance the theological studies of young men from developing countries.

“Money is not a source of fulfillment,” the abbot said, though he pointed out that it would defray the monastery’s expenses, which are high, partly because of its success in attracting novices.

The abbot’s nephew, Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, wrote the screenplay for “The Lives of Others,” an Academy Award-winning film about East Germany, while holed up in a monk’s cell at Heiligenkreuz.

“A place like that can recalibrate your moral compass,” Mr.

“These people do nothing but think about how to love and serve God.” For now, the monks seem sanguine that they can balance this solitary vocation with the glare of celebrity.

“If the problem becomes too big,” the abbot said, “I’ll take a plane down to Santo Domingo de Silos and ask the abbot there for advice.”

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