Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Chanted monastic offices, live for desktop or iPhone

Here's something pretty interesting, from the Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux:
Listen to our offices live

“There is only one problem in the whole world: restoring spiritual sense in people. Showering on them something like a Gregorian chant.”

- Saint-Exupéry

The monks of Le Barroux invite you to follow live the liturgical offices, entirely sung in Gregorian in the extraordinary form of the Roman Catholic rite. This initiative is supported by Mgr Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, the archbishop of Avignon.

Four times a day, on your iPhone with the Barroux application, or on your computer, you will be able to connect to the great liturgical prayer of the Church.

The offices broadcast live are :
Prime: 7:45 or 8:00 (see the time-table)
Sext: 12:15 every day.
Vespers: 17:30 every day.
Compline: 19:45 every day.
They offer some help with office materials, too:
Books to follow the offices — Two choices are available :

Latin/French booklets
 containing the main part of the offices: psalms, antiphons and hymns of various liturgical periods : see the selection.

Monastic ‘Diurnal’ containing all of the day’s Benedictine office, in Latin/French (from Lauds with Compline), according to the monastic breviary of 1963, with all the festivals of Temporal and the Sanctoral : see the diurnal.

I had some problems getting the files to play on my PC from that site, and I don't have an iPhone - but there is another site, barrouxchant.com, that seems to post all four daily files for listening at any time during the day.  (Obviously, time zone differences have to be taken into account).

Here's the blurb from the barrouxchant.com site:
The monks of the Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux stream their chanted Office each day as explained on their website. For those of us who do not live in European time zones, this project attempts to automatically record their hours and make them available for download.
You can also subscribe to the hours as a podcast or on iTunes.

These are automatically generated, so there may be some errors. If you find any (or if you have any other comments), please let me know!

I did have some problems playing a couple of the files from that page; perhaps they'll work out the kinks eventually.  (The podcast seems to work well, though; I just listened to Vespers in its entirety, without a problem.  The feed is run through Feedburner and points to files on archive.org.)  There are links at barrouxchant.com to the office texts at DivinumOfficium.com; the texts are side-by-side in Latin and English, so it's very easy to follow along. (You can always go to DivinumOfficium.com directly and find these texts, anyway!  Use the arrows at the top of the page to get the right date, and choose the office itself in the links at bottom; the BarrouxChant seems to point generally to "Pre-Tritdent Monastic.")

So, interesting things are happening!   As far as I can tell, this is a new monastery; the history given at the site begins in 1970, and starts this way:
August 24th, 1970: A Benedictine monk arrives on a moped, with a few belongings, at the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen in the Vaucluse region of south-east France. What is he doing here ? At a time of turbulent change, he intends simply to continue his monastic life with his Abbot’s permission and to live according to the tradition of prayer, silence, manual work, the divine office in latin and the traditional liturgy. What will the future hold ? “That’s God’s business !”, replies Dom Gérard.

Here's a picture of the place; image by "Jean-Marc Rosier from http://www.rosier.pro."

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