New Advent Chants Introduced December 2
New Melleray Abbey introduced a new Monastic Gradual in August of this year and will sing the Advent chants for the first time on Sunday. The “Gradual” is the book of antiphons the monks sing from for the Entrance, Responsorial, Alleluia, and Communion at each mass. Our New Monastic Gradual features traditional chant settings for every Solemnity, Feast, Memorial and weekday throughout the Liturgical Year. Every Saturday, the Choir Director introduces and practices three or four new antiphons which occur in the week ahead. The chant settings were composed by Mr. Bill Bertolas, Mr. Adam Bartlett, and Fr. Columba Kelly, O.S.B., all acknowledged experts and artists in the chant tradition. The community has found it particularly enriching to have Communion antiphons proper to the gospel of the day; to hear the gospel proclaimed, listen to the priest presider preach on the gospel, and then, following communion to be moved to prayer by a simple and very beautiful chant setting of the same gospel. We are grateful to God to be able to celebrate Advent in the contemplative ambiance of the monastic cloister where we are nourished by the daily readings, hymns, and mass antiphons all through Advent culminating in the celebration of the Lord’s birth at the Christmas Midnight Vigil and Mass.