Friday, October 16, 2015

Church of Babel

These nuns live not very far from here and have a business manufacturing and selling herbal remedies that are very popular. "Produtti monastici" is a Thing in Italy, and the Orte nuns sell their products all over the country, including in the shop at our monastery.

I am thinking of going there to make a little weekend retreat soon, and was pleased to find this video to know what sort of liturgy to expect.

But it's a rather depressing video, in many ways. First, there seem to be almost no Italians in the group, that appears to be made up almost entirely of Asian straniere. There is nothing wrong with the solemnity with which they recite the Creed, but... but...

I don't know the liturgy in Italian. Frankly, because no parish in Canada ever uses the Nicene Creed at Mass, I don't really know it in English either. I only know it in Latin. And this is kind of the whole point.

The abandonment of the universal language of the Church has splintered the entire Church into national enclaves. No one belongs any more to the universal Church. We belong to the British Church or the German Church or the Italian Church, and very little crossover is possible.

Now that we have the German bishops and others clamouring for the local national conferences to decide matters of doctrine according to local fashion, the final manifestation of this appears to be ready to launch, and the notion of a Universal Church united by belief will finally be dead. Divide, confuse, scatter, then pick us off one by one.



James C said...

Argh! Yes. It seems like France is the only European country with a decent number of male and female religious communities that do the traditional office in Latin. Have you looked into doing a retreat at a convent there?

James C said...

The nuns of the Abbey of Our Lady of the AAnnunciation in Provence would be a good choice. They're the sister abbey of the monks of Le Barroux (aka bring along your Diurnal).

Dies irae:

Commovisti (tract):

James C said...

At least some of them speak excellent English as you can see here:

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

France is far away from my house.

James C said...

Benedict has his abbey in his hometown---now Scholastica needs hers!

Yes, it's a bit far from you are, though doable if you don't mind too much getting yourself down to Dumpster Airport (aka Fiumicino). From there it's a 1.5-hour flight to Marseille airport (thankfully located well north of that city), tickets can be had for a ridiculous €25 return. Then there's a convenient train (€17) from the airport to lovely walled Avignon and then a bus that passes by both abbeys outside the village of Le Barroux.

My sense is that the place is a sort of Proven├žal Norcia.

But in any case, if you do decide to go on a convent retreat someplace, please leave out the donation bowl for us.

Chloe said...

Do the Sister Adorers of Christ the King (part of the ICKSP) in Gricigliano not do retreats? I visited their convent a few years ago when it first started. It was in terrible repair then but I believe it's pretty much fixed up now. They were an inspiration. They're contemplative but not enclosed.

A Daughter of Mary said...

The thing that jumped out at me was the plunky plunk of the keyboard! Talk about distracting. Sounds like 'adoration' at a Novus Ordo parish - noise, noise, more noise.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I hate to tell you (ummm... is it Barbara? Please take a look at the commbox rules on the sidebar. I don't allow pseudonyms) but what she was playing was actually a traditional acompanying instrument for the Divine Office. It just fell out of use in the 18th century and didn't reappear in western music until the hippies rediscovered it. Now we associate that instrument (called all manner of different things, depending on where you're from) mostly with dumb hippies, but in the middle ages, a "psaltery" was so called because it was used to accompany the psalter.

But yes. It's annoying. Nearly all Italian monasteries have abandoned Gregorian because, Renewal!! But they haven't been able to make up anything that did the job as well. The results are nearly uniformly wretched, dated, unsingable dreck.

James C said...

So true. Even when they come up with something halfway decent (see here the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusulem at their priory in Mont St-Michel: ) it still can't hope to match the sublimity of chant hallowed by the centuries---so why bother? For novelty? Liturgy isn't supposed to be "creative".

James C said...

Don't think that last link works:

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


I'm. Not. Going. To. France.

Stop being a pest.

christine said...

The way that sang that 'Amen..' so beautiful! I could only imagine how beautiful it would be if they sang the entire Credo in Latin. It is my favorite 'song'. I don't know the right for it- but you get my drift. I love hearing it, I love singing it at Mass.
I went to Mass in the Duomo in Florence yesterday for All Saints Day. They had a great choir and sang the Credo in Latin. i was one of the only singing along! They had the kyrie (in twos), Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei- in Latin. Ended with Alma Redemptoris...?
Later I went to vespers. They ended with Salve Regina- again I was one of the only.