No one can picture or imagine monks or monasteries without sacred chant being sung. Gregorian chant is intimately bound up with and associated not only with the Monastic life but also with the Liturgy itself. Vatican II has this to say about Gregorian Chant.
112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy……
Therefore sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites.
116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.
Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II’s document on the Liturgy
It may come as a surprise to many; Gregorian chant once had many different expressions and forms. So each Order had its particular flavour and melodies of the same chants. The Pauline order was no different. Fr. Nikodem Kilnar OSPPE, the Chaplain of the Polish Bishop’s conference to Polish Church musicians, makes the bold claim that the chant of the Pauline order was once better than that of the Benedictines.
Unfortunately, due to the near eradication of the Order in the 19th century and the difficulties of the 20th century, the Order has lost much of its repertoire and practice. However, there is an effort in the Order at the moment, spearheaded by Fr Nikodem Kilnar, to restore and promote the Order’s proud and unique chant traditions.
The Australian Province, with the generous assistance of the Australia Sacred Musicians Association (ASMA), is in the process of promoting, recording and making this Pauline chant project accessible to the English-speaking world.
Below are a few Marian Antiphons with melodies unique to the Order that have already been recorded and uploaded to Youtube.
Ave Regina Caelorum
Ave Spes Nostra
Please help us preserve our Pauline Patrimony by regularly listening to these chants and returning to this page.