Music & videos
hymn to the theotokos
This hymn was originally written by St. John Damascene and is used in the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Our musical setting was composed by our Dominican brother fr André Gouzes, and translated into English for us by one of our sisters. Those of you who have visited our chapel will also recognize this icon of Our Lady, who is to the right of our altar.
“All creation rejoices in you, O full of Grace:
all the choirs of angels and the whole human race.
For you are the holy temple of the Lord,
you are the mystic paradise.”
PSALM FOR OUR BROTHER, ST THOMAS AQUINAS, O.p.
A special arrangement of Psalm 37 for the feast day of our dear brother St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P. A mystic, poet, scholar and friend of God, his mouth and his pen truly “uttered wisdom.”
“The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom
and their tongues speak justice.
The law of their God is in their hearts,
their steps do not slip.”
Introduction to our divine office
With the exception of Matins, each of our hours of prayer begins with a verse from Psalm 70: “O God, come to my assistance; Lord, make haste to help me”, followed by a doxology in praise of the Holy Trinity.
Every Saturday evening, with the setting of the sun, we celebrate the first Vespers of Sunday. As the light around us fades, we sing the “lucernarium” to celebrate the light of Christ’s Resurrection, which “shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome.” This Advent Lucernarium was originally written by fr. André Gouzes, O.P., and arranged in English by one of our sisters.
feast of the presentation of our lord in the temple
On the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord on February 2, Mass begins with a blessing of our year’s supply of candles in the chapel’s foyer. After the blessing, prayers and a Scripture reading, we process into choir with lighted candles, praising Christ with words of the prophet Simeon in Luke’s Gospel: “A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Accompanying our liturgy: The Kora
A traditional West African harp, the kora was first incorporated into monastic liturgy by the Benedictine monks of Abbaye de Keur Moussa and reached our monastery via France. Usually, it accompanies our New Testament canticles at Vespers and some of our hymns. Here is an instrumental piece composed by Carole Oullet and played at Mass with one of our sisters.