Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

By Cantor

Keep Winding the Clock

This may seem a strange title for a chant blog. However, I have been thinking recently about two aspects of the daily and weekly repetition of chanting: the effect that it has on my daily life and what it teaches me about simply “keeping at it.”

Living in a Benedictine community, we are privileged to chant the Divine Office multiple times a day. Catch me on a different day and I might say we have the discipline of chanting the Offices daily. Find me yet another day and I would say, “I can’t believe it’s already time to do the next Office – I can’t possible get there at this moment!”

When St. Benedict states in his rule to “prefer nothing to the work of God”–which in his case, Opus Dei referred to the Divine Office–I believe he knew all too well that at any given moment we might really feel inspired to get to the service and, in the next breath, not! However, regardless of feelings, he also knew how much we need repetition to stay focused on God.

Chant has the most wonderful and gentle way of reminding me that no matter the circumstances of the moment and their accompanying feelings for either good or ill, God is eternally present right now. Listening to the opening antiphon for Lauds, I am reminded that this has been the same sound heard at Lauds around the world, throughout this Easter season and for centuries! There are thousands of people today with all kinds of circumstances who are opening their mouths and chanting these words.

All of a sudden, I am not so focused on myself! Chant has the inherent ability to raise me out of myself and unite with others in this process of staying focused on God.

I can’t think of a better reason to “keep winding the clock!”

chant blog image.may16.2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *