Chant in moments of our daily life
Earlier this week, I picked up my copy of Mary Berry’s book entitled “Cantors” and opened to the chapter noted as “Hours of the Day and Moments of Life.” While looking at the contents, I was struck again by her inclusion of “A Grace for Meals.” This endearing little chant is taken from the ancient monastic “Benedicite” and is a simple prayer of thanks for God’s many gifts.
I watched Dr. Berry, several times a day, day after day, chant this prayer before mealtime. Here was a world-renowned Gregorian chant scholar living out the daily use of sung prayer. And, as she began the intonation of “Benedicite” at each meal (or even before afternoon tea!), her two beautiful dogs would come leaping into the room for their snack! Of course,we would laugh and were delighted to see the animals do this as they politely waited until Dr. Berry had completed the blessing. They seemed to know that, they too, owed thanks to God for the treat they were about to receive.
What a great example of how chant is able to move us up and out of our daily routine, offering moments of reflection, gratitude, and joy.