Jade Music is proud to release the first record by the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey - Christmas at St. Michael's Abbey: Chants for the Three Masses of Christmas.
This recording includes the proper chants of the three Masses of Christmas (Midnight; the Mass at dawn, and the Mass of the day) as sung at St. Michael's Abbey. They are still in use after all these centuries, and retain their sacramental quality, their supple vigor, and the ability to dispose the soul for the contemplation of God and His Mysteries.
The repertoires of chant are almost like "dialects" of the Gregorian repertoire - there is substantial overlap of texts and settings found in the Roman Missal (for the Mass) and Antiphonarium (for the Liturgy of the Hours), but there are items that differ in part or completely.
St. Michael's Abbey is a community of Norbertine Canons Regular in Orange County, California. Its first members were Hungarian priests who escaped to the United States to leave communism and settled in California in 1957. The Community was raised to the status of an abbey in 1984, because of its growth. St. Michael's Abbey now numbers nearly 70 members.
Members of the abbey live a life that combines monastic observance and a complete singing of the choral office and Mass every day with an active apostolate.
Singing at St. Michael's Abbey is nothing new. Learning sacred chant starts in the seminary and becomes part of the Norbertines daily life. Father Jerome Molokie of St. Michael's explains, "for the first two years after they enter, there is a daily chant class five days a week for about 45 minutes."
After all these centuries, the chants are still in use and retain their sacramental quality, their supple vigor, and the ability to dispose the soul for the contemplation of God and His Mysteries.