Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Lutheran Gregorian Chant in St. Louis

The Rev. Dr. Ben Mayes (a classmate of mine who is currently called to Concordia Publishing House working on the project to translate additional volumes of Luther's Works into English) writes:

Gregorian Chant Workshop with Vespers on the eve of St. Luke’s Day will be held on Saturday, October 17, starting at 1:00 p.m. at

Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church, U.A.C.,

2241 S. Jefferson Ave.,

St. Louis, Mo.

The event will include choir practices, a practical presentation aimed at parish work, supper, and Vespers. More information to come later...

Although I won't be there, I highly recommend this workshop to anyone interested in traditional church music and/or the prayer offices of the Church.

Dr. Mayes is a co-author (along with the Rev. Michael Frese) of the Brotherhood Prayer Book, which is a Lutheran breviary or prayer book (very similar to those available in Germany) making use of the traditional prayer offices set in Gregorian chant tones - translated into English. Not only are Mayes and Frese outstanding liturgical and historical scholars, both are fluent in German and well equipped musically and in Latin as well.

I attended a couple of the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood retreats when I lived up north, and it was an edifying experience - not only for the learning experience of reading Gregorian music notation (which is actually much easier than it looks), but also for the spiritual formation of participating in traditional prayer and hymnody - much of which dates back more than a thousand years.

Thanks to Ben and Michael (as well as to my colleague the Rev. Paul Beisel who has also led this workshop) for their fine work in bringing this dignified and flexible approach to praying the sacred texts of Holy Scripture into the 21st century world of English-speaking Lutherans.

Well done, gentlemen!


FB, SSP said...

The BPB is the main book I use for prayer. I supplement it with devotionals such as 'Book of Family Prayer (Bp. Laache), 'Every Day Will I Bless Thee (Fr. Eckardt)', and the Treasury of Daily Prayer.
I love Gregorian Chant.

Floyd Bass, SSP

Past Elder said...

I love it too. Just hope you guys do it in ecclesiastical pronunciation. You don't want to have a foreign accent you know.

new said...

was wondering if anyone knows what the companion hymnal is to Laache's Book of Family Prayer 1901. thanks