The foundation of all of our music is Gregorian Chant: The ancient body of unaccompanied melodies with roots in the 4th century Near East that flowered in 7th century Rome, written down about the 9th century. There is specific Gregorian music expressing the function of each part of the Mass, intimately linking music with sacred action.
Out of Gregorian Chant grew over time the music that forms the second part of our repertory, the polyphonic sacred music of the early 15th century through the early 17th century.
The unison music of the chant represents the unity created by all the individuals whose efforts join in their performance of the sacred liturgy -- Dante speaks of unison singing as the concord of hearts. The Renaissance polyphony, on the other hand, represents the unity of diverse individuals, reflecting a harmony with the world and with God that brings the soul to a state of repose. Polyphonic music's beauty gives a meditative and attentive quality to the liturgy to help each worshiper glimpse the eternal.
Illuminated chant pages for the Feast of St.Ann, July 26th.
Illuminated chant pages for Christmas.