The Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of St. Cécile de Solesmes sing the Agnus Dei

http://nl.gloria.tv/?media=22402
Their consœurs of the Abbey of St. Marie des Deux-Montagnes (Province of Quebec) sing the Magnificat antiphon Magnum and Magnificat at Vespers:

http://nl.gloria.tv/?media=23126
This is the Solemn Tone (done, in the Extraordinary Form on Double Class 1st Order fests; in the Ordinary Form, done on Solemnities).
The antiphon begins in Mode I and passes through mode II at the Medium but ends firmly in Mode I on a typical Mode.

Lady Abbess of the Abbey of Notre Dame d’Argentan, Normandy, at her throne in choir

The Abbess and her predecessor,
the emerita Abbess of Notre Dame d’Argentan, Normandy
The Nuns’ choir at Argentan, looking towards the Abbess’ throne

The Abbess’ throne in the Chapterhouse
Since some readers (mostly Americans) are unfamiliar with the Catholic Church’s Latin monastic tradition, I included some photographs above. Several things should be said. First, there are worlds of differences between Nuns (Moniales) and Sisters (Sorores). The former continue the Christian Desert tradition, within the papal enclosure. Sisters, properly speaking, engage in various forms of the Church’s apostolate, e.g., teaching, nursing, etc.

The grills and other signs prescribed by law for the papal enclosure of Nuns and, in some cases, monks aim at re-establishing the Christian Desert. Since it is impractical for contemporary man to traipse off to the Egyptian desert when one is called to monastic life, the Catholic Church provides conditions which allow the desert experience to be lived more readily.

I include photographs of Argentan Abbey because the Nuns of Solesmes do not appear on the Internet. It is difficult to explain to the unchurched that the “professional death” of monks and nuns does not endear us to showing up in photo ops, photographs, being the object of or engaging in “fishing expeditions.” One’s past and future are entrusted to those whom the Church endows with the grace of state, to prevent us from falling into states of disgrace, i.e. the spiritual father or mother Even in the realm of psychology, healing is more easily achieved when patients learn to face reality, rather than escaping into pasts. For His part, God never gives graces for the past, but for the present moment.
Finally, those who discount, under value or disesteem the enclosed life of monks and nuns, usually ignore the nature of the Church. Just as Our Lord was no less Saviour during His thirty years of Hidden Life at Nazareth, the hidden life of enclosed monastics is the heart and “motor” of the Church: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain.” Man must learn to build with and on the sure rock of God’s grace in synergy with man’s efforts. Otherwise God, who is infinitely polite, waits until our edifice collapses and we learn to build anew on solid foundations. It is His way with institutions as well as with the interior life of souls.

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