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2019 Gregorian Chant Workshop

The first weekend of May brought glorious sounds of Gregorian Chant to the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri. Under the direction of Canon Wulfran Lebocq, Rector of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Limerick, Ireland and assisted by Abbé Raymond Schmidt, Oblate at the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago, 50 registered participants spent 3 days in rehearsal learning about the many aspects of Gregorian Chant. The weekend included singing for 3 High Masses, and enjoying the company of fellow singers from many of the Institute of Christ the King apostolates and beyond.

Beginning on Friday morning, 23 advanced singers and choir directors, participated in rigorous study of chironomy: the exercise of how Gregorian chant is directed. The choristers practiced the propers and ordinaries for the Masses to be sung: Mass I, Mass IV, Mass IX, the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Masses of Eastertide and the Mass of the Sacred Heart. Later that afternoon, 27 additional participants joined the workshop rehearsing for the First Friday Mass of the Sacred Heart, sang for that evening Solemn High Mass and everyone enjoyed dinner together. The evening concluded with praying the office of Compline.

Saturday was a full day of practices, High Mass, delicious meals together, Adoration, Benediction, and the office of Compline. Many of the participants who came from as far as New Jersey, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Dakota, Nebraska and California, truly appreciated the weekend with the in depth study of Gregorian Chant and gleaned much from the weekend to use for their further application and practice of singing and directing Gregorian Chant in their respective apostolates.

The weekend concluded on Sunday morning with a rehearsal prior to the Solemn High Mass celebrated by Canon Luke Zignego, Canon Pierre Dumain as deacon, and Abbé Alex Barga as sub deacon. During the coffee hour after Mass, Canon Michael Wiener, Rector at St. Francis de Sales, presented gifts to Canon Lebocq and Abbé Raymond in thanksgiving for their efforts during the entire weekend. What a great joy to hear the beautiful, ancient, and rich sounds of Gregorian Chant and have an opportunity for the concentrated study and practice of this everlasting, classical and sacred music.

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