I do love listening to the chanting monks! yes, in Latin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MONASTIC CHANT of the Psalms appeal to many today who find the gentle, rhythmic singing a soothing introduction to meditation. Recordings of chant sell in great quantities, and monasteries are receiving a record number of guests looking for a different pace of life. The Psalms draw people in because they represent prayer uttered from the whole range of human experience.
Even those of us who do not participate in community singing of the Psalter can relate to the down-to-earth cries of God’s people in these ancient songs. Through the Psalms God’s people have wept together, celebrated victory, danced, made music, lamented, and found hope in Yahweh. Jewish and Christian people alike have cherished the Psalter as a means of praying with integrity.
The Psalms of the Hebrew scriptures quickly acquired a fixed place in the church, which chanted the entire Psalter weekly. Over the centuries our liturgies have reduced the number of psalms in worship, but the practice of reciting the whole Psalter on a regular basis has been preserved within monastic communities. …
We seldom take time for stillness in our culture. Monastic life is countercultural in that it punctuates each day with periods of silence. Monastics are no less busy than the rest of us; the telephone rings, guests arrive at the door, the grass needs to be mowed, food must be prepared — but when they (and we) attend to tasks from a place of stillness, it enhances the quality of Presence. … As I sat each day with the monks and learned to pause at the end of each line of a psalm — alien to my usual way of reading — I began to let the Psalms pray me. Today, with no community to assist my praying, I find that if I continue to practice the frequent pauses, I am more able to “hear” what God is saying through these ancient prayers.
– Elizabeth J. Canham