Canto Gregoriano – misa de Navidad

This was better than I expected. I sometimes forget there are other monastic choirs in the world than my favourites. It is well recorded, in what sounds like a great venue. The choir is from the in Germany situated Benedictine abbey of Beuron.

The abbey was founded as late as 1862 by two brothers. They started in a former Augustinian monastery that was vacant since 1803. That change must have been a major one: the monastic rules of Benedict and those of Augustine might seem the same, but are totally different.

Both rules are about how to live together as a religious, closed community. They are written about a hundred years apart, around the fifth century CE. The Benedictine rule gives a little more emphasis on humility, and has more details on what and how to pray.

Both resulted in huge networks of monasteries and abbeys, spread all over Europe. In the Middle Ages, these were influential and powerful institutes, but also centres of learning. Knowledge of the classics, the past, and some sciences was kept behind those closed doors.

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