Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hymns for Feasts and Seasons: Conference at Minster Abbey

Canterbury Gregorian Music Society has organised "Hymns in Summer and Winter", an afternoon of chant at the historic Minster Abbey in Kent, England. The Abbey is situated a few miles from Ebbsfleet, where St. Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, landed in 597 to begin his mission to the Anglo-Saxon people. A religious house was founded at Minster in 610 by St. Domneva, a princess from the royal house of Kent. Her daughter Mildred became the second Abbess and one of the best loved Anglo-Saxon Saints. The present foundation dates to 1936, when Minster Abbey was resettled as a monastic house by the Benedictine nuns of St Walburga's Abbey, Eichstatt, Bavaria.

The event will take place on Saturday 23rd July, between 1:30 and 6:30 pm. The focus will be on Gregorian Chant hymns; hymns for feasts and seasons and melodic variation in summer and winter, the Easter season and for different grades of feast. The afternoon will include a talk on the broader background by Mother Nikola, the current Prioress. Following afternoon tea attendees will split into two groups to rehearse for vespers with the Community at 6 p.m. One group will look at some of the more ambitious hymns and the other will prepare some simpler psalms and responsories.