Monastic Musicians is a group of monastic and religious men and women from Roman Catholic and Anglican communities in the British Isles, assisted by a small group of professional advisers.
In the period following the Second Vatican Council the Panel was set up as a forum for the interchange of ideas and sharing of new music developed in religious communities.
It was a time of learning, of new texts, especially new hymn texts, and of new melodies for the office and for the Eucharist.
It was a time of experimentation, of trial and error, and communities soon came to discover the musical expression most suited to their own worship. For most this proved to be some form of modal music, whether the original Gregorian Chant, newly-composed modal melodies, or a mixture of both.
Since the major liturgical changes of the 1960s and early 1970s the Panel has sought to support and help musicians in communities to find, compose, adapt, and learn new repertory for the re-formed, vernacular liturgy. One of the early fruits was the hymn-book for the daily Office, A Song in Season (London, Collins, 1976).
After twenty years of exploring the new, the Panel became aware of the need to consolidate the best of what had been achieved; to circulate more widely what had proved durable in individual communities; and to re-establish liturgical and musical continuity from before the liturgical reforms, not in a spirit of nostalgia, but of renewal within the context of a living English liturgy. This resulted in Hymns for Prayer & Praise, now available in a second, revised edition.
A hymnal for use in the celebration of daily prayer in churches and communities throughout the Christian year
The Panel's most successful publication is Hymns for Prayer and Praise (Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1996, 2011, 2012).
For each hymn two tunes are provided, one chant, and one "organ".
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