Sunday, May 18, 2008

Random Thoughts about Religion and a Chants Encounter

Here are some Sunday religious thoughts........ A young girl I have met here in Kansas, has a sister in her early 20's who is in the process of becoming a nun. I am fascinated by this - I think about how I have never met any young person considering entering religious orders. I have never heard my children (or any of their friends) even consider such a career choice and I have met more people joining the military in the United States than I have met entering religious life.

On a very unrelated religious "note" - while we were touring around Kansas this week, my friend Wendy launched into singing the complete album that was made by The Singing Nun - one of her favourite albums when she was a young girl. Not only did she know all the words (French and English) of Dominique (Domin i-que ni-que nique....) but she managed to remember all the words to the other songs on that great chart-buster of 1963.

I thought I would try and find out more information about the song and the singer - so here it is..... Soeur Sourire, the Singing Nun from Belgium and her song about Saint Dominic and his fight against the Aligensians became a worldwide hit in 1963 and to this day is still the only Belgian number one hit single in the American Billboard charts. I'm taking this part from Wikipedia - and Wendy might find it heartbreaking - so don't let her read this...... "the artist who performed it, Jeanine Deckers, never reached the same success and continued to lead a colourful, but tragic life. She and her lesbian girlfriend committed suicide in 1985."

This clip is for you Wendy........(note - this may or may not be the real Soeur Sourire)


This article from the London Times reports on what has been happening at the Stift Heiligenkreuz monastery since the Cistercian monks were signed by Universal to record a CD of Gregorian plainsong. Their new CD, called Chant, appears this week.

Father Karl, the “band” spokesman discusses this extraordinary new chapter in the life of the 875-year-old monastery. “We do not want to become a boy group” .... They tell us, ‘You are monks and now everybody will love you. But don’t get proud.’ ”

In February, Universal advertised in the Catholic press for a group to record plainchant. Father Karl replied with a YouTube clip of the order singing for the papal visit last year. Now the group will be propelled into celebrity and fame - but there is no tour in their future - the monks have refused to tour. To do so would be a sin, they say, because Benedictine Gregorian chant is a form of prayer, sung before the altar. “We sing to God,” says Father Karl, “not to people.”

Happy Sunday everyone..............


Anonymous said...

Krista, you are such a good friend. Who else would search out such a charming rendition of this enduring classic? As for the sad fate of the original singer, that is indeed a sobering note for a Sunday morning. I, myself, enjoyed Debbie Reynolds singing with Ricardo Montalban in the movie. What would we do without you to dig up all these arcane facts.

Anonymous said...

Krista, This was also one of my favorite songs as well and what a treat to see you have it for us to hear! Thank you and travel well back home. Linda