ABBAYE NOTRE-DAME DE L'ANNONCIATION






















































Contact about the CD
(for journalists) :

 caroline.crick@umusic.com

  

THE BENEDICTINE NUNS OF LE BARROUX

   The community was born of the desire to lead the Benedictine life in the footsteps of Dom Gerard, the founder of the monastery of Sainte-Madeleine at Le Barroux. Many young women came knocking at the door. After provisional accommodation (a farmhouse, caravans…) it was necessary to build a convent (1986-2005). There are now nearly thirty nuns. They follow the sixth century Rule of St. Benedict in a life of prayer and work, withdrawn from the world. The Provencal sun and the beautiful setting (Mont Ventoux, the Dentelles of Montmirail…) attract many visitors, who find the products of the nuns’ craft workshops in the abbey shop.



SOME IMPORTANT DATES

1979: Founding of the community.
1983: Acquisition of land at Le Barroux in the Provence region of France, at the foot of Mont Ventoux.
1986: Blessing of the first stone of the convent.
1989: Canonical recognition by the Holy See.
1992: Elevation of the convent to the rank of abbey, and blessing of the first Abbess, Mother Elisabeth.
1995: Visit of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Abbey.
2001: Blessing of the second Abbess, Mother Placide.
2005: Consecration of the abbey church by Cardinal Medina Estevez, specially sent by Benedict XVI.
 




THE STAGES OF A MONASTIC VOCATION

    Only one thing determines a young woman to leave everything: the desire to answer the call of Christ, « Follow me ». It is the desire to respond to the astonishing love of God, to give as He gives. A time of probation (7 years) provides the opportunity to verify that the attraction truly corresponds to a call from God: does the novice have the necessary aptitudes for monastic life? If not, says St. Benedict, she freely departs. If she does have them, she can make the commitment of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, which bind her irrevocably to God in the community.



A LIFE WICH IS USEFUL FOR THE WORLD

    Do the nuns simply serve the purpose of producing CDs of Gregorian chant, or good jam? Not at all. First of all, they serve Someone: « The service of God first ». In a world which has lost its bearings, a life centred on the search for what is essential is a point of reference: it is a silent testimony, a finger pointing towards heaven. By their prayers and the offering of their lives, the nuns cooperate in the salvation of the world.


BENEDICTINE SPIRITUALITY

    « Come, let us exult with joy in the Lord ! » Benedictines live as children of the Church: They are on a journey to heaven, working and singing all day, praising God and invoking His blessings on the world. It is a very full life of charity, obedience and the joy of self-giving.


THE MONASTIC DAY

• The liturgical offices provide the rhythm of the day : Matins at 5:05 – Lauds at 7:25 – Prime at 8:30 – Terce and Mass at 10:00 – Sext at 12:30 – None at 14:00 – Vespers at 17:30 – Compline at 20:00.
• Silent prayer, reading Holy Scripture, and study (the Magisterium, philosophy, theology, the Church Fathers, liturgy…) nourish the mind and the heart at various times during the day.
• Work takes an important place : the daily services of the convent (kitchen, laundry, sacristy, infirmary, library, office work…), the workshops (bookbinding, publishing, jam, nougat, shoe repairs, carpentry, clothes for children, weaving of liturgical vestment in silk), and work in the fields (vines, lavender, figs, olives, almonds, apricots…).





GREGORIAN CHANT 

    At the abbey the holy liturgy is celebrated in Latin, with Gregorian chant. Composed in the language of the Roman Church, Gregorian chant has a sacred and universal character. The Catholic Church has made it her particular chant, the one she prefers for her liturgy. The texts and melodies have travelled down the ages. The chant has its source in the prayer, and guides the prayer, which is why it must be beautiful. Fraternal life contributes to the unity of the voices of the choir. The nuns have produced several CDs of Gregorian chant : « Noel »« Jubilate Deo »« Vision de paix »,  « La joie de Dieu » (« The joy of God », April 2010, organ pieces and Gregorian chant).

WHY RECORD A CD WITH UNIVERSAL MUSIC ?  

    Representatives of Decca (Universal Music) came to hear our chant and were captivated. Our decision was considered in community. The motive which made us accept the project was the spiritual benefit of the people who would hear the chant. The recording took place from the 23rd to the 25th June 2010, in the abbey church, in front of the Lord, present in the Eucharist: the chant was a prayer, not a competition. And a time of joy. The director of the Schola of Saint-Grégoire directed the choir. The sound team advised and encouraged us. The repercussions in the media leave the community in peace: the nuns continue their silent life of prayer and work. The receipts from the sale of the CD “Voices — Chant from Avignon” will help works of charity.

WHAT IS THE INTENDED MESSAGE OF
« VOICES - CHANT FROM AVIGNON » ?

    That the chant speak to the hearts of all who will hear it! It is urgent that the infinite love of God be recognized, the presence of Jesus at our side on the difficult road of life. Gregorian chant is very expressive, a translation of all human feelings: distress, joy, adoration, supplication, the desire of heaven, hope… The pieces on the CD were chosen as aids for praying, they are magnificent prayers. Rather than being  a flight from the real world, the chant provides a window which reveals the invisible part of that world. Life on earth finds its complete meaning when it makes its way towards eternal life.

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE HOLY FATHER

    « I have the pleasure of expressing to you the gratitude of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, for the thoughtful intention you showed in offering him a copy of your compact disc In Paradisum, which you recorded at the request of Universal Music.

    Touched by your gesture and the expression of your filial sentiments, the Holy Father hopes that you will be able to share with many others the joy of your praise, responding to the invitation of St. Paul to “sing and give praise to the Lord with all your heart” (Eph. 5:19) ! He assures you of his prayer for your intentions and, entrusting you to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, he gives you, and all the nuns of Le Barroux, his Apostolic Blessing, which he extends to all who took part in the production of this compact disc.
 »



Abbaye Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation
750 chemin des Ambrosis
84330 LE BARROUX
FRANCE



    Information :
• Daily Mass at 10:00 in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. All may attend, as at the other offices.
• Shop (sale of monastic craft products):
Weekdays: 11:15-12:15/14:30-17:15
Sundays and Feast days: 11:30-12:15/15:30-17:15.


    Further information :
• Products of the « Ateliers Monastiques de l’Annonciation » (Monastic Workshops of the Annunciation), including the brochure presenting the abbey Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation, Gaud Editions, 36 pages, 80 photos, 8 € : www.barroux.org
• Gregorian chant : www.schola-st-gregoire.org
• Benedictines in France : sites.google.com/site/benedictinefrance/

       


Video-clip of the CD « Voices »
If the video does not appear,
click here.