The Abbey of Solesmes, in the Sarthe region of Western France, is famous above all for its plainchant and the contribution it has made to liturgical renewal, extending its influence far beyond the monastery walls. It has also been at the forefront of spiritual renewal in the 19th and 20th centuries and into the current millennium. This book presents a selection of the writings – from letters, conferences, retreats and published works – of three major figures at the centre of this liturgical and spiritual renewal. Prosper GuÃ©ranger (1805-75) was a major figure in the Church and in the Benedictine world and in many fields of 19th-century scholarship; he was and abbot for some 40 years. CÃ©cile BruyÃ¨re (1845-1909) was appointed prioress of the new sister foundation, Sainte-Cecile, at the age of 22, then abbess, and was a spiritual adviser and writer. Paul Delatte (1848-1937) oversaw, as abbot, a huge expansion at Solesmes itself and was an equally influential writer. Exiled under a hostile republican French government, the monks of Solesmes established a foundation on the Isle of Wight, where a community still thrives at Quarr Abbey. The nuns also settled on the island at Ryde, where a community of the Solesmes Congregation flourishes, to which the editor of this book belongs.
Paperback, 276 pp.