Enjoy Some Ambrosian Chant on This Feast of St. Ambrose

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What better way is there to celebrate the feast St. Ambrose than to listen to some Ambrosian chant? (see links below)

But did St. Ambrose compose “Gregorian Chant?”  We know from St. Augustine that St. Ambrose played a significant role as bishop of Milan in the introduction of hymnody in that city.  This is clearly articulated in Book 9 of the Confessions:

“Not long had the Church of Milan begun to employ this kind of [musical] consolation and exhortation, the brethren singing together with great earnestness of voice and heart. […] At this time it was instituted that, after the manner of the Eastern Church, hymns and psalms should be sung […] [this practice being] retained from then till now, is imitated by many, yea, by almost all of your congregations throughout the rest of the world.”

Ambrose’s role in bringing hymns to Milan is undisputed and in fact many hymns have been attributed to him with at least four being universally agreed upon. Though he did not compose the music but rather the texts, his name was ultimately given to the dialect of “Gregorian Chant” that emerged in Milan and the areas surrounding the city.  Unlike many of the other early dialects of chant, we still have and can hear beautiful examples of this treasure of the Church.   On this feast of St. Ambrose, take a few moments to listen to some “Ambrosian Chant” and learn more about the poetic and musical contributions of this great Church Father.

A stunningly beautiful twelve-fold Ambrosian Kyrie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSAx95JjcpE

A beautiful Advent hymn written by St. Ambrose to prepare for Christmas

And a performance of that hymn (at 1:50): http://cantusmundi.blogspot.com/2009/12/come-thou-redeemer-of-earth-england.html



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