When Dominicans evangelize through song

When Dominicans evangelize through song

The Dominican Voices choir, made up of brothers from the Order of Preachers, is once again embarking on a series of concerts in the south of France in early July 2024. An opportunity to show, or rather sing, the beauties of Heaven.

From Palestrina to Prætorius, including contemporaries Michael McGlynn and Ola Gjeilo, here is a sample of the very diverse repertoire sung by the brothers of the order of Saint Dominic within the troupe of the Voix Dominicaines. Offering concerts of polyphonic songs every summer, these 10 to 15 consecrated Dominicans, from the four corners of France, make sacred song resonate in the churches of Provence. A project that brings together young and old preachers “who sing well and accurately”, underlines Brother Antoine Odendall, at the origin of the initiative. The average age is between 30 and 35 years old. Enough to liven up religious music and why not attract with beauty. They will be in concert on July 5, in La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhône) then on tour across the department, before giving two performances in the Var.

An experience of fraternity in the service of God

Les Voix Dominicaines is above all a fraternal initiative between various consecrated brothers around sacred music. A project to “sing music together” and bear witness to faith in Christ, and thus, “create a true fraternity” between the public – generally fans of the musical genre – and the singers. The current project is a revival of an older Dominican singing group.

Today, to revisit more than a millennium of religious sounds, the consecrated benefit from the help of a soprano, an expert in her field. Enough to follow an intensive training. “We put together a repertoire for 5 days with a professional choir director, then follow, for another 5 days, a series of concerts in churches,” explains Brother Antoine Odendall, also the master of the song during the mass of Pope Francis at the Stade Vélodrome, last September. Before continuing: “Using the voices of religious for sacred music seemed to us to be a beautiful project.” The result is a repertoire of 10 to 15 songs, depending on the year, in order “to show that sacred music speaks of God in all styles.” A register ranging from the 11th century to 2014, sometimes.

Evangelize but above all go to meet the other

The Dominicans will always remain Dominicans. And, in their order that lives according to the rule of Saint Augustine, evangelization is never far away. For the Voix Dominicaines, their summer concerts can be as many places conducive to talking about God and faith. “We try through explanations, production and meetings after the concerts,” emphasizes Brother Antoine, “to wrap this music in a religious message of faith.” Without an atmosphere of prayer and Eucharistic adoration that could frighten more than one, these Dominican brothers try each year to “evangelize through beauty.” Strong in the observation that sacred music attracts a large audience that is not necessarily believers, they accompany the singing with educational and spiritual explanations.

Upcoming concerts

  • July 5, 2024 – 8:30 p.m. : La Ciotat (Our Lady of the Assumption)
  • July 6, 2024 – 8:30 p.m. : Aix en Provence (Saint-Esprit)
  • July 7, 2024 – 4 p.m. : Marseille (Saint-Laurent)
  • July 8, 2024 – 8:00 p.m. : Ollioules (Saint-Laurent)
  • July 9, 2024 – 8:30 p.m. : Simiane (Saint-Pierre)
  • July 10, 2024 – 5 p.m. : Saint-Maximin (Dominican Monastery)

More information on: https://voixdominicaines.fr/

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