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Gregorian Peace at the Abbey Museum

Gregorian Chant

Gregorian Chanting – take a breather this Advent

Close your eyes and be transported back to the Middle Ages where monks in hooded robes chant their divine offices in the candle lit sanctuary of a Church.  This is not a scene from centuries past, but instead the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology in Caboolture, brings the past to you in the form of Gregorian Chanting!

Traditionally, Gregorian chants were sung by choirs of in churches or by religious orders in their chapels.  Named for Pope Gregory I (Pope 590 – 604), chanting has been part of Christian religious services since the very early days of the Catholic Church. The ambiance is magically re-created in the candlelit Abbey Church with ‘Schola Cantorum’ of Brisbane each Christams. The Gregorian Christmas chanting which signifies the beginning of Advent and the onset of what some might call the ‘silly season’ instead brings a piece of peace to your heart and soul, a much sought after reprieve from our busy lives.

A Christmas Tradition

The Medieval Christmas event has been a well-loved event at the Abbey Museum for the last 14 years and Schola Cantorum of Brisbane has sung every year except one.  This year the choir hopes to have at least twelve singers, both male and female, with quite a few young members hailing from Northern New South Wales (Kingscliff and Lismore).  With their medieval choir robes, Schola Cantorum creates  a perfect setting for you to take a breather before the hectic of a Christmas in 2017 sets in. Many of the chants are over a thousand years old, almost all sung in Latin with occasional explanations offered.  The Te Deum a great hymn of praise, dates back to the 4th Century AD.

The evening has two parts.


Part 1 – takes approx. 40 minutes  – Gregorian Chants for Advent and Christmas in the candle lit Abbey Church (starts  approx. 6.30) – arrive around 5.45 for a view around the museum and the manuscript gallery.

Part 2 – After recital in the chapel, guests are led across to the Supper Hall for a medieval supper of Christmas delicacies during which the Schola will again perform a short second set of medieval hymns and Christmas Carol. (Audience is welcome to join in!)


History – Changing our lives for the better

The evening also offers the opportunity to visit the museum Manuscript Gallery to view a fragment from one of the first polyphonic works (dated about 1400 – 1550AD). Up until this time liturgical music was monophonic (sung as a single melody in unison).  It is likely that the fragment on display, which came from Winchester, England, is part of a book created for Henry VII.  A missing half of the page was found miraculously  in 2015 at Case Western University, Ohio, USA.

The stories created from the collections of the Abbey Museum (see our Vision) are indeed awe-inspiring and help us take a breather in our busy lives.  The Gregorian Christmas is just on of those stories.


With only 100 places available, this event fills quickly, so book your Gregorian Christmas tickets here