Monday Morning Writing Prompt: Sacred Music

Graduale Aboense, hymn book of Turku, Finland....

Image via Wikipedia

The other day in responding to comments, I happened upon a blog that featured an article on Gregorian chant. This morning, during my personal quiet time, my mind was jumping around like a flea. I could not center or begin to calm down. So I went back to that site and let the music enter my soul, allowed my breathing to slow down and found a moment’s escape from the mad wanderings of my brain.

For today’s prompt, let’s reflect on sacred music. Perhaps you will want to play a CD of your own that helps you to relax and meditate. What rings your spiritual chimes? Gregorian or Buddist chant? New Age? Drumming? The sounds of nature? Or? Allow yourself to listen and then go with it, wherever the tones or notes or rhythm leads you. Then write, poetry or prose, whatever bubbles out of that moment.

Here’s a poem I wrote years ago that our local community college published in their literary journal. Truckee Meadows Community College, The MeadoW. (That W is not a mistake).




You’re the conductor.

Lead me.

Travel with me to the source

of  sound.

I’m a pliable instrument

in your hands,



You called me to theTruckee.

We sat together on the bank last summer.

You held me.

Water pounded, swirled,

tempered stones,

smoothing them.

You wrapped me in a blanket of rhythm

as the evening breeze chilled my soul.

I listened.

with a stick I stirred up a pebble

and pocketed it.

A reminder of the beat of drumming.

Sacred Songs.


We went to the Labyrinth

on a frosty Wednesday in November.

I wove my way along the path

through dormant shrubs

and plucked a single bloom found

amid the stubble—

 a survivor.

Benedictine monks

chanted latin hymns.

At the Center they intoned

Salve Mater, Misericordiae.

Hail, Mother.

At the mid-point of the Earth,


And here are a few links that might help to inspire:

Here’s how to join in: Write your response, access Mr. Linky below, then copy and paste your URL. Finally spend a few moments reading and commenting on other submissions.

Gregorian Chant

Salve Regina in cantus planus & gregorian notation

Image via Wikipedia

Gregorian Chant

Sacred Vocabulary
eight modes of prayer
minor and major
moods to match mine
joy and pain.

Sacred Living
unfolding in hours
cast upon a staff
etched on vellum
etched in flesh.

Sacred Thought
echos through the years
rendered in music
rendered in breath.
Sacred poetry.

Gregorian chant or plainchant is a form of music used in Monastic Communities and Religious Orders for the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours. It is also an age-old tradition for many liturgical ceremonies in the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian communities. Its style is reminiscent of ancient Hebrew chanting.

It is composed in eight modes or scales in major or minor tones. The minor modes are usually associated with the more serious or penitential times of the liturgical year, while the major tones for celebration and joyful events. In general, true Gregorian chant is sung without accompaniment or harmonization. In more recent years, Gregorian chant has caught the attention of popular culture and has on occasion merged with contemporary songs. The music of Enigma is an example of this.

The Liturgy of the Hours, along with the celebration of the Eucharist, constitute part of the official public prayer of the Church (including Anglicanism and Greek Orthodoxy). Also known as the Divine Office or Breviary, this prayer is recited eight times throughout the twenty-four hour day. In strict monastic settings, the monks arise during the night to recite one of the “hours.” While the hours may be recited privately, the ideal is to do so in community, preferably chanted. The Psalms make up a major part of the liturgical hours.

If you would like to listen to Gregorian Chant, there are numerous examples when you do a search on the Internet.

The image is of a portion of sheet music for the Salve Regina. Notice that there are only four lines of music and square notes.

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck where the theme for this week is Saints, Hermits and Monks.