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DENTON, Neb. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP)
has released an album of Gregorian chant that has become a bestseller on iTunes and Amazon since May 12. The album features chant sung by the seminarians of Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary in Denton, Nebraska.
Requiem is produced by de Montfort Music and features funeral chants for the Latin Rite. It has sold more than 5,000 copies in less than two weeks. De Montfort Music also produced chant recorded by the Benedictine Sisters of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, who have also topped the charts of classical music in recent years. Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish in Dallas, Texas, affiliated with the FSSP, has also released music recorded by their choir.
Throughout their seven years in seminary, the young men take at least 20 credits of music coursework. Father Saguto described the role that music plays in the formation of traditional priests. "From the first time you step into the seminary," he explained, "we are constantly being formed in Gregorian chant, which is part and parcel with the mode of worship that we use here in the seminary."
Father Saguto went on, "What we do is not a performance. This is what we live, this is our life. We all have an interior desire for happiness. We all have this desire that cannot be met by anything in this world. This world is not our final resting place."
Father Zachary Akers, music director of the seminarians, spoke about the theology behind the music as connected to the virtue of hope. "It's not a morbid sadness," he clarified, "because we have hope that God is merciful and that He will bring this soul to Heaven."
Father Akers also remarked on the timelessness of the music they're recording: "To think that this music, more or less, is the same sound, the same melodies that someone would have heard even a thousand years ago at the death of a loved one — it's very humbling to be part of something so much bigger than oneself."
The FSSP was formed in 1988 after priests left the Society of Saint Pius X when its founder, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, illicitly consecrated four bishops without permission from the pope. Pope St. John Paul II issued his motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, which established the FSSP as a priestly society in full communion with the Church.
The FSSP has 41 missions and parishes throughout the United States, seven in Canada, two in Mexico and many more throughout Europe, Africa and Australia. There are approximately 270 priests affiliated with the FSSP.