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Shield of Faith: Cantores Sancti Ludovici

Shield of Faith is available for purchase in our shop as a digital album or a CD.

The chants contained in this album were recorded at a live performance of a concert entitled The Music of the Crusades at St. Francis de Sales Church in St. Louis, Missouri, August 19, 2023. Most of the texts contained in these chants come from the daily cycle of Catholic liturgical prayer: that is, either from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or the Divine Office (the chanting of the Psalms of David and other sacred texts throughout the day by priests, monks, nuns, and laity). This cycle of prayer and sacrifice (Mass and the Divine Office) was developed by the Roman Church as it was received from our Jewish fathers in the faith.

So, it is truly fitting that this concert about crusader chants from the Holy Land takes us back to the origin of sacred music in the Middle East and Jewish chant. The chants will certainly sound different than Western music as we know it today. That is because the world of music did not used to be divided into “West” and “East” as it became with the development of polyphony at the Notre Dame School in Paris. Instead, all musicians used to employ different tonalities (sounds), scales (modes), and ornamentation (trills, vibrato, etc.) in their delivery of music. While this may be jarring at times to the modern ear, it would have been commonplace for much of Church history.

The Cantores Sancti Ludovici believe that research and study ought to be given to these great treasures of the Church, namely, the sacred chants. Study must be invested in their recovery, translation, and delivery to the Catholic faithful, either in the ancient methods or modern Western interpretation. This great work strikes at the heart of what it means to be a cantor, who may thus be understood as a man who opens the mysteries of the faith to the congregation through chant. And so the schola cantorum (school of singers) must be a group of men that studies how these mysteries are communicated through chant. Together, in turn, they communicate the very presence of God to the nations. 

A heartfelt word of thanks must be offered to several experts that made this concert recording possible. First, Mr. Marcel Peres, founder of Ensemble Organum, without whom the world of historical chant research would be far less. The Cantores Sancti Ludovici have had the privilege of hosting Mr. Peres for his only two workshops ever delivered in America. Second, Mr. Gerhard Eger, a doctoral student with residence in Barcelona, Spain. His transcription of the Sequence for the Feast of the Liberation of Jerusalem allowed us to chant it for the first known time since its original manuscript composition almost 1000 years ago. Lastly, Mr. Noah Lovins, our digital specialist and faithful cantor, must be thanked for his distillation of several chant manuscripts, allowing them to be legible to all schola members. These chants include Da Pacem Domine and Crucem Sanctam, which have also been chanted by several scholae across America thanks to his work.

Album Booklet

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FRESHImage Records is happy to present the Cantores Sancti Ludovici in Shield of Faith, their debut album.

Learn More About the Group Here.

Related Products

Shield of Faith-Digital Album
Shield of Faith-CD
Da Pacem-Digital Single
Shield of Faith-Mug
Shield of Faith-Poster