Spiritual life

The calendar below (in French) contains the permanent elements of the liturgical calendar used at Saint-Wandrille Abbey.


Day off

The Church allows the faithful to associate themselves more closely with the sacrifice of the Mass offered for all through a particular intention entrusted to the celebrant, who has always been recognized as having the possibility of joining this particular intention to the general intention.

Mass is priceless. But from the very beginning, the faithful have wanted to participate in the Eucharist through offerings in kind or in cash. These were intended to cover the costs of worship, the priests’ sustenance and the life of the Church. This is the origin of the practice of “mass fees”, which dates back to the 8th century and is rooted in the Old Testament, where the priest received a share of the sacrifices made to God. The priest must always be able to “live from the altar”. The material life of the Church and its clergy thus rests, in part, on this voluntary contribution from the faithful.

Offer a mass

If you would like to offer a mass, please select the method of payment you would like to use. Complete the formula which will be given to you online, if your payment is by credit card or print out a formula, if you choose to register by check. Then, follow the instructions which are given.

Correspondence : Mass Father
Abbaye Saint-Wandrille
2 rue Saint-Jacques – Saint-Wandrille-Rançon – 76490 Rives-en-Seine FRANCE

Submiting an intention to the community

If you have an intention to submit to the community of monks, you can formulate it by clicking on the button below. The brothers will pray for you.

Place a candle

If you would like to place a candle and a prayer intention in the Our Lady of Caillouville chapel, click on the “Offering” button, then complete the form provided and follow the instructions.


If you wish, you can meet a monk.
Contact the porter’s office or the Father who welcomes guests

If you have any questions, fears or questions about what to do… you’ll find the answers:


It is possible to meet a monk for a listening ear, advice or confession. It is preferable to make an appointment by telephone.
You can also go to Rouen Cathedral, where a listening center is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 2pm to 5:30pm, and on Wednesday mornings from 10:30am to 12pm.
In an emergency, you can call 02 35 44 84 37 or 02 35 88 74 50 on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm (www.chretiens-ecoute.fr)
Finally, in special cases, you can contact the exorcist of your diocese.

Diocese of Rouen
Accueil Saint Sauveur
41 route de Neuchâtel 76044 ROUEN cedex 1
06 75 22 83 64
(By appointment only)

Diocese of Le Havre
Contact the diocesan office
22 rue Séry – 76600 Le Havre
Tel : 02 35 42 48 28

In the 8th century, in Metz, the Frankish kings imported the Roman liturgy into their churches and monasteries: this was the birth of the Gregorian repertoire, as the Frankish cantors, while taking up the same texts, transformed the melodies and gave them a new strength, flexibility and impetus, along with a great interiority, linked to meditation on the word being sung, and a profound sense of adoration. As a result, Gregorian chant became a hit in abbeys, where it was memorized, cultivated and passed on…

But nothing was set in stone, and several factors contributed to modifying the interpretation of these pieces. At first, the performance was represented in the form of neumes; then, to facilitate rote learning and distribution, the melodies were notated on single- and multi-line staves. At the same time, the advent of polyphony in the churches led to a further evolution in interpretation. Finally, during the Middle Ages, measured rhythm was introduced. Gregorian chant, henceforth known as plainchant, entered a period of decline, as singers, and even more so the faithful, saw it as nothing more than a never-ending series of equal notes. During the Renaissance in Italy and the Classical period in France, composers tried to create new melodies with a more contemporary aesthetic.

In the 19th century, Dom Guéranger, abbot of Solesmes, and his monks, notably Dom Joseph Pothier, future abbot of Saint-Wandrille, sought to revitalize Church prayer by returning to Gregorian chant: he had the primitive melody researched with the help of ancient manuscripts, and laid down the principles of good chant interpretation: giving priority to good diction of the spoken word over musical effect, which is always subordinate. At the end of the century and the beginning of the following century, Gregorian chant underwent a spectacular revival, thanks to the work of the monks and the directives of Pope St. Pius X. However, after the Second Vatican Council, and despite its recommendations, Gregorian chant fell out of favor. Yet it remains as relevant today as ever, thanks to its unique qualities and its relevance to the Roman liturgy we celebrate. The experience of practicing it in a monastic schola shows that it can still express and magnify the faith of the Church in prayer, and nourish the inner life of contemplatives.

Gregorian chant
at Saint-Wandrille

At Saint-Wandrille, after the restoration of monastic life in 1894, the arrival of Dom Joseph Pothier as abbot gave special attention to Gregorian chant in our community. Appointed by Pius X as president of the commission responsible for publishing the livres de chant pour la messe et l’office (published in 1908 and 1912), Dom Lucien David, his secretary and future choirmaster of Saint-Wandrille, became an ardent defender of these works, and more generally of the principles of Gregorian chant performance that he had learned from Dom Pothier – not without a rivalry with the paleography workshop at Saint-Pierre de Solesmes abbey.

In the interwar years, the founding of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac in Quebec was also an opportunity to take the Gregorian apostolate across the Atlantic.

As dom Pothier had done so masterfully, dom David, in his concern for a living Gregorian chant, did not hesitate to compose or adapt texts and melodies, such as the antiphon Lumen hilare, which we still sing.

After his death, Dom René-Jean Hesbert, a monk from Solesmes who arrived at Saint-Wandrille in 1949, was appointed choirmaster and, until his death in 1983, brought his vast erudition and deep admiration for Gregorian chant as an act of worship to our community. He is the author of the Missale sextuplex and the Corpus Antiphonalium Officii (CAO), two fundamental works for both musicology and the history of the liturgy. The CAO can be obtained by contacting us.

After him, our choir was directed for almost thirty years by Dom Jean-Paul Armanini, a gifted disciple of Dom Jean Claire and Canon Jeanneteau, whose synthetic teaching on modality, rhythm and neumaticism he assimilated perfectly. Thanks to his sensitive work and his enthusiasm, our choir and schola have been able to drink from the best source of both scientific and artistic, not to say spiritual, renewal of this chant, by following his always instructive, nourishing… and humorous class every week!

Today’s heirs to this long history are trying, within their limited means, to maintain and develop the taste and care brought to this art, in the service of the liturgy and prayer of the Church.