Europe may be secularized, but a paradox is that religious music by members of the clergy or religious orders seems to be enjoying wide popularity, reports the Catholic news agency APIC (Nov. 19).
A group of three French priests stayed at the top of French hit parade for nine weeks and sold 500,000 CDs. In Ireland, a music group called “The Priests” has sold two million recordings since 2008. Not only “modern” music is presented. Gregorian singing attracts an audience well beyond the pews of Catholic churches, although few people are familiar with the intricacies of Gregorian songs. A recording from a Cistercian monastery in Austria has sold one million copies since 2008.
A recent recording by the choir of a French convent worshipping according to the pre-Vatican II rites had already sold 30,000 CDs ten days after its release. According to marketing experts interviewed by the French Catholic daily La Croix, we are currently witnessing the development of religious feelings and escape from the stress of daily modern life being turned into successful market niches.