Listening for angels in Montserrat

 

As our tour bus wound up and up to the 4,000-foot-high mountain retreat of Montserrat, 30 miles inland from Barcelona, we were mesmerized by the spectacular sandstone peaks that housed the Benedictine Monastery.  This spiritual center since 880 A.D. is also home to the Escolania boys choir.

 

Our guide had told us not to be late to the Basilica as the boys would sing like angels, but only for 10 minutes.  She also warned us that we would be lucky to find a seat.  I worked my way up to the front of the pews and found a tiny space next to a Swedish group of men.  They happily made room for the Californian.  And like clock work, the young boys filed in, with their arms folded under their cloaks, looking more like little ghosts than angels.  But when the choir director raised his hands, the voices filled the basilica and I could hear the angels of Montserrat.

 

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