While Abbot Stan was at the General Chapter he asked our friend and local liturgical guitarist, Drew Ruddy, to take Mepkin’s classical guitar to be repaired. The opinion was given that the cost of the work needed to repair it would be better spent toward a new guitar. On his return, Abbot Stan spoke with Drew and heard a fuller account of the problems. The decision was taken to seek a new guitar and Abbot Stan proceeded to spend a good part of the next few days researching a good classical guitar. He narrowed his search to five guitars and took advantage of a business trip to Philly to stop at The Guitar Gallery outside of Washington, DC. They had four of the five on his list and he spent almost four hours playing some ten beautiful instruments – using songs we pray in our liturgy. It was just the owner of the Gallery and Abbot Stan present, as the hours of the Gallery are by appointment only. Narrowing the ten he played to three, Abbot Stan finally decided on the Solea made by Kremona, a Bulgarian company of fine artisans. The founder of the company had been a budding gunsmith, but through his experience in World War I, he decided to turn his artistic talent from making weapons of destruction into crafting beautiful musical instruments – violins, cellos and guitars. The Solea, a corrupted form of the Spanish for “solitude,” has a mellowness and warmth of tone while it carries evenly over the full range of the strings. It adds a new brightness to the celebration of our liturgy and complements the new liturgical books we have been initiating over the past year and a half. If, as St. Augustine said, the one who sings prays twice, how blessed are we to praise God with word and song and the sweet sounds of a marvelous guitar.
- Becoming a Monk
- Who We Are