"We have traveled full circle across the seasons of the day, and have arrived at the Great Silence: the bridge of silence between Compline and Vigils that will inaugurate the cycle of the hours anew.

“Music is not merely a rhythmic arrangement of notes, but derives its life from the matrix of silence out of which it arises and into which it inevitably flows. And it is the silence between the notes that gives them meaning and grace. The Great Silence is the silent rest before the day chants its recurrent melody of the hours.

“When chant music stops, sometimes quite abruptly, an audible silence reverberates throughout the room, especially in the high arches of the oratories in which it is sung. This silence is not merely sound’s absence, but a mysterious presence, the immense nothingness that is our origin and our home. If we listen carefully, we discover that when all is said and done, chant inducts us into this silence that is the ground of our being.

“T. S. Eliot said, ‘Words after speech, reach into silence.’ This is also true of music."