Chalice of Repose focuses on the work of harpist and singer Therese Schroeder-Sheker at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. Following in the spirit of the monks of St. Cluny in the Middle Ages who used music and beauty to usher the dying into the afterworld, this gentle and compassionate woman has for over the past two decades developed a modern version of music-thanatology.
Schroeder-Sheker talks about her belief in this "contemplative practice with clinical applications." A montage of tastefully presented scenes show how Chalice of Repose Project workers bring peace, a loving touch, and the ethereal beauty of harp and song to those who are dying. The melodic content of the music, the harmony, and the rhythm are keyed to the breathing and the palliative needs of the patient.
Throughout this tranquil and emotionally affecting presentation of Schroeder-Sheker's ministry, various shots of the natural world during the fall season in Missoula are presented as a counterpoint to her heavenly harp playing and plaintive singing. Here compassion and creativity combine to help people achieve a finely finished death of peace and dignity. Chalice of Repose, directed by Jennifer Kaufman, will touch your heart and soul.
This film was originally published by Sounds True on VHS. It has been digitally remastered and is now available from the Chalice of Repose Project.