THough I am not as comfortable with the “Heart of Jesus” devotion and language as is Fr. mark I once again wholeheartedly recommend his article on Psalmody and excerpt of which follows below:
Singing on One Note: Recto Tono
In the Teresian Reform of Carmel, in various other reforms, among Institutes founded in the wake of the Council of Trent, and among apostolic Institutes founded in the 19th century, one finds the tradition of chanting the Divine Office on a single sustained note. This is often referred to as recto tono, meaning on a straight or unadorned tone. This practice must not be judged as somehow inexpressive, unnatural, or artificial because it is without melodic modulation. It is, rather, the most unadorned form of chant: chant reduced to its simplest expression. As such, it is eminently suited to the ordinary daily choral prayer of a community engaged in apostolic works. Executed well, the recto tono recitation of the Hours is restful, and pacifying. It can, in effect, foster a contemplative union with the Heart of Jesus that will bear fruit in every apostolic endeavor.
Until fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for Institutes of religious women to chant on a single note The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary or of one of the excellent pre-Conciliar vernacular adaptations of the Roman Breviary that were widespread before the Second Vatican Council. Where this was practiced with care, respecting the intervals of silence and embracing a moderate and serene rhythm of recitation, the choral Office became a daily immersion in the Word of God and an oasis of contemplation in the midst of activity.
Absolutely spot on!
Please do visit Fr. Mark’s blog, it is worth a close and attentive reading and re-reading.
Fr. Gregory Wassen +