Mark I went to the website and viewed two of the four videos. It was joyous to hear the vespers sung so beautifully. Now allow me to play devils advocate. What is you opinion of the architecture of this church? I tend to agree with you observations about modernist styled churhes however perhaps more than the building we should consider what is the quality of the preaching and worship that comes out of them instead of what they look like? Not picking a fight just interested in your take on this question?
I love this church, and I'm not a big fan of modernist architecture (even though my father is an architect, and I grew up surrounded by mid-century modern design). I actually went to St. Anselm this evening for their 5:45 Mass, and stayed a few extra minutes for vespers. The quality of light in this space in the late afternoon and early evening is just lovely...the windowpanes look almost like vellum. The pews here form a circle, and I actually prefer Mass when the place isn't full, and people tend to cluster on both sides of the monks' stalls. I don't know of a church in St. Louis with more reverent liturgy. I wish you could see the surrounding land! St. Anselm is in the middle of the 150-acre campus of the St. Louis Priory School, and the spring colors are glorious.
The organ in this church is as magnificent as the building. It was built about 1967 by the Hungarian firm of Hradetsky. It is a Baroque styled tracker instrument (no electronics, no switches, no solenoids-push the key or pedal and a direct mechanical linkage opens the pipe valve). In the 1960's there was a Baroque revival in the organ world and the favorable exchange rates between the US and Communist Europe resulted in St. Louis obtaining many fine tracker instruments. The instrument at the Ethical Society in Clayton is similar. Local St. Louis organ builder, Martin Ott built several fine instruments similar to this one at St. Monica's, Our Lady of Providence and a number of Lutheran churches. This style organ is sometimes considered shrill to Catholic ears which are used to a much softer and blander style of organ voicing.