For the first time in its 700-year history, a monastery in Spain will accept women and girls into its choir.
The Abbey of Monserrat, home to the famous Escalonia all-boys choir, will create a new chamber choir made up of both females and males aged between 17 to 24 who will take over the monastery's liturgical duties once a month.
The monastery said the choir members will be "trained in vocal techniques and spiritual disciplines…organised by people linked to the Escolania and the Benedictine community".
After a lengthy debate, the decision was made by the Benedictine order that runs the monastery.
Father Efrem de Montellà said creating a second choir to include women and girls was the middle-ground solution to continuing the tradition and listening to the calls for their introduction.
"We're often asked why there aren't any girls in the Escolania," De Montellà said. "It's a complex and difficult question. We follow a tradition that we would like to continue but we also realise we have to respond to demand."
He continued: "Girls needed to be included and given the opportunity to be able to do the same and it is with this inclusive mind that we want to start the new choir."
It's understood the newly created choir will begin performances in September.