Nuns’ CD ‘Advent at Ephesus’ now heard ’round the world

Benedictine nuns unpack a delivery of copies of their CD at Missouri priory. (Photo courtesy of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles)

“A worldwide album distribution deal” doesn’t sound at all like something that would apply to the musical artistry of  members of a Benedictine cloister set in the rolling farmland of  northwest Missouri. But indeed it does. Just over a week ago, on Nov. 20, “Advent at Ephesus,” a 16-track CD of vocal performances by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, went international.

“The sisters maintain silence through much of their days, speaking only to ask work-related questions or to give instructions. An ancient Cistercian sign language is used for other communication. Silence ‘cultivates an atmosphere of prayer.’ Their silence is broken in chapel during the praying and singing of hymns, psalms and the Office,” writes reporter Marty Denzer of  The Catholic Key, newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.

The Benedictine priory is located in the diocese. Denzer describes the nuns as a youthful group consecrated to Mary whose charism is “praying for priests.” They pray and sing “hymns and chants in their chapel eight times each day.”

Their CD of Advent music – released by DeMontfort Music and distributed internationally through Decca – captures what is described by many as “angelic music.” A press release from the Maximus Group promoting the album says it “represents a rare approach — one that focuses on music celebrating the introspective anticipation of the Nativity that is the foundation of the Advent season.” Song titles include “Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth,” “Regnantem Sempiterna,” “Alma Redemptoris Mater,” “O Come Divine Messiah” and “Like the Dawning.”

The first Sunday of Advent is Dec. 2, which is also when the Eternal Word Television Network will begin airing a program on the daily life, spirituality and “musical gifts” of the Benedictine nuns. It recounts the three days they spent recording the CD this fall at their priory in a mobile studio set up by award-winning producer Glenn Rosenstein.

6 Responses

  1. BEAUTIFUL!!
    The world needs more news like this than what it gets daily in the regular news. Girls-fully dressed, and committing their lives to God, instead of the world and it’s sinful lures.

  2. I bought the CD and it is being deliverred today. I can’t wait! Those nuns are a powerhouse of prayer.

  3. Just got the CD yesterday. It’s wonderful. I have all the Benedictines of Mary’s albums and this is just the best. The selections are timeless, the voices are mellifluous and the engineering superb. It has the real ring of eternity.

  4. I agree David. Well said. “A real ring of eternity.” This is album sonically superior to anything I have heard recently in the realm of Chant and Polyphony.

  5. Worthwhile to produce CD like this. Am an ardent lover of monastic life. I wish to touch with them. Is it possible, if so kindly inform me.

  6. this what the world is so thirsty to hear this is so simple because we need only our voice to sing Christ praises and our ears to listen and by doing this the holy spirit will give us the means to do his will

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