Product Description The first of its kind, charged with joy, and graced with angelic blend of voices, this new release captures in song the spirit of hope and expectation of Advent. This unique CD is recorded by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles: a young, monastic order of Sisters located in rural Missouri, dedicated to prayer for priests. Advent at Ephesus includes an amazing variety of traditional Latin and English hymns, polyphony, Gregorian Chant, medieval harmonies and an original piece to prayerfully lead you through the sacred season in preparation for Christmas. Advent is perhaps the most neglected season, but remains one of the most treasured by the sisters here at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus. The Liturgical year has reached its dramatic close with the Feast of Christ the King and a series of meditations on the Last Judgment. While lamps remain lit in our hearts for the final coming of the Lord, (track 14) a milder tenor creeps into the voice of the Church as Advent begins a new year, and attention is also given to the coming of the Infant Christ into the world (tracks 1, 6, and 13.) The Annunciation (tracks 3, 5 and 8) the cry of the Baptist (track 12) and the expectation of Our Lady (tracks 11, 16, and 17) are all leitmotifs that repeatedly occur in the chants and the Divine Office. The nightly antiphon to Our Lady changes from the familiar Salve Regina to the gentle Alma Redemptoris Mater, honoring her motherhood (tracks 2, 15.) A bold, melancholy tone of impatience is joined to those of the prophets and chosen people who waited for the Lords coming for centuries (tracks 7, 9.) Yet there also remains a sustained strain of gaudium, the interior joy characteristic of Advent that lends its name to the Third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday. (Track 10, Offertory of Gaudete Sunday.) The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles is a monastic community located in rural Missouri. Consecrated to the Queen of Apostles, their lives are dedicated to contemplative prayer especially for priests. They support themselves primarily by making priestly vestments. Professing obedience to the Churchs teaching, the community upholds a loving commitment to preserving the liturgical heritage of the Church in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and traditional monastic Office. This is their first recording with de Montfort Music and Decca records. Review The life of a priest is an Advent bringing forth the Incarnation in souls, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity once said. So our prayers are united in a special way to priests, those commissioned to bring the Body of Christ down to earth and upon our altars each day. May Our Lady keep you all close to her heart this season, and thus also close to the heart of the King Who is to come. We pray that we all await with her the vision of His most Holy Face this approaching Christmastide. --The Sisters
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