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 Church's 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.