Cloistered Benedictines top charts with Advent album

2012-12-01 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A community of contemplative nuns, their cloistered monastery located in the farmlands of Missouri, have released an album of sacred music to mark the beginning of the liturgical season of Advent. “Advent at Ephesus” debuted on November 20th in the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Classical Traditional Chart. The nuns featured on the album are members of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, a monastic order of sisters founded in 1995. All of the music was conducted and arranged by the order’s prioress, Mother Cecilia, a professionally-trained musician who performed in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra of Ohio for three years before entering religious life.

The album was released by De Montfort Music, a label which specializes in producing sacred music. Monica Fitzgibbons is co-founder of De Montfort Music along with her husband Kevin. She spoke with Vatican Radio about this unique project.

“It’s really a masterpiece,” she said. “They chose all the music, and in doing so they chose these beautiful pieces across the ages from different countries.”

All of the pieces, she said, “are designed and geared towards bringing one through the sacred season of Advent.”

The 16-track album features traditional Advent music from around the world, including one original piece composed by the sisters themselves.

Listen to Ann Schneible’s full report: