Women in Chant: The Announcement of Christmas
Third in the Women in Chant series
by Choir Of Benedictine Nuns Of The Abbey Of Regina Laudis
Sounds True presents a lovely Christmas CD by the highly popular Choir of Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of
Regina Laudis. The 76-minute CD offers music of this holy season, taking the listener from Advent through
Christmas to Epiphany. This is the third CD by these singing nuns who have sold more than 100,000 copies of
their previous albums and who have appeared on Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, and
20/20. As you would expect, the Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis don't rush out to produce
a new album every year. Their first, Women in Chant: Gregorian Chants for the Festal Celebrations of the
Virgin Martyrs and Our Lady of Sorrows, was released in 1997 and was an attempt to share the music of the
cloister with a wider audience. Their second album didn't appear until 2001.
The Announcement of Christmas brings listeners music originally sung in monasteries during the holiday
season that was used exclusively for worship and not for entertainment. The recording gives a view into the nuns'
musical offering to God. It is part of their chanting of the Mass and full Divine office, which they do every
day. Sung in Latin, the selections in The Announcement of Christmas are representative of the very first
music that was sung at Christmas. Two selections are of particular note. One is "The Genealogy of Jesus," which
is sung at the end of the Vigil of Christmas before Midnight Mass. It is sung by Mother Abbess David Serna, the
choir director, and is dedicated to all of the women chronicled in that genealogy. The selection,
"The Announcement of Christmas," is sung at dawn during the Christmas Vigil by the whole choir. An English
spoken word version is performed by Mother Delores Hart, the Prioress of the Abbey. (She was a stage and film
actress during the 1950s and 1960s and is still a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
In addition to the musical work on the CD, the disc has a CD-rom file of texts, commentary, and pictures.
There are profiles of the biblical women mentioned in Jesus' genealogy.
The voices of the Benedictine nuns are strong yet delicate as they soar in the vaulted acoustics of the
church where they are recorded. This isn't the room-filling sound of monks singing Gregorian chants that are
balanced with the deep basses of male voices. Women chanting here is a more tender accomplishment as the nuns
bring forth the music of their hearts in praise and anticipation of the birth of Christ. The Announcement of
Christmas is a beautiful addition to any religious or contemplative CD collection.
Audio CD , 1 CD|
More at Amazon.com|
NOTE: Holiday - Christmas|
NOTE: Reviewer Janie
Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of
The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.
Coming Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook.