12.24
TCC Playlist: Caroling at Ephesus by The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles

Posted in TCC Playlist | Under , , , , , , , |

nun
“Caroling at Ephesus,” recorded by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, is our newest choice for music to carry us through the days of Christmas. The CD is schmaltz free: no chestnuts roasting, no reindeer on the roof, no little drummer boys. Baby, it may be cold outside, but inside the monastery, it’s all Incarnation all the time. And that’s what makes this a perfect choice for the holy days.

O Holy Night” is one of those carols that often feels like a vehicle for demonstrating a singer’s ability to belt out the high notes. But the sisters’ clear, vibrato-free sound make this carol as fresh as their voices. For one thing, their enunciation is such that each word is understood. Listen to them sing:

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within in us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever,
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim.
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim.

It sounds like the prayer it is.

There are other happy surprises on the album. The sisters composed a musical setting for G.K. Chesterton’s poem, “Carol of the Christ Child.” The words are glorious, and it is good to have them here in a song:

The Christ child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary was the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ child lay on Mary’s knee
His hair was like a crown:
And all the flow’rs looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

In this Christmastide, when weary, weary is the world, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles help us remember, again, the world’s — and our hearts’ — desire. Merry Christmas, everyone.