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HALL OF FAMEon November 26, 2007
"The Announcement of Christmas offers a rare opportunity to experience the very first Christmas music the world ever produced, which is still sung today in its original Latin form by the nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis.

The repertoire includes chant pieces representing the distinct phases of the unfolding Christmas cycle, as it is celebrated in the ancient monastic liturgy: the four weeks of Advent prior to Christmas, the Vigil of Christmas, Christmas and Its Octave, The Solemnity of the Mother of God, and Epiphany, the feast that celebrates Christ's manifestation to the three kings of the East." - From the liner notes

With angelic voices soaring to the heights of spiritual ecstasy, the Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis express the reverence, joy and passion inspired by the birth of Christ and his message of redemption.

Sang in Latin, the Announcement of Christmas CD has a run-time of 76 minutes and includes a lovely digital booklet that translates all texts and commentary. The dozens of pages that appear in what looks like a parchment "book" also depicts full-color photos of the singing, smiling nuns--as well as their sparkling live Christmas tree.

Here are the Latin titles with translations of the pieces in The Announcement of Christmas:

ADVENT

1. In Illa Die - In that day
2. Jucundare - Be glad
3. Ostende Nobis - Show us, O Lord
4. Conditor Alme Siderum - Life-giving Creator of the stars
5. Populus Sion - People of Sion
6. Jerusalem Gaude - Jerusalem rejoice
7. Rorate Caeli - Drop down dew, you heavens
8. O Radix Jesse - O Root of Jesse
9. Ecce Virgo - Behold, a Virgin

THE VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS - DECEMEBER 24

10. Judaea et Jerusalem - Judea and Jerusalem
11. Martyrology - Announcement of Christmas
12. Christe Redemptor - O Christ, Redeemer
13. Primo Tempore - In the former time
14. O Magnum Mysterium - O great mystery
15. Angelus ad Pastores - The angel said to the shepherds
16. Verbum Caro Factum Est - The Word was made flesh
17. Liber Generationis Jesu Christi - The book of the genealogy of Jesus

CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS

18. Dominus Dixit - The Lord said
19. Kyrie IX - Lord have mercy
20. Gloria IX - Glory to God in the highest
21. Tecum Principium - Yours is princely power
22. Alleluia: Dominus Dixit - Alleluia: The Lord said
23. Laetentur Caeli - Let the heavens be glad
24. Sanctus IX - Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
25. Agnus Dei IX - Lamb of God
26. In Splendoribus Sanctorum - In holy splendor

CHRISTMAS AND ITS OCTAVE - DECEMBER 25 - JANUARY 1

27. Genuit Puerpera Regem - The new mother has borne a King
28. Puer Natus - A child is born
29. Multifarie - In myriad ways

SOLEMNITY OF THE MOTHER OF GOD - JANUARY 1

30. O Admirabile Commercium - O wondrous exchange
31. Ecce Maria - Behold Mary

EPIPHANY - JANUARY 6

32. Omnes de Saba Venient - All from Sheba shall come
33. Reges Tharsis - King of Tharsis
34. Vidimus Stellam Eius - We saw his star
35. Tribus Miraculis - Three miracles
36. English text of the Announcement of Christmas

The .pdf digital book contained on the Announcement of Christmas CD also features written stories of the Women of the Genealogy: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary the Mother of God.

Excellent for Christmas or any time of the year, The Announcement of Christmas CD by Sounds True brings an atmosphere of peace, contemplation and sacredness to the listening experience. I've played it several times already as background music, as well as when I want to relax and read. I highly recommend "nuns for Christmas" this year!

Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)
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on January 20, 2008
If you can't get to the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem Ct (as I have been fortunate enough to do) to hear the gorgeous Gregorian chant sung by the monastic choir of nuns , then purchase this CD and be treated to the hypnotic and and calming melodies of this marvelous music. I guarantee more than satisfaction!
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on January 20, 2008
If you like Gregorian Chant and the beauty of quietly celebrating the birth of the Savior, this album is for you. The Benedictine Nuns of Regina Laudis chant in community, presenting the ancient chants as they have been for hundreds and hundreds of years. Mother Dolores Hart's recitation of The Announcement of Christmas, for which the album is named, is hauntingly beautiful. My one regret is that we do not hear all of the "O Antiphons." I was hoping to hear them sung and read along in a booklet I have about them. That, however, is the only negative. I loved the album. Buy this for your Christmas next year, and in the meantime, read the biography of Mother Benedict Duss by Antoinette Bosco (also available on Amazon). You will love this even more when you know the history of this remarkable woman and the community she founded.
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VINE VOICEon February 12, 2008
Please listen carefully and hear it all of the way through.

I feel uneasy about recording Gregorian Chant, as a GRegorian Choir is like a living entity passing through the generations, ever transforming, ever the same, echoing the past, keenly expressing the present, anticipating the future, ever one.

I feel uneasy always about the recording of Gregorian Chant as it grows organically from the context of the choir chapel, from the entire liturgical year, from a committed religious community which has given all forever.

I feel uneasy about the recording of sacred Gregorian Chant as it is best heard as one of the community, intimately united with each member and the synergy of all; it is best heard as intricately interwoven element of the entire liturgical year. It is most deeply known within the entire liturgical year. To hear any recording of Gregorian Chant is to remove a great ocean wave and place it in your bath tub and wonder why it does not move you as deeply as at the shore. It is to catch in a cardboard box a hurricane wind, opening it within your automobile and wondering why you do not move. It is to catch a gentle mountain breeze and release it in your bedroom and wonder where is that spirit, that essence, that odor, that wisdom.

Yet. I am profoundly grateful for this excellent recording of some of the most poignant and important pieces of the entire measureless Gregorian repertoire by the good sisters of the Benedictine Community of Regina Laudis.

Rather than printing a thick manual to accompany their excellent disk of these Nativity passages with its penumbra, the community wisely chose to include upon the disk a digital manual, complete with photographs, the verses in Latin (without the Gregorian notation) and with their own original translations.

Yet an equally interesting element of this digital tome is the commentary upon the geneology of Jesus Christ, including Tamar, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. In this commentary we find frank and open discussion of the unusual, unorthodox, unapproved elements of this geneology in terms which leave no question. In some ways we are reminded of the Biblical commentary of the same subject by F. Scott Spencer in Dancing Girls, Loose Ladies, And Women Of The Cloth: The Women In Jesus' Life, and we recall that this commentary is written by a community of celibate, consecrated, religious women, who were individually assigned a person of that divine geneology to present. We read who wrote each chapter, and see their photograph, and realize they come from the various stages of religious commitment, and we read with ever deeper wonder and gratitude and appreciation for their wisdom and for their frankness. We learn for once to love those whom we would not love, as these dedicated women write with great love, and knowledge, and truth.

The photogrpahs as well as extremely frank and honest and almost painfully true. These are not posed portraits, but reveal the depths of the feeling of these chants, which are full of feeling of pain, agony, expectation and dolor. These are not gentle portraits posed and well lit. They are taken in available light, very well by a skilled photogrpaher, who was granted an amazingly intimate and rare access within the cloister to take these very frank and painfully opened portraits. We see these sisters as they are in all of their humanity and human feeling. These are not Hollywood representations of nuns; these are human beings like you and I who feel, and who here in a sacramenal, sacrificial holocaust offer themselves with all of their humanity to express the divine mysteries of our Faith in the Nativity, and its penumbra.

Listen here. You will not find new-age (rhymes with sewage) comforting "meditation" music. YOu will find the truth of the pain of human suffering, of near hopeless expectation, the agonizing pain of human birth after Paradise, the great joy and relief in the Incarnation, the joy of the recognition by the Magi in the Epiphany.

Listen here, and now, wherever you are. Then join a committed, contemplative, cloistered community, and hear this as it ought to be, within the your very bones, within the context of the liturgical year, after an Advent of expectation, as the light of our Lord comes to earth. Pacem in Terris.
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on December 25, 2007
The Announcement of Christmas, the newest CD released by the Abbey of Regina Laudis is a big disappointment. The quality of the singing, while enthusiastic, is sometimes almost painful to listen to. One can barely make out the words, even of pieces that are known and the tonal quality is reminds one of a choir singing underwater.

While it is nice to hear the nuns singing robustly the overall quality is a big disappointment. However, if you want the CD for the digital photo book it's worth the price.
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on June 17, 2009
I enjoyed the blend of voices on this album.
Chants are always a haunting melody and this "Women in Chant" is no different. To hear Dolores speak after so many years is enchanting.
I hope they do another CD.
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on January 19, 2008
Women in Chant ~ the Announcement of Christmas ~

Thank you Choir of Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT ~ What a Christmas gift! What Voices I have heard! What peaceful power I have received!

The CD booklet offers, "...Each chant piece announces the astounding news of Christ's birth in a new way, though the message is the same: Christ came through one people for all people..." This distinctly sacred music lives not in the past, but newly today, and for all time.

Mother Benedict Duss, O.S.B., foundress of the Abbey, who studied the chant most of her life, noted in her memoir by Antoinette Bosco, "I think there is something evocative and archaic, something about time, that resides in the chant and is waiting to be picked up and used... I do believe chant is a medium that has power to release and strengthen people... When I hear the chant, I hear people at peace together."

Wait no longer! Pick up your CD today. You will feel enriched and blessed as you listen and hear across time ~ the unified harmonic sound of voices, with each voice breathing at the same time and leaving us breathless and in awe.

Thank you Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis.

ewa, Connecticut
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on August 17, 2013
I love this CD. Having been a nun and chanted in community, I found this very soothing and relaxing as well as being a way to commune with God.
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on January 6, 2008
This CD by the Choir of Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis is the third produced by the Abbey. It is a gift to the world. You do not have to be Christian to appreciate the beautiful and soothing tones of Gregorian Chant. The singing is clear, purposeful and joyful. It provides the listener an opportunity to step away from the secular madness that now dominates the Christmas season and enter into a peaceful and meditative state, often just what a world weary individual needs. The Announcement of Christmas read in Enlgish offers a perspective on what some belief to be the pivotal event in the history of the world. Recorded in the Abbey's Church, the CD gives the listener an opportunity to hear the choir as those would who have had an opportunity to visit the Abbey in person. I enthusiastically recommend this CD to lovers of good music everywhere.
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on January 2, 2008
The "Announcement of Christmas" by the monastic choir of the Abbey of Regina Laudis is a beautiful collection of Gregorian chant that begins with the solemn preparation of Advent and carries the listener through the vigil of Christmas, Christmas, and the days leading up to the Epiphany. The joy of the season can be heard I highly recomend this beautiful piece of work to all Christians as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
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