One of my new favorite recordings for Advent and Christmas is the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey’s first release, Christmas at St. Michael’s Abbey. The album contains the proper chants of the three Masses of Christmas (see more information below from Jade Records about this album and the community).
I am a novice when it comes to Gregorian Chant, but it doesn’t prevent me from thoroughly enjoying this album. The chants are very soothing to listen to; the more I listen, the more I hunger to listen and lose myself in the chants. I also find them to be a perfect backdrop during my time praying the rosary.
The Christmas season only begins on December 25th. Treat yourself to Christmas at St. Michael’s Abbey now and enjoy it throughout the season, and year round as well. Visit www.jade-music.com for order information.
About the Record (from the Jade Records website)
Jade Records is proud to release the first record by the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey - Christmas at St. Michael's Abbey: Chants for the Three Masses of Christmas.
This recording includes the proper chants of the three Masses of Christmas (Midnight, the Mass at dawn, and the Mass of the day) as sung at St. Michael's Abbey. They are still in use after all these centuries and retain their sacramental quality, their supple vigor, and the ability to dispose the soul for the contemplation of God and His Mysteries.
The repertoires of chant are almost like "dialects" of the Gregorian repertoire - there is a substantial overlap of texts and settings found in the Roman Missal (for the Mass) and Antiphonarium (for the Liturgy of the Hours), but there are items that differ in part of completely.
St. Michael's Abbey is a community of Norbertine Canons Regular in Orange County, California. Its first members were Hungarian priests who escaped to the United States to leave communism and settled in California in 1957. The community was raised to the status of an abbey in 1984, because of its growth. St. Michael's Abbey now numbers nearly 70 members. Members of the abbey live a life that combines monastic observance and a complete singing of the choral office and Mass every day with an active apostolate.
Here is a video from Christmas at St. Michael’s Abbey:
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