Millennium Lent

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Program: #14-15   Air Date: Apr 07, 2014

The recently released latest from the Benedictines of Mary, “Lent at Ephesus,” and more from the Finnish women Vox Silenti.

I.  Kyrie Eleison (Vox Silentii Ensemble). Vox Silentii  CD VOXS1000001.


For more information:


Birgitta Birgersdotter (1303 — 1373) of Sweden was a visionary and the founder of a monastic order. She was canonized in 1391 and declared Patron Saint of Europe in 1999.  Birgitta’s spiritual visions, or Revelaciones, were widely known, and about 700 of them were recorded. In one of these visions, Birgitta was instructed by Christ to found a monastic house mainly for women in honour of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The first Brigittine house was inaugurated in Vadstena, Sweden, in 1384. The second Swedish Brigittine house was chartered in Vallis Gracie(Valley of Mercy), or Naantali, in 1438 — Finland being part of the Kingdom of Sweden at the time. Brigittine houses included both a monastery and a convent. Birgitta is reported to have had a rich and varied life. She was of noble birth, a mother of eight children and a socially active figure who turned to her religious calling after being widowed in her forties. Birgitta’s visions had no regard for social status. The message was clear: penitence is essential for everyone. The Brigittine order had two aspects: meditative or contemplative prayer, on the one hand, and active work on the other. The balance between prayer and work was evident in Birgitta’s own life, which was both meditative and ascetic, and highly practical and extrovert. She herself said that there was no conflict between a person’s internal and external life.

The songs on our two cd´s ( Cantus sororum and Videte miraculum), are taken from the daily prayers of the Birgittine sisters. The songs are known as Cantus Sororum, i.e. the ‘songs of the sisters’. Birgitta wanted the sisters in her order to praise God by using a liturgy created especially for them. The liturgy proceeded in weekly cycles i.e. the same songs and texts were repeated on the same weekdays from one week to the next. The sorority lived week by week and through Mary’s eyes, studied the life of Christ and the life of Mary, the history of Christ’s sufferings and the salvation history from the time the World was created.

Birgitta outlined Cantus sororum between 1360 and 1370 together with her confessor, Petrus Olaf of Skänninge (d. 1378). Birgitta reported the words of the angel in Swedish, and Petrus translated them into Latin and wrote most of the texts of the offices based on the visions. Petrus also composed some of the music. Cantus sororum sings the praises of the Virgin Mary from various points of view. Each day of the week has its own theme.Sunday is for celebrating the Holy Trinity and the merit of the Virgin Mary. On Monday, angelic choirs rejoice in the Mother of God. On Tuesday, the focus is on patriarchs and prophets who foretold the birth of Mary. On Wednesday, the people rejoice in the immaculate conception and birth of Mary. On Thursday, the theme is the Virgin who gives birth to the Son, Saviour of the world. Friday is for grieving with the Mother of God for her Son’s suffering and death. Saturday commemorates Mary’s ascension. 


—Hosanna filio David


—Ego sum pastor



II.  Medieval Chant and Tallis Lamentations: A sequence of chant and polyphony for Holy Week (Tenebrae Consiort/Nigel Short). Signum CD SIGCD901.

Medieval Chant: Tallis Lamentations


The timeless beauty of the simple, melodic and rhythmic inflections of chant has captivated
listeners for around a thousand years. This recording of medieval chant is complemented by
one of the most poignant and intense polyphonic settings of a sacred text, Tallis’ Lamentations.



Hymn for Passiontide: Pange lingua gloriosi
Plainchant (3.12)


Compline for Passiontide


Deus in adiutorium
Plaintchant (0.53)


Antiphon: Miserere – Psalms: Cum invocarem; In te Domine speravi; Qui habitat in adiutorio; Ecce nunc benedicite
Plainchant (10.57)


Chapter: Tu in nobis es – Respond: In manus tuas
Plainchant (1.21)


Hymn: Cultor dei memento
Plainchant (3.53)


Versicle & Response: Custodi nos
Plainchant (0.23)


Antiphon: O Rex gloriose – Canticle: Nunc dimittis
Plainchant (4.28)


Preces – Collect – Benedicamus
Plainchant (5.23)


Lamentations of Jeremiah I
Thomas Tallis (8.27)


Respond: In monte Oliveti
Plainchant (2.19)


Lamentations of Jeremiah II
Thomas Tallis (13.35)


Respond: Tristis est anima mea
Plainchant (2.54)


Respond for Compline in Passiontide: In manus tuas I
John Sheppard (3.43)


Respond for Compline in Passiontide


In manus tuas I
John Sheppard (3.43)


Litany after Lauds for Maundy Thursday
Plainchant (3.45)


III. Lent at Ephesus (Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles). Decca CD B0019859-02.

Lent At Ephesus


Our community first began under the aegis of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in 1995, in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania. We were originally called the Oblates of Mary, Queen of Apostles for a two-fold reason. First, to indicate the offering of ourselves to the Benedictine family (Oblatae is Latin for “offered”). And secondly, because we had consecrated ourselves to Our Lady, and offered ourselves to her service. We began following a monastic horarium as laid out by St. Benedict in his Rule, and chanting in Latin, the Divine Office according to the 1962 Breviarium Monasticum.

In March 2006, we accepted the invitation of Bishop Robert W. Finn to transfer to his diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri. We were established as a Public Association of the Faithful with the new name, “Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles”.


 THE LATIN CLASSICS — Lent at Ephesus, “Part 1, Side A”

2. Christus Factus Est

5. Jesu Dulcis Amor Meus

6. Jesu Salvator Mundi

7. Improperia

9. Pueri Hebræorum

11. Adoramus Te Christe (Ravanello)


THE LATIN CLASSICS — Lent at Ephesus, “Part 1, Side B”

12. Stabat Mater

14. Vexilla Regis

16. Vere Languores Nostros

17. Tenebræ factæ sunt

19. Adoramus Te Christe (Dubois)

20. Crux Fidelis

22. Ave Regina Cælorum


THE ENGLISH ORIGINALS — Lent at Ephesus, “Part 2, Side A”

13. Divine Physician

15. Mother of Sorrows

23. My Mercy


THE ENGLISH TRADITIONALS — Lent at Ephesus, “Part 2, Side B”

1. Jesus, My Love

3. God of Mercy and Compassion

4. Hosanna to the Son Of David

8. On the Way of the Cross

10. O Sacred Head Surrounded

18. O Come and Mourn

21. All Glory, Laud and Honor 


Composer Info

Birgitta Birgersdotter (1303 — 1373)

CD Info

Vox Silentii CD VOXS1000001, Signum CD SIGCD901, Decca CD B0019859-02,