Program: #14-15, Air Date: 04/07/14The 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.
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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.
The timeless beauty of the simple, melodic and rhythmic inflections of chant has captivated
III. Lent at Ephesus (Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles). Decca CD B0019859-02.
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
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
Birgitta Birgersdotter (1303 — 1373)
Vox Silentii CD VOXS1000001, Signum CD SIGCD901, Decca CD B0019859-02,