At the time of our founding, in the age-long tradition of the Church, the music for the Eucharist and the Divine Office was all Gregorian Chant in Latin. However, almost from the beginning, the sisters sang a program of carols before Midnight Mass.
The community, which began with thirteen sisters, grew rapidly, and by 1962, there were over sixty members. We were blessed with two outstanding mentors: Dom Desroquettes, O.S.B. for chant, and C. Alexander Peloquin, director of music at the cathedral of Providence, Rhode Island, for polyphony. It seemed a good time to make a recording—a long-playing record at the time--Christmas in the Cloister.
That was 50 years ago. Since good music has a timeless appeal, and since there is a growing interest in chant, this seemed like a good time to reissue the original record as a CD.
It is only natural that song, the inseparable companion of joy and love, is so often on the lips of the contemplative. This recording is a celebration of God's greatest expression of love for us - the gift of Christ. The song in which the sisters are here reflecting on the mystery of Christmas is of two kinds: first, Christmas Biblical texts set to ancient and prayerful melodies of Gregorian Chant, and secondly, carols in modern polyphonic arrangements.
1. Christmas Midnight Mass: Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion 2. Christmas Lauds Hymn: A Solis Ortus Cardine 3. Third Mass of Christmas: Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion 4. Susani 5. In Dulce Jubilo 6. Il est Né 7. Silent Night 8. How Far To Bethlehem 9. Coventry Carol 10. While Shepherds in Meadows 11. Welcome, Son of Mary 12. Lullay, My Liking 13. The Christmas Child 14. Abbey Bells