The Announcement of Christmas - The Choir of Benedictine Nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis
“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!

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