You could listen to Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey to get you in the Christmas spirit. That might get you into a hot cocoa and snow angels mood, but “All I Want for Christmas is You” won’t prepare you for the coming of the Lord, during the Advent season. An alternative to truly prepare for the Lord’s birth (and His Second Coming) transports you to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, in Kansas.

Their “Advent at Ephesus” topped number one Billboard Classical Traditional Chart album when it was released!

Though Advent is the liturgical season before Christmas, it means “coming,” which we must keep in our hearts throughout all seasons because Christ is coming. He came, He is here, and He is coming again. These songs by the sisters can help you prepare your hearts for celebrating the Lord’s birth and the Lord’s coming to you in your everyday life.

Invite Him into your everyday life with your sisters in Christ.

Benedictines Of Mary’s Angelic Voices On CBS

“They are not angels, they only sound that way,” says the CBS news article.

Though they have perfect harmony, Mother Cecelia Snow says, “We’re not great singers, we’re not…. I’m a firm believer that the angels help us on this recording, so if someone’s off key, an angel comes in and gets it just right.”

Mother Cecelia Snow is 36 years old and attended RICE University. She was French horn in the Columbus symphony before joining consecrated life. Now she lives with twenty-two other sisters. They live a simple, beautiful monastic life. They live off their land, working and praying from dawn until dusk.

They spend their days in silence without mirrors or screens, like television. This stark contrast to modern life in the rest of America reminds us of all the distractions in the world pointing us anywhere else but to God. These sisters have peace in their beautifully ordered life, and they are often shocked at the noise when they do go out into the world for appointments.

People think they are missing out, but there is no fear of that in their hearts. They are visibly and audibly full of joy, giggling while they record and smiling while doing chores. Honestly, it looks like those of us in the world are the ones missing out—on their simplicity, nearness to Christ, and joy!

“We are the happiest people on their face of the earth… we are the most free… we would not exchange this life for anything,” Mother Cecelia explains. To live a life like that is a gift!

A taste of this life reaches us in their album. Those of us called to married life or vocations in the world, which desperately needs the refreshment of faith can find guidance in their music. As Mother Cecelia says, “Beauty touches the soul and the heart. It reminds people; I have a soul. I have a heart.”

We do. We have souls that need to be fed with beauty, goodness, and truth! (So, maybe you don’t put on chant and church hymns all day long, but we can all turn off the party culture tunes and listen to soul-uplifting lyrics and harmonies.)

The CBS news story tells their miraculous-sounding story. They were in heavy debt for their homestead. Praying for St. Therese for relief, they were answered with music producers knocking at their door.

Now, it’s almost all paid off.  

They also have two other albums you can look at, which help pay off their debt. Once paid, I can only imagine the good they will put any extra financial blessings toward in service of God.

The money and topping charts, though, is not what they care about. They care about souls. They didn’t take vows to become singers, but they sing because of their vows.

Next time you need some Christmas spirit, put down the Santa suit and turn on the Benedictine sisters’ Advent in Ephesus.

Advent At Ephesus | Benedictines Of Mary

Looking For More Catholic Music For Advent?

Check Out Our Christian Advent And Christmas Playlist!

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