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Wrentham abbey's 1962 CD makes a holiday comeback

Posted by Emily Files  October 23, 2012 04:38 PM

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The voices of the nuns at Mount St. Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham will be available soon on iTunes, Amazon and at music stores.

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An international music group based in Paris is re-releasing the sisters’ 1962 CD, entitled Christmas in the Cloister. The CD couples traditional Gregorian chants with well-known carols like “Silent Night.” It will be released online and in stores on November 6.

Christmas in the Cloister was discovered by Jade Records, a music group that has released Gregorian chant albums for 30 years. Jade Head of U.S. Acquisitions Stefan Karrar said he came across Mount St. Mary’s Abbey while searching for American Gregorian chant groups.

“The chant [on Christmas in the Cloister] is absolutely perfect. It’s unbelievable,” Karrar said. “That’s what blew us away.”

The music group and the abbey talked about making a new CD for the holiday season. But the CD, which is still in the works, wasn't going to be completed in the time frame Jade had hoped for. So, the company decided to re-release the 1962 CD. The upcoming release was first reported by the Wrentham Times.

“[Jade] tries to promote Gregorian and monastic music,” Mother Maureen McCabe, one of the Saint Mary’s nuns, explained. “It doesn't matter too much when it’s done, as long as it’s beautiful.”

McCabe, who has been at the abbey for 40 years, said a few of the nuns who sang for Christmas in the Cloister are still singing at the abbey. The Gregorian chant on the album is what McCabe calls “immortal music.”

Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey was founded in 1949 and is now home to 41 nuns. McCabe said the sisters sing “a lot” and record CDs occasionally for their own gift shop.

The new CD that has sprung from the partnership between St. Mary’s and Jade is made up of all Gregorian chant and should be released in spring 2013, according to Karrar.

Click here to pre-order Christmas in the Cloister.

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