The Story Behind The Benedictines of Mary LENT AT EPHESUS – Exclusive Television Special Premiers This Week on PBS
Exclusive Television Special Premiers This Week on PBS
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles Enchant Listeners With Their Celestial Voices and Spiritually Uplifting Music – As Seen on CBS Sunday Morning
The Benedictines of Mary are not only a monastic order of nuns — they are also chart-topping sisters crowned Billboard’s Top Traditional Classical Album Artist for two years straight. Taking viewers inside the monastery in rural Missouri, their new and exclusive PBS television special tells the fascinating story of how the Sisters made their latest Decca/De Montfort Music album LENT AT EPHESUS, and also features highlights from their previous recording, Angels & Saints at Ephesus. The program includes full-length performances that demonstrate the power and beauty of their music. The show begins airing on PBS stations June 8th, 2014 (check local listings).
The Benedictines of Mary have debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Classical Chart with all three of their Decca/De Montfort Music releases. Lent At Ephesus’ first week sales surpassed all of their prior first week sales, and also outsold artists on both the Traditional and Crossover Charts in its debut week, including the likes of more commercial, “crossover” fare such as Lindsey Stirling, The Piano Guys and Il Divo, among others. Their incredible story has been documented by the likes of NPR’s Morning Edition, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and most recently CBS Sunday Morning.
Offering their lives in prayer and sacrifice for priests, The Benedictines of Mary use the work of their hands primarily for the making of priestly vestments. They also take care of gardens, an orchard and a small farm. They paint gorgeous icons and live an artistic lifestyle based upon their religious vows. Leaving behind their families, bank accounts, and all of their possessions, the women live together in community following closely The Benedictine Rule of life known as “ora et labora” (work and pray).
Young and extremely musical, they do not set foot beyond their Midwest rolling farmland, focusing solely on living an austere, yet joyful life set apart from the world. Working on their farm and mostly living off the land, they sing together eight times a day as part of their daily monastic schedule of Vespers and Divine Office, lifting their hearts to God through music. The order’s Prioress, Mother Cecilia, vacated her seat in the horn section with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio to enter religious life, despite her conservatory background, where music was emphasized over religion. A graduate of The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, in Houston, Texas, Mother Cecilia acts as arranger and drives the selection of repertoire for the recordings. Sr. Scholastica, the Order’s sub prioress helps design their album artwork.06/04/2014