Christmas at St. Michael's (CD)

Item #2900
Shipping Wt. 0.50 lbs.
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Chant for the Three
Masses of Christmas

Gregorian chants in Latin sung by the Norbertine Fathers of Orange County, California. Includes Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Prose, Offertory and Communion for all three Christmas Masses (Midnight, Dawn & Day) as they are sung at St. Michael's Abbey. After centuries of use, these chants still retain their sacramental quality, supple vigor, and ability to dispose the soul for the contemplation of God and His Mysteries.

The repertoires of chant are almost like "dialects" of the Gregorian repertoire - there is substantial overlap of texts and settings found in the Roman Missal (for the Mass) and Antiphonarium (for the Liturgy of the Hours), but there are items that differ in part or completely.

16 selections
Total time: 40:21

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For a track list and audio samples (using your Windows Media Player), select the MORE PRODUCT INFO tab below.

Proceeds from the sale of this CD support the relocation of the Abbey and its preparatory school.

To hear 30-second samples on your Windows Media Player, just click on SAMPLE.

1. Missa in Nocte: Introit 2:52 (SAMPLE)
2. Missa in Nocte: Gradual 4:32 (SAMPLE)
3. Missa in Nocte: Alleluia 2:41 (SAMPLE)
4. Missa in Nocte: Prose 3:13 (SAMPLE)
5. Missa in Nocte: Offertory 1:09
6. Missa in Nocte: Communion 0:54
7. Missa in Aurora: Introit 4:21
8. Missa in Aurora: Gradual 2:45
9. Missa in Aurora: Alleluia 2:39
10. Missa in Aurora: Offertory 1:30
11. Missa in Aurora: Communion 1:16
12. Missa in Die: Introit 3:39
13. Missa in Die: Gradual 2:55
14. Missa in Die: Alleluia 2:32
15. Missa in Die: Offertory 1:58
16. Missa in Die: Communion 1:19


Christmas is the annual feast commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago. For Christians, it is not just a single day (December 25), but an extended liturgical season of joy and celebration, involving many different symbols and traditions, special music and activities, which vary significantly among different countries and cultures. For religiously observant Christians, the Christmas Season begins at sunset on Christmas Eve, December 24, and lasts from 12 days to 40 days. In some ecclesial traditions the Christmas Season might end on January 6 (the traditional date of the Feast of the Epiphany); in others it might last until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (usually the Sunday after Epiphany), or might even last all the way to February 2 (the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 40 days after December 25). January 6, usually celebrated as Epiphany, carries different significance in various church traditions. Due to different calendars in use in various eras and locations of the church, some cultures and church traditions celebrate Christmas on January 6 (in the older Julian calendar still used as the religious calendar in Eastern Churches, January 6 corresponds to December 24 on the modern Gregorian calendar).

Although we cannot know the exact date of Jesus' birth, it has been celebrated on December 25 since the early fourth century, when most of the Roman Empire adopted the Christian religion. It replaced the mid-winter Roman festival of "the birth of the sun god" (sol invictus), celebrated just after the winter solstice.

Etymologically, the word "Christmas" derives from Old English "Cristes mæsse" (literally "Christ's festival"). It is similar to Dutch Kerstmis, but is significantly different in derivation and meaning in many other European languages: German Weihnachten ("Blessed Night"), Italian Natale, Spanish Navidad, French Noël (all ultimately derived from Latin natalis, "birth"), and Scandinavian jul (from which is derived the English yule).

The official liturgical color of the Christmas Season for most Churches is white or gold, not green and red, as many people assume because of their prevalence in secular celebrations.
St. Michael's Abbey: Orange County, California

St. Michael's Abbey is an autonomous abbey of the Norbertine Order, which was founded in the 12th century, by St. Norbert of Xanten. The Norbertines are canons regular: Catholic clergy (priests or deacons) who live a common monastic life of poverty, chastity, and obedience under a priestly superior with daily attendance at the choral Office in the abbey church.

The Abbey's beginnings date to 1950, when a group of seven Hungarian refugees from the Abbey of St. Michael at Csorna, Hungry, fled their country and eventually came to the United States. In 1958, Cardinal McIntyre of Orange County gave his consent to erect a permanent monastic community and novitiate. The canonry currently has 47 priests and 22 men in formation studying for the priesthood.

The abbey's principal apostolate is its school, St. Michael's Preparatory School. Confreres also provide Sunday ministry at over thirty parishes and institutions in the diocese of Orange and other dioceses in Southern California. They teach at schools – from elementary to college level – throughout the Orange and Los Angeles dioceses.