CD: Martin Family Singers: Christmas

We've offered this two-CD set before, but we thought that during this time of year you'd be particularly interested in the bonus disk that's included: the eight Martin sisters singing Christmas songs around the piano, directed by their father, Al.

Old-timers from the traditionalist movement in Michigan will remember the angelic voices of the Martin sisters who sang for High Masses at St. Pius X Church and St. Joseph's House in the 1970s.

In those days, when the "new springtime" of Vatican II had destroyed good church music everywhere, it was a moving and sublimely uplifting experience for a Catholic to assist for the first time at a High Mass sung by the Martin sisters.

Initially trained by their father, several sisters went on to study voice professionally. One of the eight, Joan, continues the family tradition by serving as our choir director at St. Gertrude the Great Church.

And we can't resist adding another personal note here: As a young priest in 1977, Father Anthony Cekada, together with Father Donald Sanborn, visited the Martin family home in Owosso, Michigan, and after a lively family dinner, sat down at the piano and taught the girls Gregorian Mass IX for the first time.

We are pleased to offer a CD of their 1980 recording of two settings for the Ordinary of the Mass, Gregorian Mass IX and Foeppel's Mass in Honor of the Holy Guardian Angels, together with Credo III and the traditional hymns for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The CD takes us back to the roots of the traditionalist movement, and reminds us of the sacrifices a handful of faithful Catholics made to keep alive the great tradition of sacred music.

An heirloom classic!