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Chart-topping US nuns to release album aimed at capturing season of preparation before Easter

In this Nov. 18, 2013 photo provided by De Montfort Music, a community of nuns sing at a recording sessions for "Lent at Ephesus" in the chapel at the Priory of The Benedictines of Mary called "Ephesus" near Gower, Mo. The Benedictines of Mary were named Billboard's Top Traditional Classical Album Artist of 2013, for the second year in a row. Their new album, “Lent At Ephesus,” was released Feb. 11 on the Decca/De Montfort Music label. (AP Photo/Courtesy De Montfort Music)

GOWER, Mo. – A group of chart-topping rural Missouri nuns is preparing to release an album of chants and hymns designed to capture the Christian season of preparation before Easter.

The Benedictines of Mary were named Billboard’s No. 1 Classical Traditional Artist of 2012 and 2013. Their new album, “Lent At Ephesus,” was released Feb. 11 on the De Montfort Music/Decca/Universal Classics label.

Their two earlier albums, “Advent at Ephesus” and “Angels and Saints at Ephesus,” also were recorded at their monastery near the tiny Missouri town of Gower, about 35 miles (56 kilometres) north of Kansas City.