Sisters singing the Gospel climb music charts

(Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn)Erica Campbell and Warryn Campbell pose with their Grammy award for Best Gospel Song for "Go Get It" backstage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 10, 2013.

Sung Gospels, a genre of musical worship dating back to the 19th century, continues to show signs of thriving and growing.

Look no further than the ascension of The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles' newest album.

Titled Angels and Saints at Ephesus, the record contains over a dozen melodic odes to Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and other figures of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition.

And it is also selling like the Scriptures.

As reported by Billboard Magazine, the sacred album won out the No. 1 spot on the Classical Traditional Music Chart for the third straight week. It also maintains the eighth spot in Billboard's Overall Classical Music Chart.

The rankings put it above decidedly more secular classical selections, such as Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album and Downton Abbey: The Essential Collection.

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles order is a relatively young group of monastic sisters. The order was founded in 1995 in a rural part of Missouri.

There, the sisters sing eight times a day while praying, particularly for the sanctification of priests, and take care of a small farm and accompanying gardens.

Angels and Saints at Ephesus is the singing sisters' second recorded album, following the successful Advent at Ephesus. That record spent a total of six weeks at the top of Billboard's Classical Traditional Music Chart.

Produced by De Montfort Music, the order of singing nuns has been well received all around.

"We continue to be amazed by the success of the music from The Benedictines of Mary," said Monica Fitzgibbons, cofounder of De Montfort Music, in a press release. "It is a testimony to the desire for art to reflect both the true and the beautiful."

Gospel music, which has flourished in countless variations in recent years from country to urban contemporary, shows no signs of losing steam in its popularity.

In April, church choir leaders even organized an eight-day "Soul Train Cruise" to tour the Pacific Ocean in October. The event will be filled with music from the Gospel industry, as well as personalities seen on BET.

As with singing nuns, Gospel music continues to endure and surprise industry standards.

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News