O Magnum Mysterium

St. John\'s Illuminated Bible


     I sang this chorale in the 500 piece Nebraska All-State Choir of 2001. I simply hadn’t heard anythinglike it in my life. I wasn’t aware that people had felt things so deeply and expressed them so beautiful and with such awe-inspiring, humbling, grandure. I was not aware of the words or meaning. Singing sacred latin text helped me later when I would direct the liturgical music for a Catholic church but here I simlply knew it for the beautiful vowels and consenants and tones that it is.


Latin Text

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.
English translation
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

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