Two Latin Texts

For the sixth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee…

Latin may be a dead language, but many know the Christmas phrase Gloria in excelsis Deo, Glory to God in the highest! There is much great Christmas music in Latin, and I chose two to highlight. The first, a very short piece, expresses the joy of Christ’s coming, and the longer second piece is a gorgeous reflection on the mystery of the incarnation. While I can’t recommend teaching your congregation Latin, on which of these themes might you or your congregation want to meditate?

Omnis mundus jocundetur nato salvatore
All the world rejoices that a Saviour has been born
casta mater quae concepit Gabrielis ore.
of a chaste mother who conceived as Gabriel said.
Sonoris vocibus, sinceris mentibus,
With sounding voices, and with sincere hearts,
exsultemus et laetemur hodie.
Let us rejoice and be glad today.

Itaque, gaudete, gaudeamus itaque.
Therefore, rejoice, let us rejoice, therefore.

Christus natus ex Maria virgine,
Christ was born of the Virgin Mary,
Gaudeamus et laetemur itaque.
So let us rejoice and be glad therefore.

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

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