O magnum mysterium

A highly expressive, new a cappella setting of this traditional Christmas text. Carefully prepared dissonances and judicious use of close harmonies thoughtfully paint the text. The work concludes with the opening material sung on “Alleluia”  over which a soprano descant soars. A sense of awe and wonder permeate this setting.  A poetic translation is included that allows the work to be performed in English or Latin.

Movement 4 from Venite Adoremus

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(O greatest, most holy embodiment)
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent
Dominum natum, iacentem in praesepio!

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
Portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia!

Domine, audivi auditum tuum et timui; c
onsideravi opera tua et expavi
in medio duorum animalium.

O greatest, most holy embodiment,
our affirmation, now come to live with us,
oh that these animals should see the new-born Lord
Now lying in a manger low!

Most Blessed Virgin whose vessel pure was
worthy to bear Emmanuel, God’s son. Alleluia.

Lord most high, I see you,
and wonder fills my heart with awe,
when I consider your blessed birthing has transpired
amid a meek and humble animals’ stable.

Composed as the a cappella centerpiece of Venite Adoremus:

Experience the majesty, mystery, and wonder of the Nativity with Venite Adoremus, a new 5 movement work for choir, soprano, bass, and orchestra. The work centers around the text “Venite Adormeus” (O Come Let’s Us Adore Him), tells the story of the Nativity according to the Gospel of Luke, as well includes a more intimate portrait of the birth in two a cappella settings: the Shepherds carol by Margaret Deland and the traditional O Magnum Mysterium (O Great Mystery). It was commissioned for the annual Christmas Festival at Dallas Baptist University.

I. Adeste Fidelis
II. Shepherd’s Carol
III. And there was in the same country
IV. O Magnum Mysterium
V. By the splendor of the heavens

Key Features:

  • Language: Latin and English or English only (at the choice of the conductor)
  • Forces: SATB choir, soprano, baritone or bass solo
  • Choice of performing forces:
    • Keyboard Only (organ or piano)
    • Chamber Orchestra (13+players)
      Fl. Ob, Horn, 2-Bb Tpt.,+ hp. + timp + 1 perc. + Str.
    • Full Orchestra (27+ players) – + hp. + timp + 1 perc. + Str