Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Sr Fidelis  
The Nativity of Mary

The Nativity of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8th.  However, we’re celebrating it today, because it falls on a Sunday this year.  This is a feast of great exultation!  The antiphons, hymns and texts used are all joyous in character. 

The feast was first celebrated in the East in the mid 6th century; moved to Rome in the 7th, and had spread throughout the West by the 8th and 9th centuries.

The Lauds hymn in Mode 2, is used for both the Nativity of Mary, and the Annunciation of the Lord.  The text is from the 7-8th century and is rich with imagery in it’s description of her role. 

v.1) O gloriosa Domina, excelsa super sidera,
      qui te creavit provide,lactas sacrato ubere.

     O glorious Lady, high above the stars,
     to him who created you providentially, you give suck from your sacred breast.

v.2) Quod Eva tristis abstulit, tu reddis almo germine;
      intrent ut astra flebiles, sternis benigna semitam.

      What sad Eve took away, you restored by your gracious seed;
      that the sorrowing may enter the stars, you, O gentle one, smooth the way.

v. 3)  Tu regis alti ianua et porta lucis fulgida;
         vitam datam per Virginem, gentes redemptae plaudite.

         You are the door of the high king, and the shining gate of light.
         life given through a virgin, you redeemed people, applaud.

v.4)  Patri sit et Paraclito tuoque Nato gloria,
       qui veste te mirabili circumdederunt gratiae. Amen.

        To the Father, and to the Paraclete and to your Son, be glory,
        who surrounded you with the wonderful garment of grace.  Amen.




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