Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent: Alma Redemptoris Mater

"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a Marian hymn traditionally sung during Advent. The earliest version is in Gregorian chant and is mentioned in The Prioress's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. This version was composed by 16th century church musician Giovanni Palestrina and is performed by the Monteverdi Choir, King's College Cambridge. the recording comes from the album Once As I Remember -John Elliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir. Scroll down to read the lyrics in Latin and in English.

Original Latin:

Alma Redemptóris Mater, quæ pérvia cæli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succúrre cadénti,
Súrgere qui curat pópulo: tu quæ genuísti,
Natúra miránte, tuum sanctum Genitórem
Virgo prius ac postérius, Gabriélis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatórum miserére.

English translation:

Mother of Christ! Hear thou thy people's cry,
Star of the deep, and portal of the sky!
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid;
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

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