Thursday, December 19, 2013

Laudate Dominum - W.A. Mozart Lyrics - Sublimity Defined

Recently, I came upon this solo and choral piece, composed in 1780 by Mozart, designed for liturgical use in the Salzburg Cathedral. The the work was intended for vespers held on a specific day on the liturgical calendar.  This was Mozart's final choral work composed for the cathedral.  I cannot stop listening to this, it has become my Advent devotional.  I play it as I drive home from work, as I drive to instruct classes at UCLA, and as I drive home, giving thanks for my class and the opportunity to be out in the world.

The first part of the text is the entire Psalm 117, and the second part is the standard Doxology which appears at the conclusion of many texts, including all the psalm chants.

Can we just pause for a moment in the midst of this annual insanity of Christmas rush to reflect on the profound mystery of the immaculate conception, the embarrassment and shame that followed that young couple who were both awakened in the night by visions of angels, and then the small, seemingly insignificant birth of a little baby boy in a barn.  

Events that put together, still conspire to change the course of history, even today.  It is enough to make me weep.

The translation goes like this:

Laudate Dominum omnes gentes, Praise the Lord, all the nations,
laudate eum omnes populi. praise him, all the people.
Quoniam confirmata est For his loving kindness
super nos misericordia ejus, has been bestowed upon us,
et veritas Domini manet and the truth of the Lord endures
in aeternum. for eternity.

Gloria patri et filio Glory to the Father, Son,
et spiritui sancto, and to the Holy Spirit;
sicut erat in principio as it was in the beginning,
et nunc et semper is now, and ever shall be,
et in saecula saeculorum. world without end.
Amen. Amen.

Amen, indeed.  Merry Christmas to all.

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