Wednesday, December 24, 2008

cum enim quietum silentium contineret omnia

When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word.
--Wisdom 18:14,15

Here is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It has drive and strong rhythm and seems very assertive and masculine. OK, maybe my testosterone needs adjusting, but it's not syrupy. I did not find quite my perfect version on YouTube tonight but here is a nice one by the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus.

Personent hodie
Anonymous, 1582
1. Personent hodie
Voces puerulae,
Laudantes iucunde
Qui nobis est natus,
Summo Deo datus,
Et de virgineo
Ventre procreatus.

2. In mundo nascitur;
Pannis involvitur;
Praesepi ponitur
Stabulo brutorum
Rector supernorum;
Perdidit spolia
Princeps Infernorum.

3. Magi tres venerunt;
Munera offerunt;
Parvulum inquirunt,
Stellulam sequendo,
Ipsum adorando,
Aurum, thus et myrrham
Ei offerendo.

4. Omnes clericuli,
Pariter pueri,
Cantent ut angeli:
'Advenisti mundo:
Laudes tibi fundo
Ideo: Gloria
In excelsis Deo'.

I am going to be audacious and offer my own prose translation, clunky but going for overall concept.

Today the voices of children sound out, joyously praising, for we have a child, given by the Most High God, born of a virginal womb.

The ruler of the upper realms was born in the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger with the beasts of the stable; and the prince of the lower realms has lost his spoils.

Three magi came and offered gifts, seeking the little one, following the little star, adoring him and offering gold, incense, and myrrh.

Let all clerks and children sing together with the angels: You have come to the world, glory be to you from the depths, wherefore Glory to God in the highest!


I wish you all a season of joy and heart's content. But more than a season, I wish abiding peace for you and yours and for all sentient beings.
--the BB


David said...

Wishing you a Christmas which is remarkable only for its outstanding bounty of blessings.

You and your presence here Paul are a rich feast of blessing to all of us, so keeping it simple I'd wish you your heart's desire this blessed feast of Holy Incarnation.

hugs Paul


Paul said...

Thank you, David. May the same be yours.

Diane said...

I used the Wisdom quote in my sermon today.

Merry Christmas, Paul!

Paul said...

I am very fond of it, Diane. Merry Christmas to you and yours (Scout most certainly included)!