It is the day before Christmas. And I am sitting in the truck, writing. While it’s kind of cold out (not quite 30 degrees as I sit here) I’m plenty warm, and there is a bit of sunlight peeking around the intermittent cloud cover. It sort of goes in and out, and it doesn’t stay put long enough for there to be real brightness outside. But so what? At least it’s not cloudy or snowing or raining.
While I’m pretty sure that many of you are familiar with “Ave Maria” and “O Holy Night” sung in languages other than English, there is music that isn’t well known anymore by the vast majority of us simply because it isn’t commonly used, even in liturgy. I’ve included one that I’ve known of for years and even heard it used in the Christmas Eve liturgy a number of years ago. That said, it’s appropriate for the feast of the Immaculate Conception as well as for the Nativity. It is Gregorian Chant, and I’ve included the English translation.
One other thing: I think I’ve put this video up in the past, and I apologize for that. However, the video itself makes this worth reprising.
Hail, hope of the world, Mary, hail, meek one, hail, loving one, hail, full of grace
Hail O singular virgin, who wast chosen to not suffer flames through brambles
Hail, beautiful rose, hail, staff of Jesse:
Whose fruit loosened the chains of our weeping
Hail whose womb bore a son against the law of death
Hail, O one lacking comparison, still tearfully renewing joy for the world
Hail, lamp of virgins, through whom the heavenly light shone on these whom shadow holds.
Hail, O virgin from whom a thing of heaven wished to be born, and from whose milk feed.
Hail, gem of the lamps of heaven
Hail, sanctuary of the Holy Ghost
O, how wonderful, and how praiseworthy is this virginity!
In whom, made through the spirit, the paraclete, shone fruitfulness.
O how holy, how serene, how kind, how pleasant the virgin is believed to be!
Through whom slavery is finished, a place of heaven is opened, and liberty is returned.
O, lily of chastity, pray to thy son, who is the salvation of the humble:
Lest we through our fault, in the tearful judgment suffer punishment.
But may she, by her holy prayer, purifying from the dregs of sin, place us in a home of light
Amen let every man say