Christmas, Day 11: Hodie

LOOK: Virgin and Child from Chora Church

Chora dome
The Virgin and Child surrounded by angels, 14th century, frescoed dome of the parecclesion (side chapel) of the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, Istanbul.

Virgin and Child (Chora Church)
Chora dome, detail

LISTEN: “Hodie,” early monastic chant from the Celtic Church in Ireland | Performed by Mary McLaughlin on Sacred Days, Mythic Ways: Ancient Irish Sacred Songs from Mythology to Monasteries (2012)

Hodie Christus natus est
hodie Salvator apparuit:
hodie in terra canunt angeli,
laetantur archangeli:
hodie exsultant justi, dicentes:
Gloria in excelsis Deo. Alleluia!

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Deus dominus, et illuxit nobis. [Refrain]

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto:
sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,
et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. [Refrain]

English translation:

Today Christ is born;
today the Savior has appeared;
today the angels sing,
the archangels rejoice;
today the righteous rejoice, saying:
Glory to God in the highest. Alleluia!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

The texts that make up this Christmas chant are from the Latin Mass. The verses are the parts known as the Benedictus (Psalm 118[117]:26a, 27a) and the Gloria, which are sung at every Mass, and the refrain is the antiphon to the Magnificat that is sung at Vespers on Christmas Day.

The plainchant melody is from early medieval Ireland.

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