RE: [liturgy-l] From the UK list[Fwd: O magnum mysterium]
its history, how it came to be included in the Divine Office, and why it
became so popular?
>>>I believe you are referring to a responsory to a Sermon by St. Leo the Pope
in the Second Nocturn of Matins for the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas
Day). The Anglican Breviary has for it:
R. How great the mystery, fraught with a wondrous, hidden meaning, that
beasts should behold the newborn Lord, lying in the manger; * Blessed art
thou, O Virgin, whose womb was made meet to bear the Lord Christ. [V. Hail
Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee. Blessed art.]
Pius Parsch does not comment on the response specifically, but does say
about the Second Nocturn: "The second nocturn points out the gifts He
brings, viz., the kingdom of God, peace, redemption, reconciliation with the
Father. The psalms help give this message. . . . The lessons give a
Christmas homily of Pope St. Leo I . . . . "
I'm sure there must be detailed commentaries on the Western/Roman Breviary,
which would list sources where these are known. Keep looking!
By the way, for interested list readers, the Latin text is:
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum
jacentem in praesepio:
O beata Virgo,
cujus viscera meruerunt portare
Dominum Jesum Christum.
Robert J. Riley
From: John Dornheim [mailto:john19@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2000 8:25 PM
Subject: [liturgy-l] From the UK list[Fwd: O magnum mysterium]
Stephen Perisho wrote:
> Liturgy List members:READY
> ATLA(NTIS) librarians are having difficulty securing at least
> access to an answer to the following question, posed to the ATLANTIS lista
> few days ago by Christopher Brennan of Colgate Rochester Divinity School:of
> Dear colleagues,
> I have a reference question that has me stymied. If any of you (especially
> my Roman Catholic colleagues) have any solutions, I would be glad to hear
> I received a call yesterday from a graduate student at the Eastman School
> Music, our local music conservatory. The student is writing herdissertation
> on "O Magnum Mysterium," a responsory included as part of the matinsservice
> for Christmas Day.her
> Evidently a number of composers (e.g., Handel, Poulenc, etc.) have written
> musical settings for the responsory. She can handle the musical side of
> research. What she is seeking is background information on "O Magnumwho
> Mysterium" itself; its history, how it came to be included in the Divine
> Office, and why it became so popular?
> I have tried Religion database, CPLI, Catholic Encylopedia, sources on
> christmas carols and hymns, Vatican documents on liturgy, commentaries on
> the breviary, etc. without success. I would be glad to hear from anyone
> knows the background of this piece, or who has likely sources for furtherdesired.
> information on this piece. I can send the complete text if that is
> Many thanks for all your help.
> Can any of you suggest a ready access point? This is turning out to be
> harder than I thought it would be. After a great deal of additional
> around, I find that all I can suggest is that the musicologist in questionEphemerides
> scan every line of the sections devoted to the history of the liturgy in
> every volume of the bibliographical numbers of such journals as
> Theologicae Lovanienses and Revue d'histoire ecclesiastique.To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> Surely there's an easier way! But if so, we're not seeing it.
> I look forward to hearing from you.
> Steve Perisho
> Historical Studies-Social Science Library
> Institute for Advanced Study
> Einstein Drive
> Princeton, New Jersey 08540
> United States of America
> Tel.: 609 734 8378; Fax: 609 951 4515
> E-mail: sperisho@...