This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Sunday, 25 December 2016



Laetabundus Exsultet fidelis chorus. Alleluia.

The Sequence Laetabundus, for the mass of Christmas, is not found in the Tridentine Roman Missal. It was found in all the Gallican Missals, including those of France, and the English Sarum Usage; and is also in the Dominican and Carmelite Missals.

For a long time it was thought to have been written by St Bernard: but Dom Gueranger notes that he had seen it in a Manuscript of the eleventh century, and consequently it must have been written earlier than the date usually assigned to it.

Exsultet fidelis chorus.
Regem regum
Intactae profudit torus:
Res miranda!
Angelus Consilii
Natus est de Virgine,
Sol de Stella.
Sol occasum nesciens,
Stella semper rutilans,
Semper clara.
Sicut sidus radium,
Profert Virgo Filium
Pari forma.
Neque sidus radio,
Neque Virgo Filium
Fit corrupta.
Cedrus alta Libani
Conformatur hyssopo
Valle nostra.
Verbum ens Altissimi
Corporari passum est,
Carne sumpta.
Esaias cecinit,
Synagoga meminit;
Numquam tamen desinit
Esse caeca.
Si non suis vatibus,
Credat vel gentilibus,
Sibyllinis versibus
Haec praedicta:
Infelix, propera,
Crede vel vetera:
Cur damnaberis, gens misera?
Quem docet littera
Natum considera:
Ipsum genuit puerpera.
Let the choir of all the faithful exult in their joy. Alleluia.The Virgin’s womb hath given us the King of Kings! O wonderful mystery!
The Angel of the great Counsel is born of the Virgin, the Sun is born of a Star!
The Sun knows no setting; the Star is ever shining, ever bright.
As a star gives forth its ray, so does the Virgin her Child.
The star loses naught of its purity by the ray it yields, so neither does the Virgin by her Child.
The lofty cedar of Libanus comes down into our valley, making itself little as the hyssop.
He that is the Word of the Most High God deigns to take a body unto himself; he assumes our flesh.
Isaias had foretold all this; and the Jews, though they knew the prophecy by heart, see not its accomplishment in this mystery.
If they will not believe their Prophets, let them believe the Sybils, who thus sang:
‘Unhappy people, delay not, believe, at least, the ancient oracles! Why wilt thou be cast off, O wretched nation?
This is the Child of whom thy books tell thee: he is the Son of a Virgin-Mother.’


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