The Nativity of Our Lord

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SATB a cappella, also Mvmt. IV, Angelus ad Pastores, available for SA / piano
Traditional Christmas texts in Latin
Difficulty rating (1-5): 3
I. Puer Natus est Nobis
II. Laetentur Caeli
III. Dixit Angleus
IV. Angelus ad Pastores
V. O Magnum Mysterium
VI. Viderunt Omnes

This piece has not yet been premiered. Please e-mail me if you are interested in premiering this piece.

I wrote Angelus ad Pastores while staying at the home of Raymond Fahrner and Elizabeth Green. Ray is the very fine music director of the Cambridge (MA) Madrigal Singers. Sherri, Aidan and I were in Boston for the premiere of my piece Esta Tarde,

mi bien, which was the winning composition of the Cambridge Madrigal Singers 2004 Composition Competition. Ray and Elizabeth have twin daughters, Genevieve and Carolyn, who were four years old at the time, and quite fun little characters –
so I thought I would like to write them a little piece (Angelus ad Pastores).
I later decided to write more short Christmas pieces with Latin texts and put them together for concert or church use. Thus the piece is bigger now, but each movement has its own intimacy.

Complete perusal score available upon request.
Note: This piece, intended for concert or church use, can either be used in its entirety or excerpted. When used intact, the six sections tell the Nativity story beginning with Isaiah’s prophecies through Luke to the Christmas Day responsory O Magnum Mysterium. When used in sequence the settings connect either thematically or harmonically from one to another.


I. Puer Natus est Nobis   
Puer natus est nobis,
et filius datus est nobis.
(Isaiah 9:6)
Unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given.
II. Laetentur Caeli
Laetentur caeli,
et exsultet tera
ante facimen Domini:
quoniam venit.
(Psalm 96:11,13)
Let the heavens rejoice
and let the earth be glad
before the face of the Lord:
for He is coming.
III. Dixit Angelus
Dixit angelus ad Mariam:
“Ecce concipies et paries Filium,
et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum.”
III. Dixit Angelus  (Luke 1:30,31)
The angel said unto Mary:
“Behold, Thou shalt conceive
and bring forth a son,
and shalt call his name Jesus.”
IV. Angelus ad Pastores
Angelus ad pastores ait,
annuncio vobis gadium magnum:
quia natus est vobis hodie
Salvator mundi,
Alleluia; Gloria in excelsis Deo;
et in terra pax hominibus
bonae voluntatis;
(Luke 2:10-14)
The Angel said to the shepherds
I bring you tidings of great joy,
for unto you is born this day
the Savior of the world,
Hallelujah; Glory to God in the highest
and peace on earth to men
of good will;
V. O Magnum Mysterium
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem un praesepio.
(Responsory: Matins for the Nativity of our Lord)
O great mystery
and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see the newborn Lord
lying in their manger.
VI. Viderunt Omnes
Viderunt omnes fines terrae
salutare Dei,
nostri jubilate Deo omni terra.
(Psalm 98:3,4)
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of God,
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.



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