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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Monteverdi Choir - "Alma Redemptoris Mater" - Palestrina

Fourth Sunday of Advent
 



Alma Redemptoris Mater or, in English, "Loving Mother of our Savior," is one of four liturgical Marian antiphons (the other three being: Ave Regina caelorum, Regina coeli and Salve Regina), and sung at the end of the office of Compline. Hermannus Contractus (Herman the Cripple) (1013 - 1054) is said to have authored the hymn based on the writings of Ss. Fulgentius, Epiphanius, and Irenaeus of Lyon. It is mentioned in "The Prioress's Tale", one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Formerly it was recited at compline only from the first Sunday in Advent until the Feast of the Purification (February 2),

 Loving Mother of our Savior, hear thou thy people's cry
Star of the deep and Portal of the sky!
Mother of Him who thee made from nothing made.
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid:
Oh, by what joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.


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