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This has to be one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I was first introduced to it when we sang it in college, and I’ve loved it ever since. Music like this echoes through your mind, your soul, and your heart…it becomes part of you. Imagine if your church sounded like this every Sunday…it would be like heaven on earth! I know I’d go for that!

Some churches used to sound like this every Sunday and holy day (how many, I don’t know), and some still do, although I imagine they must be fewer and fewer in number these days. You listen to something like this, and you wonder: how much have we lost? Not how much have we gained, as far as technology, Bible translations, or what have you in the modern world — but what have we lost? What did people used to have and work for and achieve that we can only dream about now? In the Middle Ages they built huge soaring cathedrals without the use of modern materials or equipment, and filled them with songs like these to God. Phones get fancier, cars and computers get faster, but people aren’t changing as much for the better as we’d like to think. Songs like this remind us what was once, and what will one day be, in heaven. Plus it’s just a great song for this time of year…it always makes me feel like I’m standing at the manger when all is quiet and still, and the angel’s song is echoing and dying away over the Judean hills in the dead of night. I hope this song leads you to contemplate Christ’s wondrous birth for all humanity. It’s not just one day a year; He came for everyone and He took on our flesh for eternity.

Turn it up and rattle the windows.

Latin text

O magnum mysterium,

et admirabile sacramentum,

ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,

jacentem in praesepio!

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera

meruerunt portare

Dominum Christum.



English translation

O great mystery,

and wonderful sacrament,

that animals should see the new-born Lord,

lying in a manger!

Blessed is the Virgin whose womb

was worthy to bear

Christ the Lord.