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Mirabile misterium!

- David Barton


Video Sample

PDF Sample

Use: Christmas
Required Resources: SATB choir, Solo
Language: English, Latin

Popular and prolific British composer David Barton gives us this lovely, easy to sing Christmas motet. It is a perfect blend of new and old - current, conservative harmonies joined with Medieval touches, including modal flavor, snatches of unison, and macaronic alternation of Latin and English. Scored for a cappella SATB choir with comfortable ranges, the motet makes use of a medium-voice solo (or semi-chorus) at the beginning and end.

This refrain is sung after each verse:

Mirabile misterium!
Mirabile misterium!
The Son of God is man become.
Mirabile misterium!

The verse texts are taken from 15th century traditional poetry:

  1. A marvelous thing I have mused in mind,
    How that Veritas sprang right of the ground,
    And Justicia, for all mankind
    From heaven to earth he came a-down.
  2. Then Mary, that merciful may,
    Seeing man damn'd for his trespass,
    Hath sent down Sapientia, the sooth to say:
    Man is redeem'd and brought to grace.
  3. Celestial citizens, for us that you pray
    To Him that is both Alpha and O,
    That we may be saved on Doomsday,
    And brought to that bliss He bought us to!

Mirabile misterium! is especially appropriate for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, as the modal character fits well into the night-time atmosphere. It could be sung equally well for various other celebrations during Christmastide: Holy Family, Mary Mother of God, Epiphany, and even the Baptism of the Lord.


Order #: 5054
Price: $1.85


- Choral Music
- Christmas
- SATB Choir
- a cappella
- English / Latin

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