ut animalia viderent Dominum natum

The organist at one of the parishes that I serve brings a dog with her onto the organ loft. The dog is silent for most of the Mass, but usually begins to howl for the recessional hymn. It howls almost in tune, so that it seems to be trying to join in the singing. Large grins appear on the faces of the congregated faithful whenever the dog is heard. At Christmas the dog’s howls remind me of the responsory O Magnum Mysterium:

O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio!

4 thoughts on “ut animalia viderent Dominum natum

  1. A well-known carol in Spanish has this refrain: O mira cómo beben los peces en el rio / o mira cómo beben al ver a Dios nacido / beben y beben y vuelven a beber / los peces en rio al ver a Dios nacer

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  2. Do you know the Matins responsory in the old breviary: “Domine, audivi auditum tuum et timui: consideravi opera tua, et expavi, in medio duorum animalium”? It is from the Septuagint of Habbakuk.

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  3. At our small FSSP parish near Atlanta, the choir has sung 4 different polyphonic settings of O Magnum Mysterium, each one more beautiful than the last — but we have never yet been honored to have an animal join in!

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