The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Resonet In Laudibus

For Christmas Day

Version 1 of 6

Words: Anonymous Medieval Latin Hymn

Music: Resonet In Laudibus, German, Fourteenth Century, and others

See: Theodoric Petri, ed., Piae Cantiones Ecclesiasticæ Et Scholasticae Et Scholasticae Vetervm Episcoporum (Gyphisuualdiæ: Augustinum Ferberum, 1582), pp. 32-34.

Source: Rev. George R. Woodward, ed., Piæ Cantiones. A Collection of Church & School Song. (London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for the Plainsong & Medieval Music Society, 1910) , #3, pp. 4-5, and see Christmas Songs in Woodward's Piæ Cantiones (1910) .
Also see
Magnum nomen Domini.

Also known as Nunc Angelorum, adapted by Thomas Helmore
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer
Meter: Irregular

Resonet in laudibus cum iucundis plausibus
Sion cum fidelibus, Apparuit quem genuit Maria.
Christus natus hodie ex Maria virgine
Sine virili femine Apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Sunt impleta quae praedixit Gabriel.
Eya, Eya,virgo Deum genuit,
Quem diuina voluit clementia.
Hodie apparuit, apparuit in Israel,
Ex Maria virgine est natus Rex.

Pueri concinite, nato regi psallite,
Voce pia dicite, Apparuit quem genuit Maria.
Sion lauda Dominum Saluatorem hominU,
Purgatorem criminU Apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Sunt impleta quae praedixit Gabriel.
Eya, Eya,virgo Deum genuit,
Quem diuina voluit clementia.
Hodie apparuit, apparuit in Israel,
Ex Maria virgine est natus Rex.

Sheet Music and Notes from Rev. George R. Woodward, ed., Piæ Cantiones. A Collection of Church & School Song,  chiefly Ancient Swedish, originally Published in A. D. 1582 by Theodoric Petri of Nyland. (London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for the Plainsong & Medieval Music Society, 1910), Carol #3, pp. 4-5, Notes p. 206.

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See: The Christmas Songs in Woodward's Piæ Cantiones (1910)

Theodoric Petri, ed., Piae Cantiones Ecclesiasticæ Et Scholasticae Et Scholasticae Vetervm Episcoporum (Gyphisuualdiæ: Augustinum Ferberum, 1582), pp. 32-34.

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Karl Severin Meister, Das katholische deutsche Kirchenlied in seinen Singweisen von den frühesten Zeiten bis gegen Ende des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts. Erster Band. (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1862), Nos. 27 & 28, pp. 184-190.

Includes Magnum nomen Domini, Resonet in Laudibus, and Joseph Lieber, Joseph Mein

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Several tunes are given, with sources sometimes very numerous.


Wilhelm Bäumker, Das Katholische Deutsche Kirchenlied. Vol. I. (Freiburg, 1886), #47, Magnum nomen Domini, and #48. Resonet in laudibus, pp. 299-306. Note that Meister was the author of the first volume, 1862. Subsequent volumes were edited or re-edited by Bäumker.

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Again, several tunes are given, with sources sometimes very numerous.


Sheet Music from Nicola A. Montani, ed., The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book. Complete Edition. (Philadelphia: St. Gregory Guild, 1920), #156, p. 241.

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Notes by Rev. George R. Woodward to III. Resonet In Laudibus, pp. 206-208.

Of the fourteenth century. Often followed by Magnum nomen Domini, Cantio No. LXXVIII, though the latter may be regarded as complete in itself. Wicel's 'Psalter Ecclesiasticus' (1550) refers to this Carol (in the vernacular Zion sampt den gleubigen) as one of the chief 'Jubelgesänge der heiligen Weihnachten, wie lie unsern Christlichen Vorfaren frölich gesungen.' The list includes Der tag der ist so freudenreicli (Dies est leticie); Ein kindelein so lobelich; Es ist das kind zu Bethlehem (Puer natus in Bethlehem); and In dulci iubilo.

According to Dreves, 'Anal. Hymnica,' XX, p. 23, the oldest known form of Resonet cum laudibus is contained in the 'Mosburg Gradual' of the year 1360 (Cod. Univ. Monacen. 157). Wackernagel, II, No. 605, quotes the old German carol, Joseph, liber neve myn, from a Leipzig manuscript, No. 1305, of the end of the fourteenth or beginning of the fifteenth century, which was sung to this melody alternately with Sunt impleta and Magnum nomen Domini. Hoffmann von Fallersleben quotes it from another manuscript at München of 1422.

It occurs in several other fifteenth century manuscripts, and in sixteenth and seventeenth century printed books, Catholick and Lutheran, such as Spangenberg (1544), Babst (1545), Leisentrit (1567), and in 'Schöne alte Chatoliscbe Gesang und Ruff' Tegernsee (1577); for a list of which see Meister, I, Nos. 27 and 28, [p. 207] and Bäumker, I, pp. 301-6. In more modern works it is to be found in Daniel, I, p. 327, and IV, p. 252. See also Wackernagel, I, Nos. 348-354, Kehrein, I, Nos. 94, 96, 125, and 126; besides the collections enumerated in Chevalier's 'Repertorium Hymnologicum,' vol. II, p. 467. Other information may be gleaned from Julian (1907), p. 1668 (i), under the heading Magnum nomen Domini, below, but especially from Franz Magnus Böhme's 'Altdeutsches Liederbuch' (1877), No. 521 a and b.

Franz Magnus Böhme, Altdeutsches Liederbuch (1877), No. 521 a and b, pp. 625-627.

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No. 521b, p. 627, titled Maria's Wiegenlied and das Resonet, and citing Joh. Walthers' Gesangb, 1544, No 40. Other citations were to "Bapistisch," c. 1521; Munchuer GB c. 1525; Evangelischen, c. 1522-26, and others (in a small Fraktur-style font).

Joseph liber neve myn, hilf mir wygen myn kindelin, with the answer, Gerne libe mume myn ich helf dir wygen din kindelin, is known as Maria's 'Wiegenlied,' or 'Cradle Song,' for various readings of which, and for rubrics concerning its manner of singing, the student is referred to Wackernagel, II, Nos. 605-610.

Numerous translations or parodies of Resonet cum laudibus and Magnum nomen Domini are to be found in German sacred song-books, such as Singen wir mit frölichkeit; Zion sampt den gleubigen; Wir loben all' das Kindelein; En natus est Emanuel; Uns ifl ein Kindlein heut' geborn; Es musz erklingen überall; Singt ihr lieben Christen all; Grosz und Herr ist Gottes Nam; Do Gabriel der Engel klar—all testifying to the immense popularity of this fourteenth century melody.

Neale's well-known carol, Christ was born on Christmas Day is not a close translation, but rather a free imitation of Resonet in laudibus. See 'Carols for Christmas-tide' (1853), No. iv; and 'The Cowley Carol Book' (1902), No. 4.

The Tune, at first probably Mixo-Lydian, came to be treated, in process of time, as a Lydian, and lastly as an Ionian mode melody. In slightly varying form, it may be found in most of the sixteenth and seventeenth century Gesangbücher; and in later books it occurs in Zahn, Nos. 20 and 8573, as well as in Layriz, Meister (Bäumker), and Böhme. [Ed. Meister, Bäumker  and Böhme, above]

Johannes Zahn, ed., Die Melodien der Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchenlieder. Vol. 1 of 6.
ütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1889), No. 20, p.  9

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Johannes Zahn, ed., Die Melodien der Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchenlieder. Vol. 5 of 6.
ütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1892), No. 8573, pp. 252-254.

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No. 8573 a, b, c., pp. 252-253; No. 8574, pp. 253-254; No. 8575, p. 254.
All three pages are presented here together because of the heading at the top of the page 252. To the extent that the numbers 8574 and 8575 can be used for Resonet in Laudibus is beyond my understanding.

8573a. Resonet in Laudibus, citing Klug 1543 Bl 134.
8573b. Magnum nomen Domini with a number of citations, the oldest to Wolder 1598, "O Jesu liebes herrle mein," and then to Stenger, 1663, "Singt ihr lieben Christen all," and "O Jesu liebes herrlein mein." Others were 1800s.


Bäumker, II, p. 283, remarks on the similarity between the fourteenth century tune of Resonet cam laudibus and Philipp Nicolai's much admired Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (1599).

The Melody has been often harmonized (for four, five, six, seven, or eight voices), amongst others, by the following musicians:

(i) Joh. Walther (1544), No. xlvii; (1551), No. li, à 5. See Winterfeld, I, Tonsätze, No. ii; and Michael Prætorius, 'Mus. Sion.,' V (1607), No. lxxxvii, to the words Joseph lieber Joseph mein. [page 208]

(ii) Leonhart Schröter (circa 1580), for four and eight voices. See Winterfeld, I, p. 342.

(iii) Samuel Mareschall, or Lucas Osiander,1 as No. 3 in the latter's ' Funfttzig Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen' (1586); teste Winterfeld, I, p. 471.

Footnote 1:

Although Matthæus Le Maistre (1566) and David Wolkenstein (1583) sometimes set the Plainsong in the highest part, Lucas Osiander (1534-1604) was the first to entrust the chief melody systematically to the upper voice. Hitherto it had been given to the tenor. See Winterfeld, I, p. 30, on early three, four, and five-part settings of the sixteenth and seventeenth century; Zahn, VI, No. 260, p. 73; and R. Eitner's 'Quellen-lexikon,' IX, P. 75.

(iv) Seth Calvisius (1586-1615) in E. Bodenschatz' 'Florilegium Portense' (1618), No. lxxxix, a six-part setting.

(v) Joh. Andreas Herbst (1588-1666); ibid. p. 25.

(vi) Michael Prætorius' 'Musæ Sion.,'V (1607), as Joseph lieber Joseph mein., No. lxxxvii, à 5 (already mentioned); and again in the same vol., as No. xc, set to the words Magnum nomen Domini [mit vier Tenoristen]; and again, as No. xci, as Resonet in laudibus, and Singt ir lieben Christen all, à 5.
'Musae Sion,' VI (1609), as Nos. xlvi, xlvii, xlviii, and liv, to the words Magnum nomen Domini; En natus est Emanuel, and Uns ist ein Kindlien heut' gehorn, à 5.

(vij) Hieronymus Prætorius (1560-1629). A setting for eight voices occurs after his Magnificat of the Fifth Tone (1622). Reprinted in Breitkopf and Haertel's 'Denkmaeler,' Band XXIII, p. 139.

Note from John Julian, ed., The Dictionary of Hymnology, Vol. II (1892, 1907), p. 1668.

Magnum nomen Domini Emmanuel. [Christmas.'] Probably of the 14th cent. Hoffmann von Fallersleben, 1861, p. 422, prints it from a Munich MS. of 1422 (stanzas iii.-viii. being the " Resonet in laudibus "), and at p. 424 the form that became current, from Corner's Gesangbach (R. C), 1625. It is in manuscripts of the 15th century at Hohenfurt, Berlin, Vienna, and Leipzig (see Bäumker, i., No. 47, &c). Text also in Wackernagel, i., No. 348; Daniel, iv., p. 252 ; the Arundel Hys., 1902, No. 24, &c.

Translated as :—
Great is Our Lord Jesu's Name (Magnum Nomen Domini), by J. O'Connor, in the Arundel Hymns, 1902, No. 25. [J. M.]

Editor's Note. Fallersleben cites "Cod. germ. Monac. 444 von J. 1422." Daniel gives the same version citing Fallersleben (except for a minor change in the last stanza), and giving the citation to Fallersleben and to the 1422 source. See:  Magnum Nomen Domini-Fallersleben.

Wackernagel, I contains the following versions of Magnum nomen domini and Resonet in Laudibus:

#348, p. 211. Three versions of Magnum nomen domini.
1 Alte und Newe Gestliche Lieber, Joh. Spangenberg. Erffurbt 1544 Blatt A 7b
2 J Leisentrit, 1567. I. Blatt 47.
3 Speierisches Gesangbuchlein von 1600. 12. Blatt 41b.

#349, pp. 211-2, Three versions of Aparuit quem genuit.

#350-354, pp. 212-214, Five versions of Resonet in Laudibus. All versions in three line verses:
#350-8 verses
    #351-4 verses
    #352-5 verses
    #353-9 verses
    #354-8 verses

The five versions of Resonet in Laudibus  with the first lines of each verse:

#350-8 verses
1 Resonet in laudibus
2 Pueri, concurrite
3 Natus est Emanuel
4 Iuda cum cantoribus
5 Et nos unanimiter
6 Sion, lauda dominum
7 Genito sit gloria
8 Ergo nostra concio
     Citing Christ. Adolf Blatt 96b.

#351-4 verses
1 Resonet in laudibus
2 Pueri concurrite
3 Natus est Emanuel
4 Deo laus et gloria
     Citing Alte und Newe Geistliche Lieder, etc., Joh. Spangenberg, 1544 Blatt 7b.

#352-5 verses
1 Resonet in laudibus
2 Christus natus hodie
3 Natus est Emanuel
4 Pueri, concinite
5 Sion, lauda dominum.
     Citing Bal. Babst, 1545, Blatt D 7; Leisentritt, 1567. Blatt 45. And Others.

#353-9 verses
1 Resonet in laudibus
2 Christus natus hodie
3 Qui regnat in aethere
4 Sion, lauda dominum.
5 Natus est Emanuel
6 Christo regi psallite
7 Dies est laetitiae
8 Ergo nostra concio
9 Pueri, concinite
     Citing Joh. Leisentrit, 1537. I. Blatt 17. etc., and others.

#354-8 verses
1 Resonet in laudibus
2 Christus natus hodie
3 Natus est Emanuel
4 Pueri, concinite
5 Qui regnat in aethere
6 Gaudeat Hirusalem
7 Ergo nostra concio
8 Sion, lauda dominum.
     Citing Shone, alte, Chatholische Gesang und Russ. Legernsee 1577. Blatt 22b, and others.

Elizabeth Poston, The Penguin Book of Christmas Carols (London: Penguin, 1965)

Resonet In Laudibus. Fourteenth century. Referred to by Wicel (1550) as ‘one of the chief Christmas songs of joy’. According to Dreves, its oldest known form is in the Mosburg Gradual of 1360. The words of Joseph, lieber Joseph mein (no. 28) were sung also to this tune, as were several other texts. It occurs in several fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and seventeenth-century printed collections, Catholic and Lutheran. The many versions and parodies of this carol’s text in German sacred songbooks are evidence of the carol’s immense popularity. The fourteenth-century melody exists in various versions and is to be found in most of the German sixteenth- and seventeenth-century songbooks and in Cantiones. For what not to do with the words see Introduction page 15. [‘wreath the holly, twine the bay’.]

Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott have a history of Resonet In Laudibus in The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992),

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An English translation of Resonet In Laudibus is Christ Was Born On Christmas Day, Rev. John Mason Neale, in Carols for Christmas-tide, 1853, from Piae Cantiones, 1582.

Charles Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), prints the Neale translation with four tunes:

George Ratcliffe Woodward reproduces the original four verses as commonly found in Christ Was Born On Christmas Day, and with the commonly associated tune, but with four additional verses and an additional tune.

Another translation is Now With Gladness Carol We, English Translation by the Rev. Ronald Knox, from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #165, pp. 12-13.

Two literal translations appear on the Memoria Press web site. One is a translation by Kira Maffet; the other is described as the official Memoria Press version. They are not reproduced here due to copyright.

Two other English versions under copyright include:

Another translation, "Let the Voice of Praise Resound" (Carol #55), is found in Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992). The same tune is employed with "Joseph, Lieber Joseph Mein" ("Joseph, Dearest Joseph Mine"). Keyte and Parrott have an extensive history of "Resonet In Laudibus" following the translations.

Other Latin Versions

Compare: Christ Was Born On Christmas Night, lyrics by Bishop C. W. Stubbs, with two musical settings.

Some of the resources mentioned in these notes include:

Sources of Latin hymns found in Piae Cantiones:

Copies of many of these works are available at the Internet Archive and Google Books.

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