The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Virgo Dei genitrix - Marian

For the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

Compare: Virgo Dei genitrix - Advent

Translation: “O Virgin Mother of God,” etc. See Below

Source: R.R. Dom Prosper Guéranger, The Liturgical Year: The time after Pentecost, Volume 3. 2d Ed., Translated from the French by the Rev. Dom Laurence Shepherd. (Worcester: Stanbrook Abbey, 1800), p. 516, citing Hymnits Completorii in festis B. Marks. Antiphonar. Serum. 1552.

1 Virgo Dei Genitrix, quem totus non capit orbis:
In tua se clausit viscera factus homo.

2. Vera fides Geniti purgavit crimina mundi:
Et tibi virginitas inviolata manet.

3. Te matrem pietatis, opem te clamitat orbis:
Subvenias famulis, 0 benedicta, tuis.

4. Gloria magna Patri, compar tibi gloria, Nato:
Spiritui Sancto gloria magna Deo. Amen.

A musical setting in four parts for this hymn can be seen at the IMSLP, Virgo Dei Genitrix (Anonymous). The public domain setting is a reproduction of the setting originally found in Erhart Oeglin's Liederbuch (1512). The setting was found in Publikation älterer praktischer und theoretischer Musik-Werke, Bd.9
(Berlin: Leo Liepmannssohn and M. Bahn, 1880), pp. 68-73.

The version found in Guéranger, The Liturgical Year: The Time after Pentecost, contains this marvelous introduction:

Together with Elizabeth, let us extol, in our Gradual, the Blessed Virgin to whom we owe all these joys of ours, and within whom love still keeps inclosed Him whom the whole world could not contain. The distich which is sung in the Verse was especially dear to the piety of the Middle Ages; it is to be found in different Liturgies, either as the opening line of the Hymn,1 or under the form of an Antiphon, in the composition of Masses or of Offices.

This translation is found in the same volume:

O Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world is unable to contain, being made Man, inclosed Himself in thy womb.

The true faith of Christ thy Son hath cleansed away the world's guilt. And to thee, Virginity remains inviolate.

He proclaims thee Mother of tenderness and the Succour of the world ; come, then, to the aid of the servants, O thou Blessed One.

Great glory be to the Father, and equal glory to thee, O Son: To the Holy Spirit, God, great glory also be. Amen.

No attribution for this translation except generally that Rev. Dom Laurence Shepherd is the translator of this volume of this series.

Interestingly this same Marian version can be found in the liturgy for the Birth of Christ, Dec. 25, in the 1912 The Colbertine Breviary. See: Thomas Robert Gambier-Parry ed., The Colbertine breviary: edited from the copy in the British Museum. Volume 1 of 2. (Henry Bradshaw Society, 1912), p. 214.

The Marian version of this hymn can be found widely on the Internet. Latin and English versions of this hymn can be found at the website for the Canticum Novum Choir, Schola Cantorum Bogotensis, located in Bogota City, Columbia.

Likewise, both Latin and English versions of Virgo Dei genitrix can be found at the website Gregorian Chant Lyrics and English Translations, www.chantcd.com.

Finally, Joshua at “Psallite Sapienter Blog” also offers both Latin and English versions of this hymn. See Virgo Dei Genitrix.

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