The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Gabriel To Mary Went

Angelus ad Virginem

For Christmas

Plainsong Sequence. From a Sequentiale (Vellum MS., early 14th Century) apparently connected with the Church of Addle, Yorks.

British Museum, Cotton App. XXIX, f. 36 b.

For the four-part harmony the Editor is responsible. (See Preface)
English Translation by Rev. J. O'Connor.

See: Angelus Ad Virginem, with notes and links to translations. Slightly different text, and with an additional fourth verse.
Gabriel To Mary Came, from Pickard-Cambridge, and numerous other translations.

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #200, pp. 55-56.

Angelus ad Virginem
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Meter: 77 77 88 11 6 7 6

1. Gabriel to Mary went
    A mighty message bare he;
Deep in awe the Maiden bent
    To hear the first Hail Mary.
He spoke as soft as summer air;
'Hail first among the pure and fair!
    Thou undefiled
    Shall bear a Child
    All glorious
Salvation is thro' Him
By thee He comes victorious
O queen of Seraphim.'

1. Angelus ad virginem
Subintrans in conclave.
Demulcens formidinem
Demulcens, inquit "Ave!"
Ave regina virginum!
Coeliteraeque Dominum
Et paries
Salutem hominum.
Tu porta coeli facta
Medela criminum.

2. 'How shall this befall?' she quoth,
    'For man hath never known me.
Can I break my plighted troth
    That none but God shall own me?'
The Angel said: 'O Maid believe,
The Holy Ghost shall this achieve.
    So be not sad,
    But wholly glad,
    For surely
Thy maidenhood so white
Shall shine for ever purely
By God's especial might!

2. Quomodo conciperem,
Quae virum non cognovi?
Qualiter infringerem,
Quae firma mente vovi?
'Spiritus sancti gratia
Perficiet haec omnia;
Ne timaes,
Sed gaudeas,
Quod castimonia
Manebit in te pura
Dei potentia.'

3. Here the Maid of David's blood
    Spoke out in answer lowly:
'I am but the slave of God
    Omnipotent and holy.
To thee O high ambassador,
On whom such secrets He doth pour,
    I do consent,
    Right well content
    To hold me
For ever by His word.
O Gabriel! behold me
The handmaid of the Lord!'

3. Ad haec Virgo nobilis
Respondens inquit ei;
''Ancilla sum humilis
Omnipotentis Dei.
Tibi coelesti nuntio,
Tanti secreti conscio,
Et cupiens
Factum quod audio,
Parata sum parere
Dei consilio.'

4. Maiden Mother of us all,
    Who by thy Son sublimely
Brought the peace that Adam's fall
    Once banished untimely:
Implore that Strong and Holy One
That until this our day is done,
    His gentleness
    To our excess
May check us when we roam,
And in thy name effulgent
From exile call us home!

4. Eia Mater Domini,
Quae pacem reddidisti
Angelis et homini,
Cum Christum genuisti;
Tuem exora Filium
Ut se nobis propitium
Et deleat
Praestans auxilium
Vita frui beata
Post hoc exsilium.


Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #200, pp. 55-56.

200a-Gabriel_To_Mary.jpg (117666 bytes) 200b-Gabriel_To_Mary.jpg (99134 bytes)

Sheet Music from Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #34, pp. 63-64.

AMCB76.jpg (688839 bytes) AMCB77.jpg (611672 bytes)

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