Cantate et Adorate, Pastores et Magi

A very blessed Solemnity of the Epiphany, or Second Sunday of Christmas, depending on where you’re reading this. Here in Canada, the feast commemorating the visit of the Magi is moved to the previous Sunday, for ‘pastoral reasons’, which has the unfortunate effect of compressing the Twelve Days of Christmas. So we live them out as we are able.

On that note, here is a beautiful motet, Angelus ad Pastores Ait, by Hieronymous Praetorius (+1629), a German composer, with a Latin name, who composed in the late Renaissance transition into the early Baroque, with elements of both. Here, as we continue through the Christmas season (which traditionally lasts until the Presentation on February 2nd) is his meditation on the angels announcement to the shepherds that a child has been born, and they should venite, et adorate.

The angel also appears to the Magi, the ‘wise men’ of this world, that they too should follow the star, and bow low before their creator and redeemer, the One who fashioned and guides not just the stars, but the entire cosmos. Here is a musical commemoration by the contemporary composter Francois Poulenc (+1963):, Videntes Stellam