This selection of O Magnum Mysterium was composed in 1572 by Tomas Luis de Victoria. O Magnum Mysterium is a setting of Matins for Christmas, and has been explored by numerous other composers, Palestrina, Gabrieli and Byrd notable among them.
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum
jacentem in praesepio.
O beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.
O most awesome mystery
and sacrament divine and most wondrous:
that animals should look and see the Lord a babe newborn
beside them in a manger laid.
O how truly blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
to bear and bring forth the Lord Christ Jesus.