Music Notes, provided by Dr. Edward Maki-Schramm, Director of Music

Beata Viscera (Blessed Offspring) is a Marian piece intended for the Communion section of the Mass. The text is used at all times in the Roman rite (except during Advent) as the Communion motet of the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin. The Perotin setting is a double-voice work attributed to the medieval French composer Perotin (fl. c.1200).  The second setting of this text is by William Byrd (ca. 1540-1623). It comes from his set of Marian masses composed sometime after the 1570s when it is reported that he converted to Catholicism.

Beata viscera Marie virginis cuius ad ubera rex magni nominis; veste sub altera vim celans numinis dictavit federa Dei et hominis O mira novitas et novum gaudium, matris integrita post puerperium. Solem, quem librere, Dum purus otitur In aura cernere visus non patitur, cernat a latere dum repercutitur, alvus puerpere, qua totus clauditur. O mira novitas et novum gaudium, matris integrita post puerperium.

Blessed flesh of the Virgin Mary, at whose breast the king of eminent name, concealing, under altered guise, the force of divine nature, has sealed a pact of God and Man. O astonishing novelty and unaccustomed joy of a mother still pure after childbirth. Vision does not endure to behold in its radiance the sun, unconcealed, as he rises forth, pure. Let the wholly enclosed womb of the mother behold from the side as it is reflected. O astonishing novelty and unaccustomed joy of a mother still pure after childbirth.