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Musical Advent Calendar: Day 12

Today in church we keep the memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of Mexico. I have not chosen a piece of music from that place but the text of today's offering centres on the Blessed Virgin Mary and the role in the redemption of humanity by bearing Jesus, the Word made flesh.

A Spotless Rose by Herbert Howells

The Text:

A paraphrase of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (see here) by Catherine Winkworth.

The Music:

Written in 1919, this piece is one of a three-part set of carol-anthems. It is unaccompanied, and set for choir and baritone solo.

A spotless Rose is blowing, Sprung from a tender root, Of ancient seers' foreshowing, Of Jesse promised fruit; Its fairest bud unfolds to light Amid the cold, cold winter, and in the dark mid-night.

The Rose which I am singing, Whereof Isaiah said, Is from its sweet root springing In Mary, purest Maid; For through our God's great love and might The Blessed Babe she bare us In a cold, cold winter's night.


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