The Angel and Mary

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Instrumental Only?

SATB Choir and Organ. What a delightful piece this is! A new arrangement of the medieval carol Angelus ad Virginem. If you’re familiar with this one, you’ll know it’s a very wordy affair, in Latin, full of verse after verse of rather musty doctrine. The really cool thing about it is the tune. Here's John's arrangement, based on the tune and the story. The words are new, in English, and rather more contemporary. (At one point a frightened and skeptical Mary tries to kick the angel out of her room.) Wonderful!

Perfect for your Lessons and Carols service.


Wakened from a peaceful sleep,
young Mary viewed the stranger:
"Who are you, your purpose here?
Why stand you in my chamber?"
"Mary," the stranger said in peace,
"Mary, all heaven sings your praise;
I bring news that God has chosen you;to bear a Son
who shall redeem the earth.
"Fear not, for I am but God's lowly
herald of this birth."

"How can I believe this tale?
I surely must be dreaming.
Sir, you now must leave this place,
or soon I should be screaming."
"Mary, O child of earthly mind,
Who can imagine God's design?
Know this: the angels guard your person without rest,
no man shall you defame;
the Child you bear shall be of God,
Emmanuel his Name."

"Sir, your words have calmed my heart,
but leave me in perplexion:
I, a maid who's yet to wed
seem odd for this selection."
"Mary, O child of earthly mind,
Who can imagine God's design?
to visit earth in human form
and join the human race,
and you shall be Theotokos,
all purity and grace."

"As heav'n is high and earth is low,
and God's ways are not man's,
I, God's servant, true shall be,
the vessel of this plan."
"Mary, O child of noble mind,
you will enable God's design.
Know this: in joyous praise of your courageous soul
the angels sing above;
It pleases God that you shall give
this Babe your heart of love."

Let us lift our song to her,
the Mother of all renown;
she who birthed the Babe that turned
the whole world upside down.
Hail, Mary, full of heav'nly grace;
we see your love in Jesus' face.
Praise to the living God, Creator, Paraclete,
Redeemer, Three in One,
whose love shall reign forevermore,
while endless ages run.