II-01-04 Viderunt omnes – communion for Christmas Day

This motet is an excellent example of free polyphony with only a passing nod to the original chant. While the incipit and first three notes of the soprano voice echo the chant from the Liber Usualis, no chant sources reflect the melodic phrases in this short motet.

As was common in the pre-Tridentine liturgy, communion music is not lengthy even for Christmas Day, one of the holiest of days, due to the fact that the sacramental elements were only consumed by the officiating clerics. Most attendees at the service were observants of the office.

Viderunt omnes fines terrae Salutare Dei nostre.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

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