Tag Archives: O Magnum Mysterium

Saint Kunibert and Saint Maria Lyskirchen

Saint Kunibert

Saint Kunibert [German Wikipedia] is the youngest of the 12 Romanesque churches in the old city. it was consecrated in 1247 one year before work on the cathedral began. During the bombing of the historical center the roof went up in flames and the west tower was hit by a bomb.

At the end of the 1970s initiatives were taken to rebuild and in 1993 the church was reconstructed. In 1993 a Kuhn organ was installed. There are eight medieval stained glass in the apse. Once again the artistic treasures of our Catholic heritage perished in the bombings so all these buildings are very plain but the proportion and dimensions are original. In such a plain and noble setting the few pieces of art salvaged from the rubble are striking.


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Saint Maria LysKirchen

Santa Maria in Lyskirchen, a Romanesque church in Cologne, is “the smallest of the twelve Romanesque churches in Cologne.” Here is the  Lyskirchen website.

Facade of Lyskirchen

Apse of Lyskirchen

Lyskirchen altar

Historic vaulting of Lyskirchen. 12th century frescoes.

Schiffer Madonna (Seaman’s Madonna)


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O Magnum Mysterium

During the 12 days of Christmas, we commemorate the great mystery, the Magnum Mysterium. The O Magnum Mysterium is a sublime chant that through the centuries many composers have set to music because indeed it speaks about the the mystery of the Incarnation. The unity of the seasons is spoken of so beautifully in this sublime text.

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.