For the seasons of Advent and Christmas the usual Compline hymn to Our Lady (viz. Salve Regina) is replaced by Alma Redemptoris Mater. I do not know it nearly as well as I ought to. Care to practice with me?
O loving Mother of our Redeemer,
Gate of heaven, Star of the sea,
Hasten to aid thy fallen people who strive to rise again.
Thou who brought forth thy holy Creator,
All creation wond’ring, yet remainest ever Virgin,
Taking from Gabriel’s lips that joyful “Hail!”:
Be merciful to us sinners.
From such a humble thread, many glories have been woven. Here is a resplendent performance of a setting, for six voices, by Diego Ortiz. (The conductor’s manner in this video comes perilously close to being antic, but I give him the benefit of the doubt. The sound he coaxes from his choir covers a multitude of sins. And don’t give up on this too soon; it gets better as it goes on.)
(Hat-tip: The Chant Cafe)