Recently a friend introduced me to the Orlando di Lasso motet “Tristis Est Anima Mea,” a beautiful piece that captures in words and music the quiet, expectant sorrow of Lent and the coming sacrifice in which Christ is handed over to sinners for the salvation of sinners. The words are taken from Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before the moment of his betrayal.

Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem:
sustinete hic, et vigilate mecum:
nunc videbitis turbam, quæ circumdabit me:
Vos fugam capietis, et ego vadam immolari pro vobis.

Ecce appropinquat hora, et Filius hominis
tradetur in manus peccatorum.

My soul is sorrowful unto death:
stay here, and keep watch with me:
now you will see a crowd of men surround me.
You shall flee, and I will go to be sacrificed for you.

Behold the hour approaches, and the Son of man
will be handed over into the hands of sinners.


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