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Palestrina's text for O Magnum Mysterium Palestrina's are based on the Responsorial in the Christmas Mass and are as follows:
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum
jacentem in praesepio.
Natum vidimus et choros Angelorum
O great mystery
and wonderful sacrament
that animals could see the birth of the Lord
lying in a manger.
We saw the child new-born and choirs of angels
praising the Lord.