A hymn for the second Sunday of Advent.
Gabriel of high degree,
He came down from the Trinity
From Nazareth to Galilee
This is a Latin Advent tune from the 15th century and an early English hymn. The lyrics follow the story of Gabriel’s visit to Mary at the Annunciation, which will culminate in the Nativity. We don’t usually use recordings of high school choirs, but these kids really hit it out of the park.
The Virgin Mary is sometimes called the “new Eve” and the name Eve in Latin is Eva. Medieval authors noted that the first word Gabriel says to Mary is “Ave,” which is Eva spelled backwards. Although this is a coincidence, many medieval composers use the word “Ave” when referring to Mary to illustrate that she “undid,” or reversed, what Eve had done. In this they were commenting that the obedience of Mary cured the disobedience of Eve.