The Song of the Sibyl

Part of the Matheson Trust Sacred Audio Collection

El Cant de la Sibil·la is a liturgical chant of Apocalyptic contents, which has been performed at churches of Majorca, Sardinia and Catalunya on Christmas Eve nearly uninterrruptedly since medieval times. It has been declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Nowadays it is usually sung from the pulpit by a boy who holds an erect sword in his hands for the duration of the chant.

Click on the links below to watch the videos or to listen to the audio.

Church of Santa Maria, Sineu, in the heart of Majorca, 2009

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or right-click here to download the audio recording – 9:23 (13.5MB)

Or watch the video following this link.

Click here to display the text in Catalan and English

Al jorn del judici parrà qui avrà fet servici.

Jesucrist, Rei universal, home i ver Déu eternal, del cel vindrà per a jutjar i a cada u lo just darà.
Gran foc del cel davallarà; mars, fonts i rius, tot cremarà. Daran los peixos horribles crits perdent los seus naturals delits.

Als mals dirà molt agrament: —Anau, maleits, en el turment! Anau-vos-ne en el foc etern amb vòstron príncep de l’infern!
Als bons dirà: —Fills meus, veniu! Benaventurats posseïu el regne que us he aparellat des que lo món va esser creat!

Oh humil Verge! Vós qui heu parit Jesús Infant aquesta nit,
a vòstron Fill vullau pregar que de l’infern vulla’ns lliurar!
Al jorn del judici parrà qui avrà fet servici.

On the day of judgment, he will be spared who has done service.
Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, man and true eternal God, from Heaven will come to judge and to everyone will give what is fair.
Great fire from the heaven will come down; seas, fountains and rivers, all will burn. Fish will scream loudly and in horror losing their natural delights.
To the evil ones he will say very sourly: —Go, damned, into the torment! Go into the eternal fire with your prince of Hell!
To the good he will say: —My children, come! Lucky ones, you possess the kingdom I have kept for you ever since the world was created!
Oh humble Virgin! May you who have given birth to Child Jesus on this night, pray to your son so he will want to keep us from Hell!
On the day of judgment, he will be spared who has done service.

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Click here to watch a performance in Sta. Eulalia, Palma de Mallorca, 2008.