O Viri, Este Hilares

"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" is a very well-known English carol, and I've found two different Latin translations online. You can find detailed information about the English carol at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website and in this Wikipedia article.

This carol is famously featured in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

Version 1 (Translated by J.C. Robertson)

O viri, este hilares
et bono animo.
Salvator Christus natus est
hoc tempore festo,
ut nos errantes liberet
summo periculo.
O laetissimum nuntium, laetissimum,
O laetissimum nuntium.

[The "In Bethlehem" verse is not included]

De caelo Pater misit
in terram angelum,
qui quosdam ad pastores
afferret nuntium:
in Bethlehem natum esse
Ipsius filium.
O laetissimum nuntium, laetissimum,
O laetissimum nuntium.

[The "Fear not" verse is not included.]

Quo cognito pastores,
completi gaudio,
relictis statim gregibus
in imbre et in vento,
approperant in urbem
visendi studio.
O laetissimum nuntium, laetissimum,
O laetissimum nuntium.

Eo cum pervenissent,
viderunt parvulum
cubantem in praesaepio
in faeno pecorum,
dum mater nixa genibus
adorat Dominum.
O laetissimum nuntium, laetissimum,
O laetissimum nuntium.

[The "With sudden joy" verse is not included.]

Nunc collaudemus Dominum
omnes qui adsumus,
amore vero inter nos
dilecti penitus.
Nam omnium dierum
hic est faustissimus.
O laetissimum nuntium, laetissimum,
O laetissimum nuntium.

[The "God bless the ruler" verse is not included.]

Version 2 (Translated by Lillian Lawler)

Salvete, laeti comites.
Nihil vos terreat.
Nam Iesus Christus natus est
ut omnes redimat,
et in Satanae semitas
errantes reducat.
O nuntium gratissimum, gratissimum!
O nuntium gratissimum!

Here is an instrumental version to sing along with:

Annie Lennox is singing in English; you can sing along in Latin!

And here are Pentatonix:

(about this image)


Lynne Sears Williams said...

I love this site! I like everything in it, including the cartoon of Scrooge and Christmas present. It brings a Rather Sad song to mind,(re: the Holy Innocents)so I shall just slip away. Good work!

Laura Gibbs said...

Thank you, Lynne! I am always sorry when December finishes up and the carols come to an end - but I revive the site every year and add new materials that people have sent me in the meantime... and the years certainly pass by very quickly!

Anonymous said...

Just want to say thanks a lot for these songs, cant imagine the headache that's gone into them. I struggle translating into English!

Anyway they never fail to bring a smile to my face: cheers!

Unknown said...

Ago tibi gratias, Laura!