Gottfried von Preyer (1807 – 1901) was an Austrian
composer, conductor and teacher. He studied with Simon
Sechter from 1828 to 1834. He became professor of
harmony and composition at the Vienna Conservatory in
1839, and from 1844 to 1849 he was director of the
conservatory. He was also Vizehofkapellmeister and
Domkapellmeister of St. Stephan. He founded children's
hospital Gottfried von Preyer'sches Kinderspital
bearing his name.
Ecce sacerdos magnus is an antiphon and a responsory
from the common of confessor bishops in the Liturgy of
the Hours and in the Graduale Romanum, and the Epistle
in their proper Mass.
The responsory Ecce sacerdos magnus for the festival of
a confessor bishop, from the Liber Responsorialis juxta
Ritum Monasticum, Solesmes, 1895, page 194. Since it is
the second responsory of its nocturn, it doesn't have a
half-doxology. The responsory ends with the repetition
of the partial respond.Its words are, Ecce sacerdos
magnus, qui in diebus suis, placuit Deo, which means,
"behold the great priest, who in his days, pleased
God". In certain cases, those words are followed by: et
inventus est iustus (meaning, and has been found just).
In others , the response is: Non est inventus similis
illi, qui conservaret legem excelsi (no one has been
found to be like him in the keeping of the laws of the
English Translation: Behold a great priest who in his
days pleased God: Therefore by an oath the Lord made
him to increase among his people. To him He gave the
blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant
upon his head. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him
to increase among his people. Glory to the Father and
to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. . .
The priest mentioned in the hymn refers to Christ, the
high priest, in whose place the bishop stands. It has
been often set to music by composers, including Anton
Bruckner and Edward Elgar.
Although this piece was originally written for Chorus
(SATB) & Organ, I created this arrangement for Acoustic