El canto de la Sibil·la

  • Folklore

Description

The song of the Sibil·la is the song of a poem of medieval origin on the final judgment, the Judicii Signum, which reproduces the prophecies of the Sibyl of Eritrea. During the Middle Ages it had a great diffusion in the south of Europe until in the XVI century the Council of Trento took it to the edge of the disappearance, except in Majorca where it remained practically intact. In 2004 the Consell de Mallorca declared it an Asset of Cultural Interest and in 2010 UNESCO decided to include it in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


The first information that is known about the song of the Sibil·la in the cathedral of Mallorca dates back to 1360, but presumably it began to be represented at the end of the 11th century, after the reconquest of the island by Jaime I of Aragón or rei En Jaume.


It is represented in almost all the churches of Mallorca and the seo of Alghero (Sardinia) just before the Mass of the Rooster, the day Christmas Eve, and represents a child or woman dressed as sibil·la (fortune-teller of the pagan world) with a silk shawl, a sword in hand and accompanied by two or more altar boys who lead him to the pulpit. In the last 20 years it has been recovering in various locations in Catalonia and in the Valencian Community.


Here is the most representative text of the song of the Sibil·la:


El jorn del judici
parrà qui haurà 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
mar, fonts i rius, tot cremarà.
Los peixos donaràn grans crits
Perdent los naturals delits.
Ans del Judici l'Anticrist vindrà
i tot lo món turment darà,
i se farà com Déu servir
i qui no el crega farà morir.
Lo seu regnat serà molt breu;
en aquell temps sots poder seu
moriran màrtirs tots a un lloc
aquells dos sants, Elíes i Enoc.

Lo sol perdrà la claredat
mostrant-se fosc i entelat,
la lluna no darà claror
i tot lo món serà tristor.
Als mals dirà molt agrament:
- Anau, maleïts, en el turment!
anau, anau al foc etern
amb vostro príncep de l'infern.
Als bons dirà: - Fills meus veniu!
benaventurats posseïu
el regne que està aparellat
des de que el món va ser creat.
Oh humil Verge! Vos qui heu parit
Jesús Infant aquesta nit,
a vostro Fill vullau pregar
que de lo infern nos vulla guardar.
El jorn del judici
parrà qui haurà fet servici.


I also attach a video of the song of the Sibil·la of the Cathedral of Palma in 2012:



I encourage you to go to church on Christmas Eve to witness one of the few living examples of medieval religious folklore.

Merry Christmas!