Simile est regnum caelorum

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General information

The phrase Simile est regnum caelorum (The kingdom of heaven is like unto…) introduces the parable of the vineyard laborers in Matthew 20: 1-4, 8 & 16b, the Gospel for Septuagesima (in 1970 the reading was reassigned to Ordinary Time 25, Year A).

Some of the unlinked pieces listed below are described as being assigned to the Purification or Common of Virgins, which suggests a different text, either the Pearl of Great Price (Matth. 13, "simile est regnum caelorum homini negotiatori" ) or the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matth. 25 " simile erit regnum caelorum decem virginibus").

There are parody Masses Simile est by several composers, including Victoria, Guerrero and Lobo.

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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

1  Simile est [enim] regnum caelorum homini patri familias, qui exiit primo mane conducere operarios in vineam suam.
2  Conventione autem facta cum operariis ex denario diurno, misit eos in vineam suam.
3  Et egressus circa horam tertiam vidit alios stantes in foro otiosos,
4  Et illis dixit: Ite et vos in vineam meam; et, quod iustum fuerit, dabo vobis.
8  Cum sero autem factum esset, dicit dominus vineae procuratori suo: Voca operarios et redde illis mercedem incipiens a novissimis usque ad primos.
16b  Multi enim sunt vocati pauci vero electi.

English.png English translation

1  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.
8  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
16b  for many be called, but few chosen.

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