The Trumpet of the Last Judgement

Tuba Mirum feels very special to me. If you ever catch me humming a piece of Western Classical music, this will most likely be it. I have been exposed to a bit of Mozart and Requiem specifically when I was a teenager, and this piece has stayed with me ever since. This piece becomes especially alive at Easter, for it is about the last judgement, and it carries within itself the dual role of Christ as God.

We prefer to think of Christ as the supremely merciful one, the mild one and the generous one, the one who grants salvation. He is the one who after having died descends into the underworld (hell, or whatever), to liberate all those souls who were stuck somewhere there waiting for him to come, and I find this particular image of Christ most inspiring.

However, we mostly would like to avoid facing the other Christ, the one who comes back to conduct the last judgement. He is the one who, once the human time for making mistakes and recovering from them has run out, has no more mercy left, only justice.

I find this dual nature of God, who is comforting, healing and redeeming on one hand and frightening/awe-inspiring on the other, to be one of the the most important characteristics of the Divine when it comes to the relationship with human beings.

Below is Latin text of Tuba Mirum with the English translation which I found here, behold!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum per sepulcra regionum, coget omnes ante thronum. 

(The trumpet will send its wondrous sound throughout earth’s sepulchres and gather all before the throne.)

Mors stupebit et natura, cum resurget creatura, judicanti responsura.

(Death and nature will be astounded, when all creation rises again, to answer the judgement.)

Liber scriptus proferetur, in quo totum continetur, unde mundus judicetur.

(A book will be brought forth, in which all will be written, by which the world will be judged.)

Judex ergo cum sedebit, quidquid latet, apparebit, nil inultum remanebit.

(When the judge takes his place, what is hidden will be revealed, nothing will remain unavenged.)

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? quem patronum rogaturus, cum vix justus sit securus?

(What shall a wretch like me say? Who shall intercede for me, when the just ones need mercy?)