OMNIA TEMPUS HABENT is one of the most famous and widely used quotations from the Bible. It is the opening phrase of a passage in Ecclesiastes III and it translates as "For Every Thing There is a Season".
It was set to music quite a few times, and the most famous recent setting is not from classical music - it is a 1959 version by the American folk singer/songwriter Pete Seeger covered by dozens of singers and made most famous by The Byrds under the added words "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)".
When I was recording my "Song of Songs", I needed a pure angelic soprano and was recommended a young singer in Prague, Šárka Frančová. I liked her singing so much that I set "Omnia Tempus Habent" to music specifically for her, to contrast with the 64-piece Pavel Kühn Mixed Choir that has just as prominent part. The text is essential and its English translation follows below the Latin original:
OMNIA TEMPUS HABENT, et suis spatiis transeunt universa sub cælo.
Tempus nascendi, et tempus moriendi;
tempus plantandi, et tempus evellendi quod plantatum est.
Tempus occidendi, et tempus sanandi;
tempus destruendi, et tempus ædificandi.
Tempus flendi, et tempus ridendi;
tempus plangendi, et tempus saltandi.
Tempus spargendi lapides, et tempus colligendi,
tempus amplexandi, et tempus longe fieri ab amplexibus.
Tempus acquirendi, et tempus perdendi;
tempus custodiendi, et tempus abjiciendi.
Tempus scindendi, et tempus consuendi;
tempus tacendi, et tempus loquendi.
Tempus dilectionis, et tempus odii;
tempus belli, et tempus pacis.
Quid habet amplius homo de labore suo?
All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal.
A time to destroy, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather.
A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to get, and a time to lose.
A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew.
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
A time of love, and a time of hatred.
A time of war, and a time of peace.
What has man more of his labour?
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