Simile est regnum caelorum
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.
Settings by composers
- E. Carpentras a 5
- Johannes de Cleve SATTB.SATTB (a longer text)
- Francisco Guerrero
- a 4 SATB
- a 5
- a 6 (the model for Guerrero's parody Mass)
- Heinrich Isaac
- Johannes Lupi a 4
- Cristóbal de Morales SATB
- Ludwig Senfl
- Adrian Willaert a 5
There are other biblical texts beginning with the same words. Settings include:
- Nobuaki Izawa SATB
- Jacobus Vaet a 5
- Melchior Vulpius SSATBB
Text and translations
1 Simile est [enim] regnum caelorum homini patri familias, qui exiit primo mane conducere operarios in vineam suam.
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.