The Missa pastoralis bohemica (Bohemian Shepherds' Mass), composed in 1796 by Mozart's contemporary Jakub Jan Ryba, is the most significant of the so-called Czech Christmas Masses. These are masses in a folkloristic style, in which the individual movements consist of a series of vocal-instrumental scenes in the Czech language; their topic is the birth of Christ and they are performed during the Christmas service. The story is about four Czech shepherds to whom the birth of Christ is announced, whereupon they visit the child in the manger. Ryba's mass became so famous that it is regarded – even today – as a symbol of Czech Christmas. The present critical edition represents the first edition of the work in its original form and the original keys; it contains a singable alternate text in German.