Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Benedicite, omnia opera Domini: A Lauds Canticle (for Pentecost)

Benedicite, omnia opera Domini is the Lauds Canticle for Sundays and Feast Days.  This version uses the Pentecost antiphon, Fontes, et omnia.  It's sung by the Schola Liturgiczna, Wyższego Seminarium Duchownego Zakonu Paulinów (The Liturgical Schola Of the Major Seminary of the Pauline Order), based in Krakow, Poland.  Their website is linked below the video, as is their Facebook page.



From the YouTube page, some information and the words to the canticle:
"Ant. 2 Fontes, et omnia. Benedicite, omnia opera Domini. Canticum Dn 3, 57 – 88. 56" w wykonaniu kleryckiej paulińskiej scholi liturgicznej. Gregorian chant - Ant. 2 Fontes, et omnia. Benedicite, omnia opera Domini. Canticum Dn 3, 57 – 88. 56.

http://www.seminarium.paulini.pl/15,Schola-liturgiczna
https://www.facebook.com/schola.wsd.osppe

Chorał gregoriański o Duchu Świętym. Gregorian Chant for the Solemnity of Pentecost. Jutrznia i Msza św. z Uroczystości Zesłania Ducha Świętego w wykonaniu Scholi Gregoriańskiej kleryków Wyższego Seminarium Duchownego Zakonu Paulinów w Krakowie.

Ant. 2 − Canticum Dn 3, 57 – 88. 56 Fontes, et omnia quae moventur in aquis, hymnum dicite Deo, alleluia.

1. Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino; laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
2. Benedicite, angeli Domini, Domino; benedicite, caeli, Domino.
3. Benedicite, aquae omnes quae super caelos sunt, Domino; benedicite, omnes virtutes Domini, Domino.
4. Benedicite, sol et luna, Domino; benedicite, stellae caeli, Domino.
5. Benedicite, omnis imber et ros, Domino; benedicite, omnes spiritus Dei, Domino.
6. Benedicite, ignis et aestus, Domino; benedicite, frigus et aestus, Domino.
7. Benedicite, rores et pruina, Domino; benedicite, gelu et frigus, Domino.
8. Benedicite, glacies et nives, Domino; benedicite, noctes et dies, Domino.
9. Benedicite, lux et tenebrae, Domino; benedicite, fulgura et nubes, Domino.
10. Benedicite, terra Dominum; laudet et superexaltet eum in saecula.
11. Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino; benedicite, universa germinantia in terra, Domino.
12. Benedicite, fontes, Domino; benedicite, maria et flumina, Domino.
13. Benedicite, cete et omnia quae moventur in aquis, Domino; benedicite, omnes volucres caeli, Domino.
14. Benedicite, omnes bestiae et pecora, Domino; benedicite, filii hominum, Domino.
15. Benedicat Israel Domino; laudet et superexaltet eum in saecula.
16. Benedicite, sacerdotes Domini, Domino; benedicite, servi Domini, Domino.
17. Benedicite, spiritus et animae iustorum, Domino; benedicite, sancti et humiles corde, Domino.
18. Benedicite, Anania, Azaria, Misael, Domino; laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
19. Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu; laudemus et superexultemus eum in saecula.
20. Benedictus es, Domine, in firmamento caeli; et laudabilis et gloriosus et superexaltatus in saecula.

Here are the words in English, from the Book of Common Prayer (1662):
O all ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
      praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him &c.
O ye Heavens, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Waters that be above the Firmament, bless ye the Lord :
O all ye Powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Sun and Moon, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Stars of Heaven, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Dews and Frosts, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Frost and Cold, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Nights and Days, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Lightnings and Clouds, bless ye the Lord :
O let the Earth bless the Lord:
     yea, let it praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Mountains and Hills, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify…
O all ye Green Things upon the Earth, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Wells, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Seas and Floods, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Whales, and all that move in the Waters, bless ye the Lord :
O all ye Fowls of the Air, bless ye the Lord :
O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord :
O let Israel bless the Lord :
O ye Priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
O ye Spirits and Souls of the Righteous, bless ye the Lord :
O ye holy and humble Men of heart, bless ye the Lord :
O Ananias, Azarias and Misael, bless ye the Lord :
The Pentecost antiphon, sung before and after the Canticle, is this one:
Fontes, et ómnia quæ movéntur in aquis, hymnum dícite Deo, allelúja.
In English, it's:
See ye fountains, * and all that move in the waters, ascribe ye praise to God, alleluia.

More about the Benedicite, from the St. Bede Blog (in re: the Episcopal Church's 1979 Book of Common Prayer):
The Benedicite comes from one of the additions to the book of Daniel that is found in the Greek Old Testament, but not in the Hebrew version. It’s best understood as an expansion of the content and theme of Psalm 148 where all creation is called upon to worship and give glory to God. In the narrative, this is a song put into the mouth of Daniel’s three companions which they sang in the midst of the fiery furnace. As a result, sometimes this will be referred to as “the song of the three young men.” In the former prayer books, this canticle was used as the first canticle during penitential seasons when the Te Deum was suppressed. That’s not because there’s anything penitential about it—it’s one of the most joyful canticles around! Rather it’s because this was the second canticle found in the pre-Reformation prymers and Books of Hours; if the Te Deum—which was the first canticle in them—was dropped, this one was next in line. Hence, the tradition grew that the Benedicite should replace the Te Deum, and it subsequently entered and formed the prayer book tradition.

It's Daniel  3:57-88, which you can find here, in the NRSVCE.


Here's a beauty of a polyphonic composition! Herbert Sumsion's setting of the Benedicte, in B flat - written for Choral Mattins, no doubt. I like Sumsion, and I like this piece.



An interesting piece of information about the Sumsion, from the YouTube page:
From an edition of John Betjeman’s BBC radio series “Britain’s Cathedrals and their Music”, broadcast on 11 February 1966. This is the only recording in the Archive of Herbert Sumsion conducting one of his own works.

Here's Henry Purcell's gorgeous setting, also in B flat:




Ralph Vaughan Williams set this Canticle, too as have quite a number of other composers. I don't believe I've ever heard it used, but that is because Choral Mattins is becoming a rare service.

Here's Vaughan Williams' setting; it's clearly not liturgical. It's prefaced with another text, and written for orchestra and choir; it's also quite long.







 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

"A Short Responsory" for Lent: Illumina oculos ("Lighten my eyes")

Here's something interesting, for Lent: a "short responsory" that comes from Medieval Hungary.  It's beautifully sung here by the Schola Hungarica:




The text is taken from Psalm 12/(13):4-5/(3-4), and Psalm 87/(88):2:
12:4b Illumina oculos meos, ne unquam obdormiam in morte,
12:5a Ne quando dicat inimicus meus. Praevalui adversus eum.

2. Domine, Deus salutis meae, in die clamavi et nocte coram te.

13:3b Lighten mine eyes, that I sleep not in death.
13:4a Lest my enemy say "I have prevailed against him."

2. O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee.

Perfect for Lent!   But, this text is nowhere to be found in the Trent Breviary.  The CD lists it as included in "The Istanbul Antiphonary,"  which I have not found online (although I have found numerous references to it).  I need to look more at this.

Fortunately, Cantus Database lists it as a Compline Responsory, found 18 times in various manuscripts, most from Eastern Europe:  Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, etc.  It's used, variously, on the first four Sundays of Lent.  (In one exception below, St. Gall, it's listed as "uncertain usage" for feasts of the BVM.  So not much help there.) 

I've copied the concordance table from Cantus here for easier reading:

SiglumFolioIncipit


FeastModeImageDB
A-Gu 29128rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 4 Quadragesimae6ImageCD
A-Gu Ms. 211064vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae

CD
A-VOR 287066vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae5
CD
A-Wda D-4001vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae5
CD
A-Wda D-4039vIllumina oculos meos*CR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae*
CD
CH-SGs 388476Illumina oculos meos neXR2De BMV?ImageCD
CZ-Pst DE I 7107vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 1 Quadragesimae5
CD
PL-KIk 1059rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae5
CD
PL-WRu R 503056rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae5
CD
SI-Lna 18 (olim 17)083rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 2 Quadragesimae5
CD
TR-Itks 42059rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 1 Quadragesimae5
CD
SK-BRsa SNA 2089rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 1 Quadragesimae
ImageCSK
SK-BRsa SNA 4095rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 1 Quadragesimae
ImageCSK
SK-BRsa SNA 17018vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae
ImageCSK
SK-Bra EC Lad. 6054vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 1 Quadragesimae
ImageCSK
PL-KIk PL-KiK 1059rIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 3 Quadragesimae5
CPL
PL-PłS PL-PłS 35047vIllumina oculos meos neCR
Dom. 1 Quadragesimae5ImageCPL
PL-PłS PL-PłS 35053vIllumina*CR
Dom. 2 Quadragesimae*ImageCPL


The usual "Short Responsory" at Compline in the Trent Breviary (and others)  is this:   
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
– Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
– Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
– Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
I wonder if Illumina oculos replaced it during Lent, in some of these Eastern European breviaries?    Would be very interesting to know, so here's another thing I'll have to investigate.


Here's an image of the chant from the Antiphonary of Bratislava (15th C. ); here is one from the Antiphonarium from Płock Cathedral, a 15th C. Polish source.  (I cannot post these images on this page because of copyright restrictions.)   They differ slightly, in places, from what's on the video above - but they are clearly the same tune.  The pretty rise and fall of the melody on "oculos" is the same in every case.

Here's one from the Antiphonarium Benedictinum (1400) (Austria), which doesn't have the same restriction.  The text does not seem to be complete here, though:





Here's the St. Gall/BVM version; it's written in the old-style chant notation, without staff, so hard to tell - but it seems to me to be a similar melody, with the same rise and fall on "oculos."  The St. Gall MS is from the 13th Century.

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 388, p. 476 – Antiphonary


There is another "Illumina oculos" in the repertoire, though; a different text that begins the same way is the Offertory at Lent IV in Year C.   (This chant was formerly the Offertory on the Fourth Sunday of Pentecost.)

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