Friday, July 25, 2014

Compline: The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge



From the YouTube page:
A service of Compline, sung live by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, directed by Graham Ross

Recorded in Chapel of Clare College, Cambridge, UK

www.clarecollegechoir.com
www.grahamross.com

Introit: Robert White (1538-1574): 'Christe qui lux es et dies'

Christe qui lux es et dies,
Noctis tenebras detegis,
Lucisque lumen crederis,
Lumen beatum praedicans.

Precamur sancte domine,
Defende nos in hac nocte,
Sit nobis in te requies,
Quietam noctem tribue.

Ne gravis somnus irruat,
Nec hostis nos surripiat,
Nec caro illi consentiens,
Nos tibi reos statuat.

Oculi somnum capiant,
Cor ad te semper vigilet,
Dextera tua protegat
Famulos qui te diligunt.

Defensor noster aspice,
Insidiantes reprime,
Guberna tuos famulos,
Quos sanguine mercatus es.

Memento nostri domine
In gravi isto corpore,
Qui es defensor animae,
Adesto nobis domine.

Deo patri sit gloria,
Ejusque soli filio,
Cum spiritu paraclyto,
Et nunc et in perpetuum. Amen.

Christ, who art the light and day,
You drive away the darkness of night,
You are called the light of light,
For you proclaim the blessed light.

We beseech you, Holy Lord,
Protect us this night.
Let us take our rest in you;
Grant us a tranquil night.

Let our sleep be free from care;
Let not the enemy snatch us away,
Nor flesh conspire within him,
And make us guilty in your sight.

Though our eyes be filled with sleep,
Keep our hearts forever awake to you.
May your right hand protect
Your willing servants.

You who are our shield, behold;
Restrain those that lie in wait.
And guide your servants whom
You have ransomed with your blood.

Remember us, O Lord,
Who bear the burden of this mortal form;
You who are the defender of the soul,
Be near us, O Lord.

Glory be to God the Father,
And to his only Son,
With the Spirit, Comforter,
Both now and evermore. Amen.

Anthem: Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901): 'Abendlied'

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget

Bide with us, for evening shadows darken, and the day will soon be over.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Psalms 91/121, Prayer of Severus, Praise of Cherubim"

These are some very nice chants posted by "Malankara Syriac Orthodox" at YouTube; this one is actually part of a 22-video playlist, which is well worth listening to all the way through.   The YouTuber writes that these are "Three prayers during the evening prayer."  You can hear the Kyrie at the opening - then the Compline Psalm 91 begins: 



Another YouTuber writes that this is "Sung by Fr. Aju Philip Mathews and Tenny Thomas. © Copyright 2012 Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church."

Here are the texts of the Compline Psalms and the Prayer of Severus, from the website of the Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church:
Psalm 91
You, that sit in the shelter of the Most High, and abide in glory, in the shadow of God.
Say to the Lord: 'My trust and my refuge; the God in whom I confide.'
For He shall deliver you from the snare of stumbling, and from idle talk.
He shall keep you under His feathers, and by His wings, you shall be covered; and His truth shall encompass you like an armor.
You shall not fear from the terror by night, and from the arrow that flies by the day:
And from the voice that travels in the darkness, and from the devastating wind in the noon.
Thousands shall fall at your side, and ten thousands at your right side. They shall not come near to you, but with your eyes you shall see only; You shall see the revenge of the wicked.
(Since you have said), 'Thou art the Lord, my trust, who hast placed Thy abode in the heights.'
There shall no evil come near to you; neither shall any plague draw near to your dwelling place.
For He shall give His angels command concerning you, who shall protect you in all your ways.
And they shall bear you up in their hands, lest your foot stumble.
You shall tread upon the adder and the basilisk; and you shall trample down the lion and the dragon.
(For the Lord has said): 'Since he has sought me, I will deliver him and strengthen him;'
'Since he has known my name he shall call upon me, and I will answer him, and be with him in affliction.' I will strengthen him and honor him. With long life, will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

Psalm 121
I will lift up my eyes to the mountain, from whence comes my helper.
My help is from the Lord who has made the heaven and the earth.
He will not suffer your foot to tremble; Your keeper shall not slumber:
For neither slumbers, nor sleeps the keeper of Israel.
The Lord is your keeper. The Lord shall overshadow you with His right hand.
The sun shall not smite you by day; nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall take care of you from all evil; the Lord shall take care of your life.
He shall watch over your exit and your entrance, henceforth forever.
And to You belongs the praise O God. Barekmor.
Glory be to the Father...Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah now and always and forever Amen.

Prayer of St. Severus
O Lord who sittest in the secret place of the Most High, shelter us beneath the shadow of the wings of Thy mercy, and have compassion upon us.
Thou, who hearest all things, in Thy loving kindness, hearken to the supplications of Thy servants.
Grant us, O Messiah; our Savior; a peaceful evening and a sinless night, for Thou art a glorious king, and unto Thee, are our eyes lifted up.
Forgive our debts and our sins; have mercy upon us, both in this world and in that to come.
May Thy loving kindness shelter us O Lord, and Thy grace be upon our faces. May Thy cross protect us from the evil one and his hosts.
Let Thy right hand overshadow us all the days of our lives, and Thy peace reign among us, do Thou give hope and salvation to the souls that pray to Thee.
By the prayers of St. Mary, Thy Mother, and of all Thy Saints, O God, forgive us our debts, and have mercy upon us. Amen.

Praise of the Cherubim
† Blessed is the Glory of the Lord, from His place forever;
† Blessed is the Glory of the Lord, from His place forever;
† Blessed is the Glory of the Lord; from His place forever and ever.
Holy and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us;
Holy and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us;
Holy and glorious Trinity, have compassion and mercy upon us.
Holy art Thou, and glorious forever,
Holy art Thou, and glorious forever,
Holy art Thou, and blessed is Thy Name forever and ever.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord,
Glory be to Thee, O Lord,
Glory be to Thee, ever our hope, Barekmor.

Our Father who art in Heaven ...

Hail Mary, full of grace ...

Barekmor is apparently Syriac for "Bless me, O Lord."


I've posted video from this YouTuber before; s/he points at the YouTube page to the GoogleSite syrianorthodox.

"Malankara" is a designation applied to the Indian Orthodox Church; the connection with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch is explained in this article:
The Malankara Church is the church of the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India, with particular emphasis on the part of the community that joined Archdeacon Mar Thoma in swearing to resist the authority of the Portuguese Padroado in 1653. This faction soon entered into a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, and was thereafter often known as the Malankara Syrian Church[1] (Malayalam: Malankara Suriyani Sabha).

As part of the Saint Thomas Christian community, the church traced its origins to the evangelical activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.[2] As an independent faction, it originated in the first major split within the Saint Thomas Christian community. Historically, the Thomas Christians had been united in leadership and liturgy, and were part of the Church of the East, based in Persia. However, the collapse of the Church of the East's hierarchy in Asia left the province of India effectively isolated, and through the 16th century, the Portuguese, recently established in Goa, forcefully drew the Thomas Christians into Latin Rite Catholicism. Resentment of these measures led the majority of the community to join the archdeacon, Thoma, in swearing never to submit to the Portuguese in the Coonan Cross Oath. Several months later Thoma was ordained as the first indigenous Metropolitan of Malankara.

I'm assuming that "Severus" is St. Severus of Antioch.

Beautiful chant.....


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Anglican Chant XXXIII: Psalm 102 (Domine, exaudi)

A great chant (or two, or three), sung here beautifully by the Choir of Ely Cathedral:




Here's what the YouTuber had to say at the page; the citation includes the words to the Psalm from the Coverdale Psalter:
The Choir of Ely Cathedral, under the direction of David Price & Paul Trepte, sing the hundredth and second Psalm to an Anglican chant for choir and organ. A sorrowful complaint of great afflictions. (1-11) Encouragement by expecting the performances of God's promises to his church. (12-22) The unchangeableness of God. (23-28)

Text:

Psalm 102. Domine, exaudi

HEAR my prayer, O Lord : and let my crying come unto thee.
2. Hide not thy face from me in the time of my trouble : incline thine ear unto me when I call; O hear me, and that right soon.
3. For my days are consumed away like smoke : and my bones are burnt up as it were a firebrand.
4. My heart is smitten down, and withered liked grass : so that I forget to eat my bread.
5. For the voice of my groaning : my bones will scarce cleave to my flesh.
6. I am become like a pelican in the wilderness : and like an owl that is in the desert.
7. I have watched, and am even as it were a sparrow : that sitteth alone upon the house-top.
8. Mine enemies revile me all the day long : and they that are mad upon me are sworn together against me.
9. For I have eaten ashes as it were bread : and mingled my drink with weeping;
10. And that because of thine indignation and wrath : for thou hast taken me up, and cast me down.
11. My days are gone like a shadow : and I am withered like grass.
12. But thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever : and thy remembrance throughout all generations.
13. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Sion : for it is time that thou have mercy upon her, yea, the time is come.
14. And why? thy servants think upon her stones : and it pitieth them to see her in the dust.
15. The heathen shall fear thy Name, O Lord : and all the kings of the earth thy majesty;
16. When the Lord shall build up Sion : and when his glory shall appear;
17. When he turneth him unto the prayer of the poor destitute : and despiseth not their desire.
18. This shall be written for those that come after : and the people which shall be born shall praise the Lord.
19. For he hath looked down from his sanctuary : out of the heaven did the Lord behold the earth;
20. That he might hear the mournings of such as are in captivity : and deliver the children appointed unto death;
21. That they may declare the Name of the Lord in Sion : and his worship at Jerusalem;
22. When the people are gathered together : and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
23. He brought down my strength in my journey : and shortened my days.
24. But I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of mine age : as for thy years, they endure throughout all generations.
25. Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth : and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure : they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
27. And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed : but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
28. The children of thy servants shall continue : and their seed shall stand fast in thy sight.

Recording available on the disk 'Psalms of David: Vol. 8' (Priory Records UK).
www.prioryrecords.co.uk

At the Priory Records page, the composer listing reads "Ross, Ivor Atkins"; not sure who "Ross" is - perhaps it's R.R.Ross? -  but here's a bit about Ivor Atkins.  Interestingly, the image comes from the Library of Congress:
Sir Ivor Algernon Atkins (29 November 1869 – 26 November 1953) was the choirmaster and organist at Worcester Cathedral for over 50 years (1897-1950). He is well known for editing Allegri's Miserere with the famous top-C part for the treble. He is also well known for The Three Kings, an arrangement of a song by Peter Cornelius as a choral work for Epiphany.

Born into a Welsh musical family at Llandaff, Atkins graduated with a bachelor of music degree from The Queen's College, Oxford in 1892, and subsequently obtained a Doctorate in Music (Oxford). He was assistant organist of Hereford Cathedral (1890-1893) and organist of St Laurence Church, Ludlow from 1893 to 1897.
He composed songs, church music, service settings and anthems. With Edward Elgar he prepared an edition of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Knighted in 1921 for services to music, Atkins was President of the Royal College of Organists from 1935 to 1936. He died in Worcester.

He was a friend of Edward Elgar, who in 1904 dedicated the third of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to Atkins.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

The Pentecost Troparion: "Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God"

This beautiful chant is Georgian:  "K'urtkheul khar shen":


 
From the YouTube page:
Troparion of Pentecost, sung by the choir of the convent of Sameba-Jikheti. It can be found on their CD "Chant melodies."

"Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit - through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of Man, glory to Thee!"

Here's a melody used by the Greek Orthodox Church for the same chant, sung in English:




And this is the same Troparion, sung to "Tone 8 / Russian Imperial Court Chant":




[EDIT:  Georges, in comments, points out that:
The correspondant of the troparion apolytikion in the West is the antiphone which is to be sung with Magnificat or Benedictus.

Many Byzantine troparies and Western major antiphones have the same pattern.

The stichera correspond to the Western antiphone of the psalms.

Thanks very much, Georges.]


More about troparia here:
A troparion (Greek τροπάριον, plural: troparia, τροπάρια; Church Slavonic: тропа́рь, tropar′) in Byzantine music and in the religious music of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a short hymn of one stanza, or one of a series of stanzas. The word probably derives from a diminutive of the Greek tropos (“something repeated”, “manner”, “fashion”). The early troparion was also called sticheron[citation needed] (probably from stichos, “verse”); but currently the two terms are treated separately, with different melodies used for each.

Most troparia are chanted to one of the Eight Tones used in the Eastern liturgical tradition, though some have unique melodies to which they are chanted. Sometimes, troparia will be interpolated between verses of a psalm or other scripture.

In casual, unqualified use, troparion usually refers to the apolytikion (Greek: ἀπολυτίκιον), or "dismissal hymn", a troparion chanted near the end of Vespers which establishes the overall theme for the liturgical day, for which it is called the "troparion of the day". It is chanted again at the beginning of Matins, read at each of the Little Hours, and chanted at the Divine Liturgy following the Little Entrance.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Chant for Pentecost from Fontgombault Abbey

Here is the chant from the Vigil of Pentecost, the Mass of the Day of Pentecost, and Pentecost Vespers.  Very pretty, all a capella; as far as I can tell, this comes from a 1993 CD, which may be a re-release of an earlier recording.




Here's the music list:
Vigile de la Pentecôte

1. Antienne D'Introit  DUM SANCTIFICATUS
2  KYRIE XII
3. GLORIA XII
4. Antienne d'Offertoire EMITTE
5. SANCTUS XII
6. AGNUS DEI XII
7. Antienne de Communion ULTIMO


Messe du Jour de la Pentecôte

8. Antienne d'Introit SPIRITUS DOMINI
9.  KYRIE III A
10. GLORIA III B
11. ALLELUIA EMITTE
12. ALLELUIA VENI SANCTE SPIRITUS
13. Sequence VENI SANCTE SPIRITUS
14. Antienne d"Offertoire CONFIRMA HOC
15. SACTUS III
16. AGNUS DEI III
17. Antienne de Communion FACTUS EST

Vepres de la Pentecôte

18.  Verset DEUS IN ADJUTORUM
19.  Antienne DUM COMPLERENTUR et Psaume 109
20.  Antienne SPIRITUS DOMINI et Psaume 110
21.  Antienne REPLETI SUNT et Psaume 111
22   Antienne LOQUEBANTUR et Psaume 112
23.  Capitule CUM COMPLERENTUR
24.  Repons bref SPIRITUS PARACLITUS
25.  Hymne VENI CREATOR
26.  Verset LOQUENBANTUR
27.  Antienne HODIE et Cantique MAGNIFICAT
28.  KYRIE PATER, Oraison DEUS QUI HODIERNA
29.  Verset BENEDICAMUS DOMINO

This blurb is from the YouTube page:
Voici une très belle interprétation du chant grégorien (sans accompagnement de l'orgue) et dans la pure tradition de l'abbaye de Solesmes dont Fontgombault est une abbaye-fille de Saint-Pierre de Solesmes. Le ton est parfait et la prononciation latine l'est aussi. Il est à noter comme je l'ai déjà fait dans l'office de Pâques et de l'Assomption que le ton est plus haut que les régions nordiques, belges et espagnoles. Santo Domingo de Silos chante plus bas dû par l'influence du mozarabe.

Cet office de Pentecôte est admirable car le chant du propre et XII et de la III sont difficile à interpréter et d'ailleurs peu connus.

A.G. O.S.B.

Here's a translation:
Here's a beautiful interpretation of Gregorian Chant (without organ accompaniment) and in the pure tradition of the Abbey of Solesmes;  Fontgombault is a daughter-abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes.  The tone is perfect and the Latin pronunciation is, too.  As I've previously noted on the videos of the Offices of Easter and the Assumption, the tone is higher than the Nordic, Belgian and Spanish regions.  Santo Domingo de Silos sings lower because of the Mozarabic influence.

The Pentecost Office is admirable because the chant propers of (Masses) XII and III are difficult to sing and are less well-known.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Pantheon on Pentecost

Who'll be doing this at their parish this year? It's a splendid practice, I think; listen for Veni Creator Spiritus in the background.



From the YouTube page:
Rome, May 23, 2010: Solemnity of Pentecost at the Pantheon; rose petals are dropped from the open oculus at twelve o'clock noon in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. As the "dew" falls, the choir chants the sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus!

About the Pantheon:
The Pantheon (/ˈpænθiən/ or US /ˈpænθiɒn/;[1] Latin: Pantheon[nb 1]) is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD) as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD.[2]

The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.[3] The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft).[4]

It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda."

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Seventh Sunday in Easter: Alleluia. Non vos reliquam orphanos ("I will not leave you orphans")


GREGORIAN ALLELUIA • Non Vos Relinquam (6221) from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.


The text for this chant comes from John 14:18 and John 16:22b; both verses come from Christ's "Farewell Discourse."
I will not leave you orphans. I am going, but I will come back to you, and your hearts will be full of joy.

Interestingly, it seems that Young's Literal Translation (1898) renders the first phrase as "I will not leave you bereaved" - and it seems the King James translators went that way, too, with the famous "I will not leave you comfortless."  I'm interested in knowing why, actually - and will try to find out.  "Orphanos" seems clear and straightforward enough, to me - but perhaps there's something else going on here.


This is the full chant score; as you can see, it's a very complex chant - fitting, for one of the last Sunday chants in the Easter season:



Here it is sung in monastic choir, by the São Paulo Benedictines:





This text is also the Antiphon upon Magnificat for First Vespers of Pentecost; to see it in context, use Divinum Officium and enter 6-7-2014, then click "Vesperae."   This is a very old usage, going back to the "pre Trident monastic" Roman Breviary.


This is a video of William Byrd's setting of the text, from 1607, sung by The Cambridge Singers.




Here, as "I will not leave you comfortless,"  it's sung beautifully in English by the "Mennonite Acapella" Oasis Chorale:




Here's an interesting little item about the liturgy during the "Ascentiontide" period at Full Homely Divinity's "Rogation and Ascension" page:
Traditionally, the Paschal Candle was extinguished following the reading of the  Gospel on Ascension Day. The gentle ascent and disappearance of the smoke from the smoldering wick was a poignant symbol of the departure of the Risen Lord from the earth.  Now, it is customary in many places to keep the Candle burning until Pentecost and to omit entirely any special ceremony of extinguishing it. There are credible reasons for this change. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that so little attention is given to the extinguishing of this Candle which was lit with major ceremony at the beginning of the Paschal Vigil and holds a place of such prominence in the church building throughout the season.

Like the Church at large, we at FHD are not of one mind on this practice. However, apart from the rites of the Church set forth by authority (i.e., The Book of Common Prayer), it is never our intent to prescribe, only to suggest. The rubric regarding the Paschal Candle in the American Prayer Book (p. 287) says "It is customary that the Paschal Candle burn at all services from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost." At the risk of being accused of nitpicking, we note that "customary" is a relative term. Customs vary over both time and space and we are simply pointing out that this is one that is not universal. It has changed before and it could change again. Some of us see value in the old custom, and like it enough to keep it alive.

There are other liturgical customs for this day which have also fallen by the way. One such custom was the lifting up of a statue or picture of Christ. In some places, this was quite elaborate, with ropes or chains rigged to elevate the image. In some places, it disappeared behind a veil or into a representation of clouds, while in others it went through a hole in the ceiling. After the image vanished, the congregation would be showered with rose petals and other flowers, symbolizing the gifts which the ascended Christ gives to his Church:  When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people....that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.... (Ephesians 4:7,11)

In Germany, it was the custom for the priest to lift high a crucifix after the reading of the Ascension Gospel.  This custom has much to recommend it. It makes visible the symbolic link between the Cross and the Ascension which is implicit in Jesus' words when he says, And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (John 12:32)   On the Cross, Jesus is glorified. When he ascends, he ascends to reign in glory. It could be a simple, yet effective, bit of liturgical drama to revive this custom. An extra acolyte, carrying a crucifix, could be added to the Gospel procession on Ascension Day. Or, if the parish owns a processional cross which has a figure of Christ on it, that should be carried at the head of the Gospel procession. It is important for this particular ceremony that the cross not be empty. While in many contexts an empty cross is an effective symbol, here the focus is on Christ himself, so a crucifix is needed. At the conclusion of the reading of the Gospel, instead of lifting the Gospel book and proclaiming "The Gospel of the Lord," the deacon or priest should exchange the book for the crucifix, and lift it high. It is still appropriate to say "The Gospel of the Lord," for the uplifted figure of Christ on the cross is indeed the Good News (Gospel) that we proclaim and celebrate. A processional crucifix would be especially dramatic as it would enable the Gospeller to lift the figure very high.

And don't forget to check out, and pray, FHD's Ascension-to-Pentecost "Novena to the Holy Spirit" at the bottom of the same page.


ChristusRex.org lists all the propers for today, which were the same in the Tridentine Rite:
Hebdomada septima paschæ
Dominica
Introitus: Ps. 26, 7.8.9 et 1 Exaudi, Domine... tibi dixit (not available)
Alleluia: Ps. 46, 9 Regnavit Dominus (not available)
Alleluia: Io. 14, 18 Non vos relinquam (3m32.2s - 3316 kb)
Offertorium: Ps. 46, 6 Ascendit Deus (1m33.8s - 1469 kb MONO)
Communio: Io. 17, 12.13.15 Pater, cum essem (not available)

And these are posts on Chantblog for today's propers:


Here's a rather amazing and beautiful painted Paschal Candle at the church of St. James, Spanish Place (Marylebone, London):




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