Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Introit for the Solemnity of Christ the King: Dignus Est Agnus ("Worthy is the Lamb")

Sung here by the Schola of the Vienna Hofburgkapelle:

The text is taken from Revelation 5, vv 12, 1, and 6; the Psalm verse comes from Psalm (71/)72.  Here's the Latin and an English translation:
Dignus est Agnus,
qui occísus est accípere virtútem,
et divinitátem, et sapiéntiam, et fortitúdinem, et honórem. 
Ipsi glória et impérium in saécula saeculórum.   
Ps:  Déus, judícium túum Régida: et justítiam túam Fílio Régis.

The Lamb that was slain
is worthy to receive power
and divinity and wisdom and strength and honour;
to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. 
Ps:  Give to the King, O God, Thy justice, and to the King's Son Thy judgment.

Here's the chant score:

I'm interested to know where this chant has come from, since Christ the King is a new feast day, instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI  in his encyclical Quas primas.   Will investigate a bit and return to post what I find.

Although Anglicans do not officially celebrate the Feast of Christ the King this Sunday (on our Calendar, it's simply "The Last Sunday After Pentecost"), many of us do observe it anyway - and the Collect for the day is a breathtakingly beautiful and Kingly one:
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
And the readings for today, Year B in the 3-year Calendar, are absolutely wonderful - kingly, too, and spooky and apocalyptic (as befits this time of year): 
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched,
thrones were set in place,
and an Ancient One took his throne,
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames,
and its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued
and flowed out from his presence.
A thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
The court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.
As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being
coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him.
To him was given dominion
and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
that shall never be destroyed. 

Psalm 93     Page 722, BCP
Dominus regnavit

1 The LORD is King;
he has put on splendid apparel; *
the LORD has put on his apparel
and girded himself with strength.

2 He has made the whole world so sure *
that it cannot be moved;

3 Ever since the world began, your throne has been established; *
you are from everlasting. \

4 The waters have lifted up, O LORD,
the waters have lifted up their voice; *
the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.

5 Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea, *
mightier is the LORD who dwells on high.

6 Your testimonies are very sure, *
and holiness adorns your house, O LORD,
for ever and for evermore.

Revelation 1:4b-8

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

John 18:33-37

Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

(It's not really so strange, then, that this Sunday - the last before Advent - has been referred to in the Evangelical Church of Sweden as "the Sunday of Doom"!)

There is no set of historic lectionary readings for today, because this is a new feast.  However, according to this page, the historic Lutheran lectionary for today ("the last Sunday") consists of these readings, which are mostly about the Last Things as well:  Isaiah's "New Creation," Thessalonians 5 ("For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."), and the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.   (It appears that the old Catholic and Anglican lectionaries did not provide for "the Last Sunday," but merely used the readings for the appropriate Sunday After Trinity.  I must say I like the Lutheran and current "Christ the King Sunday" arrangement better.)

Because truly, this is one of my favorite Sundays of the year.  Here's the opening hymn we had today:

That video is from an Eastertide Service in Wales; we naturally didn't have a cast of thousands or cymbals or a trumpet section this morning. But take a look at these words for an idea of how really great this hymn is:
1 Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own;
awake, my soul, and sing of him
who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

2 Crown him the Son of God
before the worlds began,
and ye, who tread where he hath trod,
crown him the Son of man;
who every grief hath known
that wrings the human breast,
and takes and bears them for his own,
that all in him may rest.

3 Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed over the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save;
his glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

4 Crown him of lords the Lord,
who over all doth reign,
who once on earth, the incarnate Word,
for ransomed sinners slain,
now lives in realms of light,
where saints with angels sing
their songs before him day and night,
their God, Redeemer, King.

5 Crown him the Lord of heaven,
enthroned in worlds above;
crown him the King,to whom is given,
the wondrous name of Love.
Crown him with many crowns,
as thrones before him fall,
crown him, ye kings, with many crowns,
for he is King of all.

We had two other great Kingly hymns, today, too - one I'd never heard before.  Will come back later to post on them.

Here's a list of all the chant propers for this day, from

Domini Nostri Iesu Christi
Universorum Regis
Introitus: Apoc. 5, 12 et 1, 6; Ps. 71 Dignus est Agnus (3m34.5s - 3355 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 71, 8. V. 11 Dominabitur (2m33.3s - 2399 kb) score
Alleluia: Dan. 7, 14 Potestas eius (3m10.7s - 2983 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 2, 8 Postula a me (1m20.3s - 1259 kb) score
                   (anno A) Mt. 25, 40.34 Amen dico vobis: quod uni (not yet available)
                    Ps. 28, 10b.11b Sedebit Dominus (43.5s - 683 kb) score

 Other Chantblog posts for this day include:

"Ivars Taurins' Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra" offers this very good version of "Worthy is the Lamb" from Handel's Messiah:

And of course, you can't just hear that without the "Amen" movement!

This is the central figure from Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kyrie: Rex immense, Pater Pie

This Kyrie trope/motet comes from the Codex Calixtinus (or, as some call it - and more accurately, too! -  the Liber Sancti Jacobi).   This video comes from the Budapest Schola Cantorum; here's the information about it that they posted at the YouTube page:
Budapesti Énekes Iskola / Schola Cantorum Budapestiensis
Művészeti vezetők / Artistic directors: János MEZEI, Tamás BUBNÓ

Kyrie "Rex immensae" for two voice, from Codex Callixtinus

From the photos I've seen, the Schola appears to be a mixed choir of male and female voices, both young and older.  Very nice! 

Here are the words they are singing; I found them in a German Google book.  Interestingly, there is a bit of Greek mixed with the Latin text.

Fulbertus episcopus de sancto Jacobo.

 Rex immense, pater pie,
 Kyrie, eleìson,
 Palmo cuncta qui concludis,
         Kyrie, eleison,
  Sother, theos athanatos,
         Kyrie, eleison.

 Christe, fili patris summi,
        Christe, eleisou,
Qui de coelis descendisti,
        Christe, eleison,
Tuum plasma redemisti,
        Christe, eleison.

Consolator, dulcis amor,
        Kyrie, eleison,
Qui Jacobum illustraSti,
        Kyrie, eleison,
Cujus prece nobis parce,
        Kyrie, eleison.

Great King, gentle father,
        have mercy,
      Lord have mercy,
 You hold all things in your hand,
        have mercy,
      Lord have mercy,
  Savior, immortal God,
        have mercy,
      Lord have mercy.

 Christ, Son of the Most High,
        have mercy,
      Christ have mercy,
He came down from heaven,     
       have mercy,
     Christ have mercy,
You have redeemed your creatures,
      have mercy,
    Christ have mercy.

Comforter, sweet love,
      have mercy,
    Lord have mercy,
You are illumined by James,
      have mercy,
    Lord have mercy,
By his prayer spare us,
      have mercy ,
    Lord have mercy.

The words are also here, at a Wikisource site about the Codex Calixtinus; there are some misspellings there, though.

This Kyrie is apparently contained in in an appendix to the Codex.   (I have not been able to find a full digital copy of this manuscript online so far, so this is just an assumption on my part.)   A note at this page says (in reference to the organum included in the Codex) that:
It is possible that the Benedictines of Cluny (France) assembled this collection from various sources and presented it to the Cathedral of Santiago.  The concluding appendix to the codex contains 20 polyphonic pieces and one more appears in the main body of the codex.

Kyrie: Rex Immense is a trope on the Mass 12 (Pater cuncta) Kyrie.  A trope is a musical composition in which something new - either music or text, or both - added to an original chant.

In most cases, the original chant - the Kyrie, in this case - became melismatic (ornate in melody) over time; that is, musical ornament was, over the course of years, added to a simple Kyrie eleison chant.    (The ornament here is in the wandering melody of the "Kyrie" and "Christe" sections.)

Later on (or at the same time), words were written to the melodic ornament on the simple chant; the words - and perhaps the melody? - for this particular Kyrie are apparently attributed to Bishop Fulbert of Chartres.  Fulbert actually lived from the middle of the tenth century until 1028, two full centuries before the era of the Liber Sancti Jacobi (12th Century), so this attribution may not be accurate - although Fulbert was a hymn-writer.  (One of his compositions was the familiar Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem.)

(Just to note:  Mass 12 may originally have been known as Mass 13; I'm finding several references that may indicate this.)

Here's the Mass 12 Kyrie itself:

Here's a score:

Here's a page at DIAMM with some information about the LSJ - although, again, no images of the manuscript itself.  (You can apparently see a few images at this Wikipedia page, though.  I'm not sure where these are coming from.)  This Kyrie is listed as piece #16, folio 189.  (Which is, perhaps, otherwise known as folio 218!  Really, I have no idea, since I can't see what's going on.)

In this video, you can see and hear the original chant, as well as the trope; listen for the complete "Kyrie eleison" and "Christe eleison" chants.  These are included in the words I cited above, but are left out in the video above.

And another, similar interpretation (to start with, anyway!), from Ensemble Nu:n, a favorite group of mine.   They mix medieval chant and jazz improvisation, always to interesting effect.  How could I not like them?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

For the Feast of St. Martin of Tours: Ecce Sacerdos Magnus ("Behold the Great Priest")

Today is the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, and this is the beautiful Gradual at the Mass for Feasts of Confessor Bishops:

These are the words for the Gradual:
Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis, placuit Deo;
Non est inventus similis illi, qui conservaret legem excelsi.

Behold the great priest, who in his days, pleased God;
No one has been found to be like him in the keeping of the laws of the Most High.

Here's the chant score:

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus is or can be used several times on these Feast days:  it's a "Responsory for the reception of a Bishop"; it's, as here, the Gradual at the mass; and it's the first Psalm antiphon at 2nd Vespers.   For each of these, a different text is used.

The odd thing, to me, is that the Mass Epistle reading is given as Ecce sacerdos magnus, too, noted as taken from "Ecclesiasticus 44:16-27; 45:3-20."  I've seen this not only at Divinum Officium, but in several other places as well - including the Liber Usualis.    The only problem is that, as far as I can tell, the reading itself takes extreme liberties with the actual verses from Scripture!

Here's Divinum Officium, 11-11-2015, Rubrics 1960 for the Sancta Missa:
Léctio libri Sapiéntiæ.
Eccli 44:16-27; 45:3-20
Ecce sacérdos magnus, qui in diébus suis plácuit Deo, et invéntus est iustus: et in témpore iracúndiæ factus est reconciliátio. Non est inventus símilis illi, qui conservávit legem Excélsi. Ideo iureiurándo fecit illum Dóminus créscere in plebem suam. Benedictiónem ómnium géntium dedit illi, et testaméntum suum confirmávit super caput eius. Agnóvit eum in benedictiónibus suis: conservávit illi misericórdiam suam: et invénit grátiam coram óculis Dómini. Magnificávit eum in conspéctu regum: et dedit illi corónam glóriæ. Státuit illi testaméntum ætérnum, et dedit illi sacerdótium magnum: et beatificávit illum in glória. Fungi sacerdótio, et habére laudem in nómine ipsíus, et offérre illi incénsum dignum in odórem suavitátis.
R. Deo gratias.

Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus
Sir 44:16-27: 45:3-20
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, by an oath, the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
R. Thanks be to God.

And here are those actual verses taken directly from the Douay-Rheims:
[16] Henoch pleased God, and was translated into paradise, that he may give repentance to the nations. [17] Noe was found perfect, just, and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. [18] Therefore was there a remnant left to the earth, when the flood came. [19] The covenants of the world were made with him, that all flesh should no more be destroyed with the flood. [20] Abraham was the great father of a multitude of nations, and there was not found the like to him in glory, who kept the law of the most High, and was in covenant with him.
[21] In his flesh he established the covenant, and in temptation he was found faithful. [22] Therefore by an oath he gave him glory in his posterity, that he should increase as the dust of the earth, [23] And that he would exalt his seed as the stars, and they should inherit from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. [24] And he did in like manner with Isaac for the sake of Abraham his father. [25] The Lord gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed his covenant upon the head of Jacob.
[26] He acknowledged him in his blessings, and gave him an inheritance, and divided him his portion in twelve tribes. [27] And he preserved for him men of mercy, that found grace in the eyes of all flesh.

[3] He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and shewed him his glory. [4] He sanctified him in his faith, and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. [5] For he heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud.
[6] And he gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction, that he might teach Jacob his covenant, and Israel his judgments. [7] He exalted Aaron his brother, and like to himself of the tribe of Levi: [8] He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him the priesthood of the nation, and made him blessed in glory, [9] And he girded him about with a glorious girdle, and clothed him with a robe of glory, and crowned him with majestic attire. [10] He put upon him a garment to the feet, and breeches, and as ephod, and he compassed him with many little bells of gold all round about,
[11] That as he went there might be a sound, and a noise made that might be heard in the temple, for a memorial to the children of his people. [12] He gave him a holy robe of gold, and blue, and purple, a woven work of a wise man, endued with judgment and truth: [13] Of twisted scarlet the work of an artist, with precious stones cut and set in gold, and graven by the work of a lapidary for a memorial, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. [14] And a crown of gold upon his mitre wherein was engraved Holiness, an ornament of honour: a work of power, and delightful to the eyes for its beauty. [15] Before him there were none so beautiful, even from the beginning.
[16] No stranger was ever clothed with them, but only his children alone, and his grandchildren for ever. [17] His sacrifices were consumed with fire every day. [18] Moses filled his hands and anointed him with holy oil. [19] This was made to him for an everlasting testament, and to his seed as the days of heaven, to execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise, and to glorify his people in his name. [20] He chose him out of all men living, to offer sacrifice to God, incense, and a good savour, for a memorial to make reconciliation for his people:

Truly strange!  This oddity goes back awhile, too; I found the same thing in the Tridentine Sancta Missa.  I have no explanation at all for this; will post again here if I find one!

Many composers have set Ecce Sacerdos Magnus; here's Bruckner's setting (he's using the text from the Responsory):

The words here are:
Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diébus suis plácuit Deo: Ideo jure jurando fecit illum Dóminus crescere in plebem suam.

Benedictiónem ómnium géntium dedit illi, et testaméntum suum confirmávit super caput ejus. Ideo jure jurando fecit illum Dóminus crescere in plebem suam.

Gloria patri et filio et spiritui sancto. . .

Behold a great priest who in his days pleased God: Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people.

To him He gave the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. . .

You can read at Wikipedia for more about Martin of Tours.  But I'll quote a bit from Full Homely Divinity's "Saints of Advent" page:
St. Martin was born about 316 in Pannonia (modern Hungary). At the age of 10 he became a catechumen and at 15 he joined the army, serving under the emperors Constantius and Julian. The most famous story about Martin tells how on a cold day he met a beggar who asked for alms. Having nothing else to give, Martin drew his sword and cut his cloak in two, giving half to the beggar. Christ appeared to him in a dream the following night, clothed in half a cloak, and said, "Martin, the catechumen, has clothed me with this mantle!" At the age of 18, he was baptized and wished to leave the military, but stayed for two more years at the request of his commander. Following a successful campaign against the Teutons, he went before the emperor who was distributing rewards to his men. Martin, however, declined the bounty and asked instead that he be released from military service. He said, "Up to now, I have served you as a soldier; allow me henceforth to serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going out to battle. I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." Julian accused him of cowardice and imprisoned him for a time. When he was released, Martin sought out the saintly Bishop Hilary of Poitiers, under whose direction Martin lived a solitary life for a time, until he was joined by others and founded a Benedictine monastery at Ligugé.

Martin became famous for his holiness of life, his preaching, and for his gifts of healing and spiritual discernment. People often sought him out for help and when the bishop of Tours died, they chose Martin to be their new bishop. He declined the honor and responsibility and hid from the people when they came looking for him. However, a goose revealed his whereabouts with her honking and Martin was unable to resist the will of the Church that he become a bishop. The goose is one of Martin's symbols. It is also a popular food on his feast day. Martinmas is the last day before the traditional 40 day fast before Christmas (St. Martin's Lent). The new wine is usually ready to drink on Martinmas, which is also the traditional day for slaughtering livestock for the winter, so it is a kind of harvest festival and a late fall Mardi Gras all rolled into one.

St. Martin was an exemplary bishop, and much loved by his people. He visited every church in his diocese once a year and founded several more religious communities, including the monastery of Marmoutier near Tours, where he lived with 80 monks. He lived to the great old age of 81 and was so renowned that he came to be known as the "Glory of Gaul." The hymn Iste confessor was composed in honor of St. Martin in the eighth century, and was later appointed to be sung as the Office Hymn on the feasts of confessors. Click here for an English translation by Laurence Housman, set to a metrical tune.

For a modern observance of the feast, this would be a good day to sort through drawers and closets to gather good used clothing that could be donated to a local ministry to the needy, or to a thrift shop. Contributions to a food pantry or soup kitchen would be in order, as well. In many communities in the U.S., churches or other service organizations provide a free Thanksgiving dinner to any and all. Martinmas would be a good day to find out if there is such a meal served in your community and to sign up to help or to contribute money or food to the effort. If you are keeping St. Martin's Day at home, roast goose and a bottle of this year's Nouveau Beaujolais might top the menu, especially if you will be starting the St. Martin's Lent fast the next day.

This comes from the site AllesGerman:
St. Martin’s Day or Martinstag is one of the most popular saint’s days in Germany, particularly celebrated by children and young people.

Martin of Tours was born in the 4th Century and started out as a Roman soldier, later becoming a monk, and because of his exemplary way of life was later appointed Bishop of Tours. Many legends surround his life, the most famous of which tells how he cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar who was dying in the cold.

Taking place on November 11th, the day is particularly popular with children, with many German schools celebrating the life of the Saint through reenactments and plays. Later in the evening children carry candle-lit lanterns (usually homemade) and sing “lantern songs” in celebration of St. Martin’s Day, as they walk around the streets in a procession after darkness falls. The procession often ends with a bonfire after which they may go from door to door singing songs. Much like trick or treating in the USA, the children are given gingerbread men, money and other goodies as a reward for their singing and the beauty of their homemade or purchased lanterns.

One of the most popular St. Martin’s Day children songs is “Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne” or “I walk with my lantern”:

“Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne
Und meine Laterne mit mir.
Dort oben leuchten die Sterne,
Hier unten, da leuchten wir.
Mein Licht ist aus,
Wir geh’n nach Haus,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

English Translation

I walk with my lantern
And my lantern goes with me.
Up above the stars are glowing,
And glowing, too, are we.
My light is out,
We’re going home,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.”

Here is an image, from the same site, of German kids with their lanterns:

Here's a colorful painting called "St. Martin and the Beggar"; Wikipedia says that it's from an "Unknown Master, Hungarian (active around 1490)."  The painting hangs in the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.   As in almost every representation of the saint, Martin is cutting his cloak in two, to give half to the beggar, as described above.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Offertory for the Feast of All Saints: Justorum animae ("The souls of the righteous")

Justorum animae is the Offertory for the Feast of All Saints - one of my favorite feast days of the year.  And as with so much else on this day, the chant is beautiful:

(Not sure who the singers are there; there's nothing at the YouTube page about them.)

The words, too, are very beautiful; they come from Wisdom 3:1-2a, 3b:
Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt,
et non tanget illos tormentum mortis.
Visi sunt oculis insipientium mori,
illi autem sunt in pace.

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and the torment of death shall not touch them.
In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die;
but they are in peace.

Translation by St Ann choir

Here's the chant score:

In his Chants of the Vatican Gradual (1934), Dom Dominic Johner points out that this melody was, in the Tridentine mass, also used for the Offertory for the Feast of St. Michael, Stetit Angelus ("An angel stood near the altar of the temple").  In his explication of Stetit Angelus, Johner discusses the melody in detail, and finally notes that:
This melody is also sung on the feast of All Saints to the text Justorum Animae, and, with the same text, in the third Mass for several Martyrs; likewise in the Mass for Deliverance in Time of Pestilence to the text Stetit pontifex, and its first half on the feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome (January 18) to the text Tu es Petrus. In some places it is sung on the feast of St. Vincent de Paul (July 19) to the text Inclinet.
In his discussion of this proper, Justorum Animae, John says:
The melody was explained on the feast of St. Michael. The happy  adaptation of this text was accomplished in the twelfth century. We are  tempted to ask why the small word autem was favored with such florid  neums. In the original we find them over ascendit, which easily lends  itself to tone-painting. But we must take into consideration not so much  the word as the entire thought. This part, with its jubilant melody,  forms a magnificent contrast to mori ("to die") with its low pitch in the  preceding phrase. Individually, the phrases, according to their text, are  shorter than those of the original. This might explain the omission of  the descent to the fourth below the tonic which we find there at the end  of the second, third, and fourth phrases.  
"The priest offers up pure sacrificial gifts in the sight of God. With  these gifts also the earthly sufferings and heavenly joys of the saints  ascend to the throne of God. A most mysterious and most intimate connection is thus forged between their lives and the life and death of  Christ. Their lives are woven into His sacrifice, and together with the  Eucharistic Sacrifice they are immolated to God. The singer recognizes  this; he would also have his song ascend to heaven bright and clear as  the clouds of incense which he sees rising from the altar" (C. 0., 50, 151).

Orlando di Lasso wrote a beautiful setting for this proper:


Surprisingly, to me at least, Camille Saint-Saens set it, too; that piece doesn't seem to be online, though.  Gabriel Jackson's beautiful setting is, though; lucky for us!

The YouTube page says, about the video above, that it's:
A recording of a live television broadcast on the 3rd of November 2013. Sung by the Cappella Nicolai, conducted by Michael Hedley.

That's a Dutch choir, evidently.

Gabriel Jackson seems to enjoy writing settings for some of the old chant propers (for instance, see his setting of the Advent Sequence, Salus Aeterna), so I'm always interested when I discover another. 

Here are mp3 files for all the propers on the day, from

Die 1 novembris
Omnium Sanctorum
Introitus: Ps. 32 Gaudeamus... Sanctorum omnium (3m09.8s - 2969 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 33, 10. V. 11b Timete Dominum (2m33.1s - 2395 kb) score
Alleluia: Mt. 11, 28 Venite ad me (3m34.5s - 3355 kb) score
Offertorium: Sap. 3, 1.2.3 Iustorum animæ (2m25.8s - 2281 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 5, 8.9.10 Beati mundo corde (1m29.8s - 1408 kb) score

And here are posts about these on Chantblog:

This is a photograph (by user Silar) of Central Cemetery in Sanok, Poland, on All Saints' Day:

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Communio for the Feast of the Transfiguration: Visiónem quam vidístis ("The Vision you have seen")

The Communio for the August 6 Feast of the Transfiguration is the lovely Visiónem quam vidístis:

This beautiful chant is also the Communion song for the second Sunday of Lent; at one time the Transfiguration was celebrated on that day.  The August 6 Feast is relatively recent in the West.

The text comes from Matthew 17:9. a passage that immediately follows the story of the Transfiguration on the Mountain in that Gospel:
Visionem quam vidistis, nemini dixeritis,
donec a mortuis resurgat filius Hominis.

Tell the vision you have seen to no man,
till the Son of man be risen from the dead.

 Here's the chant score:

Transfiguration has been celebrated at different times and dates throughout history, but in the West the August 6 date was fixed in 1456. Here's a bit from the Wikipedia article about the feast:
The Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus is celebrated by various Christian denominations. The origins of the feast are less than certain and may have derived from the dedication of three basilicas on Mount Tabor.[1] The feast was present in various forms by the 9th century, and in the Western Church was made a universal feast on August 6th by Pope Callixtus III to commemorate the raising of the Siege of Belgrade (1456).[2]
In the Syriac Orthodox, Indian Orthodox, Revised Julian calendars within Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and Anglican churches, the Feast of the Transfiguration is observed on 6 August. In those Orthodox churches which continue to follow the Julian Calendar, August 6 falls on August 19 of the Gregorian Calendar. The Transfiguration is considered a major feast, numbered among the twelve Great Feasts in Orthodoxy. In all these churches, if the feast falls on a Sunday, its liturgy is not combined with the Sunday liturgy, but completely replaces it.
Here's the section about Transfiguration's significance in the East, from the same page:
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Transfiguration falls during the Dormition Fast, but in recognition of the feast the fast is relaxed somewhat and the consumption of fish, wine and oil is allowed on this day.

In the Orthodox view the Transfiguration is not only a feast in honor of Jesus, but a feast of the Holy Trinity, for all three Persons of the Trinity are interpreted as being present at that moment: God the Father spoke from heaven; God the Son was the one being transfigured, and God the Holy Spirit was present in the form of a cloud. In this sense, the transfiguration is also considered the "Small Epiphany" (the "Great Epiphany" being the Baptism of Jesus, when the Holy Trinity appeared in a similar pattern).

The Transfiguration is ranked as one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox liturgical calendar, and is celebrated with an All-Night Vigil beginning on the eve of the Feast.

Grapes are traditionally brought to church to be blessed after the Divine Liturgy on the day of the Transfiguration. If grapes are not available in the area, apples or some other fruit may be brought. This begins the "Blessing of First Fruits" for the year.

The Transfiguration is the second of the "Three Feasts of the Saviour in August", the other two being the Procession of the Cross on August 1 and the Icon of Christ Not Made by Hand on August 16. The Transfiguration is preceded by a one-day Forefeast and is followed by an Afterfeast of eight days, ending the day before the Forefeast of the Dormition.

In Eastern Orthodox theology, the Tabor Light is the light revealed on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration of Jesus, identified with the light seen by Paul on the road to Damascus.

The article also notes that Transfiguration is one of the "Luminous mysteries" of the rosary, chosen as such by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

And from another Transfiguration page:
The theology of the Transfiguration received the attention of the Church Fathers since the very early days. In the 2nd century, Saint Irenaeus was fascinated by the Transfiguration and wrote: "the glory of God is a live human being and a truly human life is the vision of God".[25]

Origen's theology of the Transfiguration influenced the patristic tradition and became a basis for theological writings by others.[26] Among other issues, given the instruction to the apostles to keep silent about what they had seen until the Resurrection, Origen commented that the glorified states of the Transfiguration and the Resurrection must be related.[26]

The Desert Fathers emphasized the light of the ascetic experience, and related it to the light of the Transfiguration – a theme developed further by Evagrius Ponticus in the 4th century.[26] Around the same time Saint Gregory of Nyssa and later Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite were developing a "theology of light" which then influenced Byzantine meditative and mystical traditions such as the Tabor light and theoria.[26] The iconography of the Transfiguration continued to develop in this time period, and there is a sixth-century symbolic representation in the apse of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe and a well known depiction at Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai in Egypt.[27]

Byzantine Fathers often relied on highly visual metaphors in their writings, indicating that they may have been influenced by the established iconography.[28] The extensive writings of Maximus the Confessor may have been shaped by his contemplations on the katholikon at Saint Catherine's Monastery – not a unique case of a theological idea appearing in icons long before it appears in writings.[28]

In the 7th century, Saint Maximus the Confessor said that the senses of the apostles were transfigured to enable them to perceive the true glory of Christ.[29] In the same vein, building on 2 Corinthians 3:18, by the end of the 13th century the concept of "transfiguration of the believer" had stabilized and Saint Gregory Palamas considered "true knowledge of God" to be a transfiguration of man by the Spirit of God.[30] The spiritual transfiguration of the believer then continued to remain a theme for achieving a closer union with God.[18][31]

One of the generalizations of Christian belief has been that the Eastern Church emphasizes the Transfiguration while the Western Church focuses on the Crucifixion – however, in practice both branches continue to attach significance to both events, although specific nuances continue to persist.[32] An example of such a nuance is the saintly signs of the Imitation of Christ. Unlike Catholic saints such as Padre Pio or Francis (who considered stigmata a sign of the imitation of Christ) Eastern Orthodox saints have never reported stigmata, but saints such as Seraphim and Silouan have reported being transfigured by an inward light of grace.

August 6 is also the anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II - a sad commentary on the human condition, indeed.  (And as noted above, the Feast itself was made universal as a commemoration of a victory in battle.)

Here are all the chants for the day, from

In Transfiguratione Domini

Introitus: Ps. 26, 8.9 et 1 Tibi dixit cor meum (cum Gloria Patri) (2m59.6s - 2808 kb)
Graduale: Ps. 44, 3 et 2 Speciosus forma (4m20.2s - 4068 kb) score
Alleluia: Sap. 7, 26 Candor est lucis æternæ (2m36.223s - 1223 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 8, 6.7 Gloria et honore (1m22.047s - 643 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 17, 9 Visionem (2m36.4s - 2446 kb) score

Here are posts about chant propers for this day on Chantblog:

This icon comes from the Novgorod school, 15th century (see this page).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Akathist hymn of St. John the Baptist

For today's Feast of the Nativity of St. John Baptist, here's a recording of an Akathist hymn to John;  the video is 51 minutes long!

According to OrthodoxWiki:

An akathist (Greek, akathistos) is a hymn dedicated to a saint, holy event, or one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. The word akathist itself means "not sitting." The akathist par excellence is that written in the 6th century to the Theotokos. In its use as part of the Salutations to the Theotokos service (used in the Byzantine tradition during Great Lent), it is often known by its Greek or Arabic names, Chairetismoi and Madayeh, respectively.

The writing of akathists (occasionally spelled acathist) continues today as part of the general composition of an akolouthia, especially in the Slavic tradition, although not all are widely known nor translated beyond the original language. Isaac E. Lambertsen has done a large amount of translation work, including many different akathists. Most of the newer akathists are pastiche, that is, a generic form imitating the original 6th century akathist into which a particular saint's name is inserted.

I've not been able to find the words so far, but continue to search....

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Festival Te Deum in E": Benjamin Britten

In honor of the Sunday of the Trinity, here's the Guildford Cathedral Choir singing this piece; pretty dramatic! 

Some parishes sing the Te Deum at the end of the mass on Trinity Sunday; at St. Mary's, two thurifers stand at each end of the altar and swing their thuribles throughout.   Always wonderful, and I highly recommend this to anybody.  The smoke swirls up, up, up....

In my new parish, we've been singing the Te Deum (#S205 in the 1982) in place of the Gloria all throughout Easter; I've never seen that done before, but I like it.

Here, apparently, is Arvo Pärt's Te Deum - and as with everything else I've heard of his, I find it extremely compelling and beautiful.  It's 32 minutes long!

The YouTuber writes that the performers are the Akademisk Kor and the Akademisk Orkester, with Nenia Zenana conducting and Marianne G. Nielsen, solist.  S/he also writes that:
Te Deum employs Pärt's signature tintinnabuli compositional style. Tintinnabuli is often described as a minimalistic compositional technique, as its harmonic logic departs from that of the tonal tradition of Western classical music, creating its own distinct harmonic system. Tintinnabulation is a process in which a chosen triad encircles a melody, manifesting itself in specific positions in relation to the melody according to a predetermined scheme of adjacency. In its most rudimentary form, Pärt's tintinnabuli music is composed of two main voices: one carries the usually stepwise melody (M-voice) while the other follows the trajectory of the melody but is limited to notes of a specific triad (T-voice.) In the case of Te Deum, it is a D triad that is featured in the T-voice, and as such provides the harmonic basis for the entire piece.

The work is scored for three choirs (women's choir, men's choir, and mixed choir), prepared piano, divisi strings, and wind harp. According to the Universal Edition full score, the piano part requires that four pitches be prepared with metal screws and calls for "as large a concert grand as possible" and "amplified." The wind harp is similar to the Aeolian Harp, its strings vibrating due to wind passing through the instrument. Manfred Eicher of ECM Records "recorded this 'wind music' on tape and processed it acoustically." The two notes (D and A) performed on the wind harp are to be played on two separate CD or DAT recordings. According to the score preface, the wind harp functions as a drone throughout the piece, fulfilling "a function comparable to that of the ison in Byzantine church music, a repeated note which does not change pitch."

Here's the Gregorian Chant version - the Solemn Te Deum - sung here by the monks at Solesmes:

Here are all the words, in Latin and English, from Wikipedia:

Latin text Translation from the Book of Common Prayer
Te Deum laudámus: te Dominum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem omnis terra venerátur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi coeli et univérsae potestátes.
Tibi Chérubim et Séraphim incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra majestátis glóriæ tuæ.
Te gloriósus Apostolórum chorus;
Te Prophetárum laudábilis númerus;
Te Mártyrum candidátus laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum sancta confitétur Ecclésia:
Patrem imménsæ majestátis; Venerándum tuum verum et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque Paráclitum Spíritum.
Tu Rex glóriæ, Christe.
Tu Patris sempitérnus es Fílius.
Tu ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem, non horruísti Vírginis úterum.
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo, aperuísti credéntibus regna coelórum.
Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes, in glória Patris.
Judex créderis esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quǽsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni, quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis in glória numerári.

[added later, mainly from Psalm verses:]
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, et bénedic hæreditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies benedícimus te.
Et laudámus nomen tuum in sǽculum, et in sǽculum sǽculi.
Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine, miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos, quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
In te, Dómine, sperávi: non confúndar in ætérnum.
We praise thee, O God :
    we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee :
    the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud :
    the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim :
    continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy :
    Lord God of Hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty :
    of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world :
    doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man :
    thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death :
    thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants :
    whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.

[added later, mainly from Psalm verses:]
O Lord, save thy people :
    and bless thine heritage.
Govern them : and lift them up for ever.
Day by day : we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name : ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us : have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us :
    as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted :
    let me never be confounded.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Introit for Pentecost Ember Friday: Repleatur os Meum ("Let my mouth be filled with your praise")

Here's a recording of this beautiful introit, sung by the "Choralschola of the Niederaltaicher Scholaren":

The text is taken from various verses of Psalm 71:
Repleatur os meum laude tua, Domine. Alleluia.
Ut possim cantare. Alleluia.
Gaudebunt labia mea dum cantavero tibi. Alleluia.
In te, Domine, speravi,
non confundar in aeternum:
in iustitia tua libera me (et eripe me).

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, O Lord. Hallelujah.
That I may sing. Hallelujah.
My lips shall rejoice when I sing to you. Hallelujah.
In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be confounded:

In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me.

And what is "Pentecost Ember Friday," you ask?  Here's an explanation from the Catholic Encyclopeida of 1913; my bolding below:
Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter. Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

Here's some of the entry for "Ember Days" from Wikipedia; unfortunately there's no mention of the very important purpose described in bold in the entry above:
In the liturgical calendar of the Western Christian churches, Ember days are four separate sets of three days within the same week — specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that were formerly set aside for fasting and prayer. These days set apart for special prayer and fasting were considered especially suitable for the ordination of clergy. The Ember Days are known in Latin as the quattuor anni tempora (the "four seasons of the year"), or formerly as the jejunia quattuor temporum ("fasts of the four seasons").

The four quarterly periods during which the ember days fall are called the embertides.

Ember Weeks
The Ember Weeks—the weeks in which the Ember Days occur—are the weeks:
The origins of the observance are open to considerable debate. Some hold that the concept of the observance predates the Christian era, and that since Ember days have never been observed in the Eastern Churches, any pagan origins must lie in the west.[citation needed] Some point to specific Celtic origins, linked to the Celtic custom of observing various festivals at three-month intervals: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. In any event, the ancient Christian church often sought to co-opt pagan feasts and reorient them to different purposes, and that seems to have been applicable in this instance[citation needed].

In pagan Rome offerings were made to various gods and goddesses of agriculture in the hope that the deities would provide a bountiful harvest (the feriae messis in July), a rich vintage (the feriae vindimiales in September), or a productive seeding (the feriae sementivae in December). At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December. The Liber Pontificalis ascribes to Pope Callixtus I (217-222) a law regulating the fast, although Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Pope Gelasius I (492-496) speaks of all four.

The earliest mention of four seasonal fasts is known from the writings of Philastrius, bishop of Brescia (died ca 387) (De haeres. 119). He also connects them with the great Christian festivals.

The Christian observation of this seasonal observance of the Ember days had its origin as an ecclesiastical ordinance in Rome and spread from there to the rest of the Western Church. They were known as the jejunium vernum, aestivum, autumnale and hiemale, so that to quote Pope Leo's words (A.D. 440 - 461) the law of abstinence might apply to every season of the year. In Leo's time, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday were already days of special observance. In order to tie them to the fasts preparatory to the three great festivals of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, a fourth needed to be added "for the sake of symmetry" as the Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 has it.

From Rome the Ember days gradually spread unevenly through the whole of Western Christendom. In Gaul they do not seem to have been generally recognized much before the 8th century.

Their observation in Britain, however, was embraced earlier than in Gaul or Spain, interestingly, and Christian sources connect the Ember Days observations with Augustine of Canterbury, AD. 597, said to be acting under the direct authority of Pope Gregory the Great. The precise dates appears to have varied considerably however, and in some cases, quite significantly, the Ember Weeks lost their connection with the Christian festivals altogether. Spain adopted them with the Roman rite in the eleventh century. Charles Borromeo introduced them into Milan in the sixteenth century.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church ember days have never been observed.[1]


The Ordo Romanus fixed the spring fast in the first week of March (then the first month), thus loosely associated with the first Sunday in Lent; the summer fast in the second week of June, after Whitsunday; the autumnal fast in the third week of September following the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14; and the winter fast in the complete week next before Christmas Eve, following St. Lucy's Day (Dec. 13).

Other regulations prevailed in different countries, until the inconveniences arising from the want of uniformity led to the rule now observed being laid down under Pope Urban II as the law of the church, at the Council of Piacenza and the Council of Clermont, 1095.
These dates are given in the following mnemonic:
Dant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia
Ut sit in angariâ quarta sequens feria
Or in an old English rhyme
"Fasting days and Emberings be
Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie."

Another way to remember it, in the form in which I've heard it recently:  "Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy"!

More from the article:
The ember days began on the Wednesday immediately following those days.


They may appear in some calendars as "days of prayer for peace".[4]

The English name for these days, "Ember", derives from the Anglo-Saxon ymbren, a circuit or revolution (from ymb, around, and ryne, a course, running), clearly relating to the annual cycle of the year. The occurrence of the Anglo-Saxon compounds ymbren-tid ("Embertide"), ymbren-wucan ("Ember weeks"), ymbren-fisstan ("Ember fasts"), ymbren-dagas ("Ember days") makes this etymology quite certain. The word imbren even makes it into the acts of the "Council of Ænham"[6] (1009): jejunia quatuor tempora quae imbren vocant, "the fasts of the four seasons which are called "imbren'".[7] It corresponds also with Pope Leo the Great's definition, jejunia ecclesiastica per totius anni circulum distributa ("fasts of the church distributed through the whole circuit of the year").

However, others maintain that the term is derived from the Latin quatuor tempora, meaning "four times" (a year), while folk etymology even cites the phrase "may ye remember (the inevitability of death)" as the source. J. M. Neale's Essays of Liturgiology (1863), Chapter X, explains the etymology:
"The Latin name has remained in modern languages, though the contrary is sometimes affirmed, Quatuor Tempora, the Four Times. In French and Italian the term is the same; in Spanish and Portuguese they are simply Temporas. The German converts them into Quatember, and thence, by the easy corruption of dropping the first syllable, a corruption which also takes place in some other words, we get the English Ember. Thus, there is no occasion to seek after an etymology in embers; or with Nelson, to extravagate still further to the noun ymbren, a recurrence, as if all holy seasons did not equally recur. Ember-week in Wales is Welsh: "Wythnos y cydgorian", meaning "the Week of the Processions". In mediæval Germany they were called Weihfasten, Wiegfastan, Wiegefasten, or the like, on the general principle of their sanctity.... We meet with the term Frohnfasten, frohne being the then word for travail. Why they were named foldfasten it is less easy to say."
"Quattuor tempora" was rendered into Irish quite literally as Laethanta na gCeithre Thráth, meaning "the days of the four times", and into somewhat archaic English as "Quarter tense".

This is a beautiful setting of the Introit text composed by Jacquet de Mantua, a name new to me.

This is actually a shorter take on Psalm 70/71, including only vv. 7-8 (note that the numbering system for the verses in this Psalm varies from translation to translation):
Repleatur os meum laude, ut cantem gloriam tuam, tota die magnitudinem tuam.
Ne projicias me in tempore senectutis; cum defecerit virtus mea, ne derelinquas me.
Let my mouth be filled with your praise, and I will sing a hymn to your glory and magnificence all day long.
Do not reject me in the time of old age; do not abandon me when my strength fails.

The YouTube page lists this group of singers:
Paolo Costa y Claudio Cavina, contratenores.
Fabio Fùrnari y Giuseppe Maletto, tenores.
Marco Scavazza, barítono.
Marcello Vargetto, bajo.
Delitiae Musicae.
Marco Longhini.

And Wikipedia says this about de Mantua in its intro; there is more at the link:
Jacquet of Mantua (Jacques Colebault, dit Jachet de Mantoue) (1483 – October 2, 1559) was a French[1] composer of the Renaissance, who spent almost his entire life in Italy. He was an influential member of the generation between Josquin and Palestrina, and represents well the transitional polyphonic style between those two composers.


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