Friday, February 01, 2008

Attende, Domine (The Lent Prose)

Attende, Domine, or the "Lent Prose," is a Gregorian chant responsory sung at Divine Service during Lent. It had been very difficult, until recently, to find audio online for this sublimely beautiful music - which I first heard sung in procession at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue.

Here's the English version, "Hear Us O Lord"; it's led by George Curnow, Senior Cantor at the Church of St. Martin in Roath:



Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.

To thee, Redeemer, on thy throne of glory:
lift we our weeping eyes in holy pleadings:
listen, O Jesu, to our supplications.

Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.

O thou chief cornerstone, right hand of the Father:
way of salvation, gate of life celestial:
cleanse thou our sinful souls from all defilement.

Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.

God, we implore thee, in thy glory seated:
bow down and hearken to thy weeping children:
pity and pardon all our grievous trespasses.

Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.

Sins oft committed, now we lay before thee:
with true contrition, now no more we veil them:
grant us, Redeemer, loving absolution.

Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.

Innocent captive, taken unresisting:
falsely accused, and for us sinners sentenced,
save us, we pray thee, Jesu, our Redeemer.

Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.

The St. David's Compline Choir of Austin, TX, offers this mp3 of "Hear Us, O Lord" (the English translation of Attende Domine), with harmonized fauxbourdons refrain.

And here's the Latin version, sung a "First Sunday in Lent" mass, offered by St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in Edinburgh.



Here's the original Latin:
Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.
Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Ad te Rex summe,
omnium Redemptor,
oculos nostros
sublevamus flentes:
exaudi, Christe,
supplicantum preces.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Dextera Patris,
lapis angularis,
via salutis,
ianua caelestis,
ablue nostri
maculas delicti.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Rogamus, Deus,
tuam maiestatem:
auribus sacris
gemitus exaudi:
crimina nostra
placidus indulge.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Tibi fatemur
crimina admissa:
contrito corde
pandimus occulta:
tua, Redemptor,
pietas ignoscat.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Innocens captus,
nec repugnans ductus;
testibus falsis
pro impiis damnatus
quos redemisti,
tu conserva, Christe.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.


And yes, I do agree that this particular English version is a bit Victorian and overwrought, and needs a rewrite. Let's get right on it.

TPL has a version described as "Mozarabic Hymn from the 10th century."

Here is a chant score, a PDF from the St. Cecelia Schola Cantorum. Here is an mp3 of Attende, Domine, sung in Latin by I'm not sure who; it comes from this page, that seems to have something to do with Fisheaters.org, labeled "Free High Quality Gregorian Chant MP3s (For You!)." And there are indeed quite a few audio files there.

2 comments:

Oriscus said...

Hi -

We do the Attende regularly in Lent at Compline here in Austin.

I can send you a .pdf of our version, which uses that same Victorian version of the text.
I have harmonized the refrain.

Howard

bls said...

Thanks, Oriscus. I've been meaning to send an email but have been very lax lately in getting in touch with people, sorry!

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