Tuesday, April 01, 2008

(Lutheran) Office Hymns of Eastertide

In many or most traditions, the office hymns for Lauds and Vespers are the same each day throughout the 50 days of Eastertide (after Easter Week itself, that is, when at least in the Sarum Use, no hymns are sung); this certainly seems to be true for both the Roman Rite and the Sarum Use (from which Anglicans draw).  (Here's a separate post on the Sarum version of the Office Hymns of Eastertide.)

The Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood seems to go another way, offering two choices for each Office:
A Hymn for Easter Tuesday at Morning Prayer option 1 or option 2

A Hymn for Easter Tuesday at Vespers option 1 or option 2

I think "Tuesday" stands for "every day," in some sense.  The first hymn listed above for Lauds is "The Day Draws On With Golden Light" (that's the same mp3 as in option 1, as above). This is the English version of Aurora Lucis Rutilat; here's what TPL page about it:
This hymn is from the 4th or 5th century and is often ascribed to St. Ambrose (340-397). Whether it really is his or not, it is certainly worthy of his name. The complete hymn is composed of 44 lines and is given below. In the Liturgy it is broken up in multiple hymns. In the past it was broken into three hymns, Aurora lucis rutilat, Tristes erant Apostoli, and Claro Paschali gaudio, which were altered by Pope Urban VIII to Aurora caelum purpurat (Lauds), Tristes erant Apostoli (Vespers and Matins for Apostles and Evangelists in Eastertide), and Paschale mundo gaudium (Lauds for Apostles and Evangelists in Eastertide). Today parts of it are in the hymn for Laudes.

It's a beautiful hymn; the Latin words are terrific, although I'm not mad about either of these translations into English. Here's a heart-piercingly beautiful di Lassus Aurora Lucis Rutilat, from St. Clement's in Philadelphia.

The second option for Lauds listed above is "His Cheering Message From the Grave." Oremus Hymnal describes this one as "Latin, fourth or fifth centuries," and lists the hymn tune used there as "Solemnis haec festivitas," but the music does not match the tune here. I believe the name of this hymn in Latin is "Sermone blando angelus," a snippet of which you can find at Medieval Music Database - but I'm not totally certain; the music doesn't seem to be a match. [EDIT: this is another case of a long festal hymn being broken up into several shorter ones. If you take a look at the Latin words to Aurora Lucis Rutilat, you'll see that "Sermone blando angelus" is made up of some of the middle verses of the former hymn.]

I do have a chant score that does match the LLPB tune, although it uses different words (it's the J.M. Neale translation of the middle verses of Aurora Lucis Rutilat); in this (Anglican) source, this is the sole hymn for Lauds during Eastertide (Aurora Lucis Rutilat is really a Matins hymn):

The "option 1" hymn listed above for Vespers is "The Lamb's High Banquet," a hymn I've already listed on this blog: Ad cenam Agni providi. Here's an mp3 of another version, sung by St. David's (Austin) Compline Choir, and here again is the TPL description:
One of the earliest of the Ambrosian hymns, 6th century or earlier, this hymn is used for Vespers from Easter Sunday until Ascension. In the Breviary revision of 1632 by Pope Urban VIII the hymn was so greatly altered that only three lines of the original remained and thus is really a different hymn entirely. The revised hymn can be found under the title of Ad regias Agni dapes.

Following is a chant score of this in English; my source lists this as the hymn for Second Vespers of Sunday in Eastertide. However, the tune here is not the same as those used in either of the audio files above; I don't know what that's about, but will try to find out.

The last hymn, listed above as Option 2 for Vespers, is "Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem." Oremus Hymnal gives this: "Words: Chorus novae Jerusalem, Fulbert of Chartres, (ca. 960-1028)" - but again, the metrical music there does not match the mp3. Here's a chant score, with a set of totally different words; my source lists this as the hymn for First Vespers of Sunday in Eastertide (and I believe in fact this one's used daily during this period, except at Second Vespers of Sunday):

Another hymn sung during this period is "O filii et filiae" ("Ye sons and daughters of the Lord"); its topic is St. Thomas Didymus' experience of the risen Christ, and the hymn is often sung in the parish church on the second Sunday of Easter, when that Gospel story is read. Here's TPL:
This hymn was written by Jean Tisserand, O.F.M. (d. 1494) and originally had only nine stanzas. Stanzas "Discipulis adstantibus", "Ut intellexit Didymus", "Beati qui non viderunt" are early additions to the hymn. There are several different versions of the hymn. The one below is one of the more common versions.

St. David's offers an mp3 of this one, too.

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