Monday, September 08, 2008

September 8: Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From Hymn-melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books:
On the Feast of the Nativity of B. V. Mary (Sept. 8) & during the 8ve (when the Service is of the Feast) :
1st Evensong: Ave! maris stella ... ... ... ... 64
Mattins: Qucm terra, pontus, ethera ... ... ... ... 63
Lauds: O gloriosa femina ... ... ... ... 63
2nd Evensong: Letabundus ... ... Sequence, p. II
But within the 8ve & on the 8ve day :
Evensong: Ave! maris stella
On the Sunday & 8ve day at both Evensongs ... 64
On the remaining days of the 8ve ... ... ... 65

I've posted most of these before. See August 15: The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Part I, In Visitatione Beatæ Mariæ Virginis, and Office Hymns, etc, for the Feast of the Annunciation.

Here is a quick mp3 link for Quem terra, pontus, ethera and O gloriosa femina (both use the same melody).

Here, too, is my previous post from Annunciation about Ave! Maris Stella ("Hail! Star of the Sea"):
In the Sarum book - and in most others - the Vespers hymn is Ave, Maris Stella ("Hail, Star of the Sea!"). But that's not the one I have, about which I don't know much about at all. It does have that really interesting 11-11-11-5 Meter thing going, though; I'd sure like to know where that came from, and what significance it has; it seems to be used only for certain hymns and feasts, but I'm not sure what the link is. Anyway, the chant score:

The page for the Feast of the Purification at MMDB does have some of these hymns listed, however.

Here's an mp3 of Ave Maris Stella from the Benedictines of Brazil. Here's the Latin text, and an English translation:

Ave, maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper Virgo,
Felix caeli porta.

Sumens illud Ave
Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace,
Mutans Evae nomen.

Solve vincla reis,
Profer lumen caecis,
Mala nostra pelle,
Bona cuncta posce

Monstra te esse matrem,
Sumat per te preces,
Qui pro nobis natus
Tulit esse tuus.

Virgo singularis,
Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos,
Mites fac et castos.

Vitam praesta puram,
Iter para tutum,
Ut videntes Jesum,
Semper collaetemur.

Sit laus Deo Patri,
Summo Christo decus
Spiritui Sancto,
Tribus honor unus. Amen.
Hail, star of the sea,
loving Mother of God,
and also always a virgin,
Happy gate of heaven.

Receiving that Ave
from Gabriel's mouth
confirm us in peace,
Reversing Eva's name.

Break the chains of sinners,
Bring light to the blind,
Drive away our evils,
Ask for all good.

Show yourself to be a mother,
May he accept prayers through you,
he who, born for us,
Chose to be yours.

O unique virgin,
Meek above all,
Make us, absolved from sin,
Gentle and chaste.

Keep life pure,
Make the journey safe,
So that, seeing Jesus,
We may always rejoice together.

Let there be praise to God the Father,
Glory to Christ in the highest,
To the Holy Spirit,
One honor to all three. Amen.

You can hear an mp3 sample of Anonymous 4's version of Ave, Maris Stella here; Edvard Grieg, of all people, also composed an Ave, Maris Stella, which is quite beautiful. And here is an mp3 of "Orthodox Byzantine Hymn(s) for the Annunciation" at Wikipedia. Best I can do, this time - sorry.

I find it very appealing, actually, that a monastic Marian hymn has anything at all to do with the sea! I suspect this one originated in a port city somewhere; I'm going to do some research in this area and will post what I find, because this has intrigued me for quite awhile.

[EDIT: This is from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia (I added the bold):

Most interpreters derive the name Mary from the Hebrew, considering it either as a compound word or as a simple. Miryam has been regarded as composed as a noun and a pronominal suffix, or of a noun and an adjective, or again of two nouns. Gesenius was the first to consider miryam as a compound of the noun meri and the pronominal suffix am; this word actually occurs in II Esd., ix, 17, meaning "their rebellion". But such an expression is not a suitable name for a young girl. Gesenius himself abandoned this explanation, but it was adopted by some of his followers, e.g. by J. Grimm (Das Leben Jesu; sec. edit., I, 414-431, Regensburg, 1890) and Schanz (Comment. uber d. Ev. d. hl. Matthäus, p. 78, Freiburg, 1879). One of the meanings assigned to the name Mary in Martianay's edition of St. Jerome's works (S. Hier. opp., t. II, Parisiis, 1699, 2°, cols. 109-170, 181-246, 245-270) is pikra thalassa, bitter sea. Owing to the corrupt condition in which St. Jerome found the "Onomastica" of Philo and of Origen, which he in a way re-edited, it is hard to say whether the interpretation "bitter sea" is really due to either of these two authorities; at any rate, it is based on the assumption that the name miryam is composed of the Hebrew words mar (bitter) and yam (sea). Since in Hebrew the adjective follows its substantive, the compound of the two words ought to read yam mar; and even if the inverse order of words be admitted as possible, we have at best maryam, not miryam. Those who consider miryam as a compound word usually explain it as consisting of two nouns: mor and yam (myrrh of the sea); mari (cf. Dan., iv, 16) and yam (mistress of the sea); mar (cf. Is., xl, 15) and yam (drop of the sea). But these and all similar derivations of the name Mary are philogically inadmissible, ad of little use to the theologian. This is notably true of the explanation photizousa autous, enlightening them, whether it be based on the identification of miryam with me'iram (part. Hiphil of 'or with pronominal suffix of 3 plur.), or with mar'am (part. Hiphil of ra'ah with pron. suffix of 3 plur.), or again with mar'eya (part. Hiphil of raah with Aramaic fem. termination ya; cf. Knabenbauer, Evang. sec. Matt., pars prior, Parisiis, 1892, p. 43).

Here a word has to be added concerning the explanation stella maris, star of the sea. It is more popular than any other interpretation of the name Mary, and is dated back to St. Jerome (De nomin. hebraic., de Exod., de Matth., P.L., XXIII, col, 789, 842). But the great Doctor of the Church knew Hebrew too well to translate the first syllable of the name miryam by star; in Is., xl., 15, he renders the word mar by stilla (drop), not stella (star). A Bamberg manuscript dating from the end of the ninth century reads stilla maris instead of stella maris. Since Varro, Quintillian, and Aulus Gelliius testify that the Latin peasantry often substituted an e for an i, reading vea for via, vella for villa, speca for spica, etc., the substitution of maris stella for maris stilla is easily explained. Neither an appeal to the Egyptian Minur-juma (cf. Zeitschr. f. kathol. Theol., IV, 1880, p. 389) nor the suggestion that St. Jerome may have regarded miryam as a contracted form of me'or yam (cf. Schegg, Jacobus der Bruder des Herrn, Munchen, 1882, p. 56 Anm.) will account for his supposed interpretation stella maris (star of the sea) instead of stilla maris (a drop of the sea).


Here are the chant scores for "Ave! Maris Stella" as listed above, to be sung "On the Sunday & 8ve day at both Evensongs ... 64 / On the remaining days of the 8ve ... ... ... 65":

#64 above is the tune on the mp3 above from the Brazilian Benedictines, and the one used by Anonymous 4; I'll try to work out the other tune and see if I can find an mp3 to go with it; if I do, I'll return and post them. (Notice all those nice melismas! Well, Mary gets 'em....)

Here are the chant Propers, including mp3s and chant scores, from the Benedictines of Brazil.

Full Homely Divinity offers this article article about Our Lady of Glastonbury Church especially for September 8 - "the great day of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages." An excerpt:
In his play, "Murder in the Cathedral," T.S. Eliot, the poet-laureate of twentieth century Anglicanism, wrote:

Wherever a saint has dwelt, wherever a martyr has given his blood for the blood of Christ,
There is holy ground, and the sanctity shall not depart from it
Though armies trample over it, though sightseers come with guide-books looking over it;
From where the western seas gnaw at the coast of Iona,
To the death in the desert, the prayer in forgotten places by the broken imperial column,
From that ground springs that which forever renews the earth....

Glastonbury is such a place and neither Puritans nor pagans have been able to drive the sanctity from it. In 1920 pilgrimages were renewed. Today, there are two pilgrimages: the number of people who participate require that the Roman Catholics have a separate day of pilgrimage. Thousands attend the Anglican pilgrimage, which is joined by a contingent of Orthodox Christians who bring a modern icon of the Glastonbury Mother of God. In 1939, 400 years from the dissolution of the abbey, the foundations were laid for a Roman Catholic church dedicated to St. Mary. In 1955 a new statue of Our Lady of Glastonbury was enshrined in this church which stands just across the road from the abbey ruins. And, in 1965, the Apostolic Delegate presided at the rare ceremony of the crowning of the statue of Our Lady.

As for art: I'm especially loving the work of Pietro Perugino when it comes to Mary. Look at this beautiful piece reproduced on an Italian postage stamp in 1954, the "Anno Mariano":

And here's Madonna col Bambino tra Santa Rosa (?) e Santa Caterina d’Alessandria. Wow.


Anonymous said...

i read some years back a mystic said the hymn hail star of the sea was very dear to her. thank u 4 the score.

Anonymous said...

by her i meant Our Lady. the hymn is very dear to Mama Mary.


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