Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Music from the Community and College of the Resurrection"

An Anglican religious order in England has posted links to some mass chants here, at their new website. I've posted these before, but thought I'd put them up again now that the old site links no longer work.
The Community was blessed in its early years with the musicological wisdom and skill of Fr Walter Frere. He was able to translate the somewhat romantic commitment of the still new Anglican religious communities to singing the Chant - the traditional plainsong melodies - into an enterprise with scholarly integrity.

Initially, working from the facsimile editions of the Sarum Graduale and Antiphonale that Frere edited, the Community adapted these medieval English texts to the Eucharist and Offices. The sense of Anglican identity was very evident: the Eucharist followed the Book of Common Prayer rite and the Office was built upon the two pillars of Morning and Evening Prayer, also from the Book of Common Prayer. In addition, the little hours - Prime, Terce, Sext, None and Compline were recited.

Today, following major liturgical revisions and renewal, the chants for the Eucharist are mostly adapted from the Use of Salisbury (in An English Kyriale), but the Office chants are an adaptation of the revised monastic office as set out in the Psalterium Monasticum and the Liber Hymnarius.

The Community also makes some use of polyphony and particularly some hymns and chants from the Orthodox tradition.

All who have joined the Community for worship and enjoyed the music would be quick to recognise how greatly the rich acoustics of the Church help - sometimes making the singing seem effortless.


Episcopalians will recognize many of these tunes; they are in the Service music section of our hymnal. Many, as you will see, are labeled "Salisbury," the modern equivalent for "Sarum." A few of the chants are in Latin, but most are in English. Here's a favorite Credo of mine. Here's a nice melismatic Kyrie, labelled "'Cunctipotens' Salisbury XV (PMMS VIII)." And here's a beautiful Lord's Prayer, "based on a theme by Rimsky-Korsakov," that's got that Orthodox feel.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Second Vespers of Easter Day

Following are images from an Anglican/Episcopal Office Book, including chant scores for antiphons and other sung parts of the Office. You can see that during the Octave of Easter, different songs are sung and different procedures are followed than those during other parts of the year. Not surprising; this is the Highest Holiday of the year, and the Divine Office, too, reflects that.









Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Office Hymns of the Octave of Easter

"From Maundy Thursday until the Saturday in the Octave of Easter, no Hymns are sung." So says Hymn-melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books and other Ancient Sources.

Well, that was easy.

It's not quite like that, though; during the Octave of Easter, short chants - in my sources called "grails," a term I believe is derived from "Gradual," even though we are talking about the Divine Office and not the Mass - and verse/responses are sung in place of hymns. Here is an mp3 example of each - both quite beautiful - courtesy of the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood:

  1. "A chant for Easter Day (mp3), the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord"; the text is from the Easter Gradual, Haec Dies: "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." It's beautifully (and fittingly, for the occasion), melismatic and tuneful. The cantor is using the tune from the Gradual at Easter Day mass:




  2. "A versicle for Easter Day, the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord." ("In Thy Resurrection, O Christ, Alleluia, Let earth and heaven rejoice, Alleluia." Also lovely.)


The text and music for the "grail" I have (that is, the part before the Verse/Response) for all Offices of each day in the Octave of Easter is this much simpler version of the Haec Dies:





The Verse/Response above is the one for Noonday Prayer and Compline on Easter Day; the text for this piece varies, especially at Vespers, throughout the Octave of Easter. For instance, here's the "grail"-Verse/Response pair for Thursday Vespers in the Octave of Easter.





In addition to these short chants/"grails" and versicles sung at all the offices of the Octave, there is a sequence hymn for the mass of Easter Day: Victimae Paschali Laudes; one English translation of this is "May you praise the Paschal Victim."  Here is an mp3 of this sequence hymn from the Benedictines of Sao Paulo.

And here's a video of the song in Latin, apparently sung by "Cantori Gregoriani, Fulvio Rampi."  The images comes from the Basilica of San Marco, Venice:



These are the Latin words - and what I think is a wonderful English translation, which comes from the Episcopal Church's 1982 Hymnal:
Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Praecedet vos in Galilaeam.


Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.
Christians, to the Paschal victim
offer your thankful praises!

A lamb the sheep redeemeth:
Christ, who only is sinless,
reconcileth sinners to the Father.

Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
the Prince of life, who died,
reigns immortal.

Speak, Mary, declaring
what thou sawest, wayfaring:

"The tomb of Christ, who is living,
the glory of Jesus' resurrection;

"Bright angels attesting,
the shroud and napkin resting.

"Yea, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he will go before you."

Christ indeed from death is risen,
our new life obtaining;
have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen.


Here's the chant score:




Here's what TPL says about Victimae Paschali Laudes:
Victimae Paschali is the Sequence for Easter Sunday. At one time there were many sequences in use, but the Council of Trent abolished all but a few. Today only four are used: Victimae Paschali (Easter), Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost), Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi), and Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows), of which the first two are obligatory and the later two are optional. Victimae Paschali is usually attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (1039), chaplain of the German Emperor Conrad II in the 11th century. It has also been attributed to Notker Balbulus (10th century) and Adam of St. Victor (13th century).


A post on hymns for Eastertide (that is, the period that begins on II Easter) will follow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Easter Vigil: Exsultet

The Exsultet - also known as the "Easter Proclamation" - is sung at the opening of the Easter Vigil, just after the entry and procession with the Paschal Candle and the threefold singing of "The Light of Christ" verse/response.  It's a very long chant (that in the Episcopal Church is usually assigned to a deacon, although anybody - including a layperson - may sing it) that proclaims the joy of Easter.

Here's the most recent translation (from 2011 in the U.S., I believe) from the Roman Missal; the video includes the entire text:



Here's that new translation, along with the chant score (as above, in modern notation), from NPM.org (that's the National Association of Pastoral Musicians).


Here's a very nice mp3 of the Exsultet, sung in English, found at this page. (A large file! 9.3MB, so be prepared to wait a bit.)  Here are the opening few verses of the text used on the mp3 file, courtesy of the Dominicans; it's an older translation:
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!


Here's a PDF chant score of the Exsultet from that same site; it's the old translation.   Here's an Exsultet in PDF from the website of the Royal School of Church Music in England; it's yet another translation, from the Church of England's Common Worship.

Here's a PDF of an Ambrosian Chant version; I've never heard this tune. This version contains a phrase not used in any version I've yet heard:
"Holy Father, accept our evening sacrifice, the offering of this candle in your honor, the work of the bees your creatures."

Personally, I'm always happy when bees make an appearance in any of the chants (as they do, also, in certain prayers and chants for Candlemas).  Unfortunately, most candles today are not made of beeswax, which is very expensive;  it may not be completely helpful to sing as if they were.

Here's an mp3 of the Exsultet sung in Latin; it's from this page, at the website of Schola Benedyktynów at Tyniec Abbey, a Polish Benedictine monastic house.

Here is what TPL has to say about the Exsultet, and you can find all the words, from various versions in English and in Latin, there as well:
The Exsultet, sometimes seen as "Exultet" and also referred to as the Praeconium Paschale, is an ancient chant sung during the Easter Vigil. It is traditionally sung by the deacon after the Paschal candle has been lit and the clergy have processed to the altar. The lighted Paschal candle contains a twofold symbolism. First, it represents the pillar of fire that went before the Israelites during their flight from Egypt. Second, it represents Christ, who is the light of the world. The procession likewise has a twofold meaning. It symbolizes the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt, and also the arrival of Christ who is the Savior of the world. The Exsultet sings of this symbolism and recalls for us the history of our salvation; from the fall of Adam, to the events of that first Passover held by Moses and the Israelites, and then finally the events of that last Passover at which Jesus suffered, died, rose from the dead and by which mankind was redeemed. The tone of the hymn is very much one of joy at having received so great a gift as our redemption and eternal life.


Here are all the chants for the Easter Vigil, from ChristusRex.org, and sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines:

Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini
Ad Vigiliam Paschalem in Nocte Santa

Lumen Christi
(9.9s - 158 kb) score

Præconium Paschale

(provisory mono files) Exsultet iam (2m16.2s - 400 kb)  Per omnia (33.5s - 101 kb)  Vere dignum (4m43.9s - 835 kb)  In huius (1m42.2s - 303 kb)  Oramus ergo (3m00.2s - 531 kb)

Ad liturgiam verbi - cantica post lectiones

Canticum: Iubilate Domino (1m23.0s - 1298 kb) score
Canticum: Qui confidunt
Canticum: Cantemus Domino (2m12.9kb - 2078 kb) score
Canticum: Laudate Dominum
Canticum: Vinea facta est (1m40.0s - 1564 kb) score
Canticum: Attende cælum
Canticum: Sicut cervus (2m01.6s - 1902 kb) score
Alleluia: Confitemini Domino (3m15.1s - 3052 kb) score
Antiphona: Vidi aquam (1m29.4s - 1400 kb) score

Offertorium: Dextera Domini (1m36.7s - 1512 kb) score
Communio: Alleluia (1m11.9s - 1124 kb) score
Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb) score

And here are posts on some of these at Chantblog:



Not long ago, I came across the digitized version of a book called "The Exultet in Southern Italy." This is from the .gif of the page shown below, which I think is taken from an intro to the book:
The peculiarities of the Exsultet in the South-Italian Church have often been the subject of scholarly investigation. Quite recently, several new studies have been devoted to this famous and indeed very beautiful liturgical prose hymn which was sung on the Saturday of Holy Week. Among these peculiarities, the practice, for example, of writing the hymn on a long scroll and of embellishing the text with illuminations was observed nowhere but in Southern Italy. This scroll, as is well known, was intended to fall more and more over the ambo so that, as the archdeacon sang the text, the congregation could at the same time gaze at the illustrations to the respective parts of the prayer. Word and illustration thus supported each other in a singular way.







Isn't that wonderful? Liturgical innovations happen all the time, and some of them - like this one - are multi-media and pretty great. You can get the book at Amazon.





May the joy and peace of this Most High Day, and of the 50 days of the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, be yours. Alleluia in the highest Heaven!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Here are audio files, along with chant scores in square notes, for all of the chants from the Maundy Thursday Eucharist, from the Missa Vespertina in Cena Domini page at the Sao Paulo Benedictines' website.
Missa Vespertina in Cena Domini
Ad liturgiam verbi
Introitus: Cf. Gal. 6,14; Ps. 66 Nos autem gloriari (4m37.3s - 4337 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 144,15. V. 16 Oculi omnium (2m58.5s - 2793 kb) score
Tractus: Mal. 1,11 et Prov. 9,5 Ab ortu solis (2m33.8s - 2409 kb) score

Ad lotionem pedum

Antiphona: Cf. Io. 13, 4.5.15 Postquam surrexit Dominus (43.3s - 681 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 2.13.15 Dominus Iesus (1m02.4s - 979 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 6.7.8 Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes (1m16.0s - 1191 kb) score
Antiphona: Cf. Io. 13, 14 Si ego Dominus (37.2s - 583 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 35 In hoc cognoscent omnes (45.5s - 713 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 34 Mandatum novum (15.8s - 248 kb) score
Antiphona: I Cor. 13, 13 Maneant in vobis (56.2s - 876 kb) score

Ad liturgiam eucharisticam

Offertorium: Ubi caritas (2m16.3s - 2132 kb) score
Communio: I Cor. 11, 24.25  Hoc corpus (2m51.7s - 2684 kb) score

Ad translationem SS.mi Sacramenti

O salutaris Hostia I (52.2s - 818 kb) score, Panis angelicus I (1m15.5s - 1182 kb) score, Adoro te devote (2m26.0s - 2282 kb) score, Ecce panis (1m33.2s - 1458 kb) score, Pange lingua, Tantum ergo (3m06.5s - 2916 kb) score






Here's a video at YouTube of the King's College Choir singing Maurice Duruflé's Ubi Caritas, adapted from the Maundy Thursday chant of the same name, and for me the most beautiful song of the day:




This is what TPL has to say about Ubi Caritas (and you can get the words at that page, also):
Ubi Cartitas is taken from the antiphons sung during the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. As is the entire Mass of the Last Supper, this hymn is intimately connected with the Eucharist, and is thus often used during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Recent tradition has the first line as "Ubi caritas et amor" (where charity and love are), but certain very early manuscripts show "Ubi caritas est vera" (where charity is true). The current Roman Missal favors this later version, while the 1962 Roman Missal and classical music favors the former.


And here is an mp3, previously posted, of the Pange Lingua, sung in Latin; follow along with the words, in Latin and in English here. This hymn is usually sung during the procession to the Altar of Repose at the end of the service; it's in our hymnal, in two versions (#165 and #166), and is called "Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle."

If you listen to the webcast of the Solemn Liturgy of Maundy Thursday from St. Thomas Church in Manhattan (for any year when it's available; as I write, none is posted), you will hear, instead of Sanctus Bells at the consecration, the Crotalus:
The crotalus (also called a "clapper") is "a wood rattle-like object which makes a terrifying sound. It replaces the Sanctus Bell during certain Holy Week Masses when the ringing of bells is surpressed." After the ringing of the Sanctus Bells throughout the Gloria at Maundy Thursday Eucharist, the bells go quiet until the Great Vigil. And in truth, the noise of the crotalus can be shiver-inducing. (Crotalus is also the genus name for the rattlesnake.)





[EDIT: No crotalus here, but you can watch and listen to the liturgy of Maundy Thursday at Trinity Church in New York here.]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tenebrae Alert

A service of Tenebrae will be webcast live from St. Thomas Church starting in about 35 minutes; the audio file will be available for at least a week afterwards as well.

I will be adding information here about the Office of Tenebrae in the near future. Meantime, listen to excerpts from the Hilliard Ensemble's recording of the Gesualdo Tenebrae, which are simply astounding, even in 30-second clips. There are 27 Responsories, plus the Benedictus and the Miserere.

Set the player at "Preview All" and prepare to be transported. While you're over at Amazon, read the long comment by "Johji Josquin" for everything you ever wanted to know about Gesualdo, and more.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Palm Sunday Sung Passion

Video from Trinity Wall Street.

It's from the Gospel of Luke - Year C, perhaps? - not this year's Matthew passion. Here, at the website of Grace Church in Newark, is a PDF file of the Passion According to St. Luke, notated for singing. I haven't gone through the entire thing, but even if there are slight differences between it and the Trinity Wall Street version, they are likely to be more alike than not. It is, though, from the RCL, FYI. (Grace Newark, BTW, is a wonderful chant reference! See this page, for instance: Eucharistic Lectionary Psalms for Sundays and Major Holy Days (Prayer Book Lectionary), where there are links to PDF chant scores for all the Psalms for all three years. Or this page: Gospel Readings for Sundays and Holy Days, Notated for Singing. There are many resources available from the home page as well; this parish has always been very generous in making these things available freely on the web.)

Here's a small section from the "Passion Music" page at Wikisource, quoting from the (1913) Catholic Encyclopedia:
Precisely when, in the development of the liturgy, the history of the Passion of Our Lord ceased, during Holy Week, to be merely read and became a solemn recitation, has not yet been ascertained. As early as the eighth century the deacon of the Mass, in alb, solemnly declaimed, in front of the altar, on a fixed tone, the history of the Passion. The words of our Lord were, however, uttered on the gospel tone, that is, with inflections and cadences. The original simplicity of having the whole allotted to one person gave way in the twelfth century to a division into three parts assigned to three different persons, the priest, or celebrant, the deacon, and the sub-deacon. To the priest were assigned the words of our Lord, the deacon assumed the rôle of the Evangelist, or chronista, while the sub-deacon represented the crowd, or turba, and the various other persons mentioned in the narrative. The interrelation of the alternating voices, their relative pitch, and the manner of interpreting the part allotted to each have come down to us and may be heard in Holy Week in almost any city church, the only change since the early times being that all three parts are now generally sung by priests. The juxtaposed melodic phrases extend over an ambitus, or compass of the whole of the fifth and two tones of its plagal, or the sixth mode. The evangelist, or chronista, moves between the tonic and the dominant, while the suprema vox, representing the crowd, etc., moves between the dominant and the upper octave. The tones upon which the words of our Lord are uttered are the lower tetra-chord of the fifth mode with two tones of the sixth. Later the fourth tone of the fifth mode, b, was altered into b flat, to avoid the tritonus between the tonic and the fourth. Throughout the Middle Ages the Passion was the theme most frequently treated in mystery plays and sacred dramas. The indispensable music in these performances was either the plain chant or liturgical melodies or religious folk-songs. It was not until toward the end of the fifteenth century that the whole narrative received harmonic treatment.


If a video file of this year's St. Matthew passion appears, I'll post it here also. Meantime, here's the Grace PDF of the Passion according to St. Matthew.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Lauds, Mattins, and Vespers Hymns, Lent 5 and Holy Week

Now we're heading into the really deep and powerful music of the two weeks before Easter; some of the most ancient, most well-known, and (I think) most beautiful hymns of the year are sung during this period.

From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books:
On Passion Sunday, & daily (when the Service is of the Season) until Wednesday in Holy Week inclusive :
EvensongVexilla Regis prodeunt ... ... ... 35
Mattins: Pange, lingua, gloriosi Prelium ... ... 36
Lauds Lustra sex qui iam perafta ... ... 36

Lent 5 is also known as Judica - the first word of the Latin Introit for Lent 5; in English, the first line is "Judge me, O God."   You can listen to the Introits for which the Sundays of Lent are named (Invocavit, Oculi, Judica, etc.) here, at Christusrex.org, from St. Benedict's Monastery in São Paulo (Brazil).

Follow along with the Offices for this period at Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston) (published in 1885); Lent 5 is labeled "Passion Sunday" there.  You'll find  all the Psalms, the collect, Chapter, antiphons, etc. at that link, although no music is provided; also check the iFrame look-in at the bottom of this post.
 

Here's the score for melody #35 - the very famous tune used for Vexilla regis prodeunt:


Here is an mp3 of Vexilla Regis Prodeunt, sung to  melody #35; this, in my view, is one of the best hymns ever written.  The Venantius Fortunatus hymn - in English here, "The Royal Banners Forward Go" - is sung each evening beginning on Lent 5 until Holy Thursday.   Again the audio file comes from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood's "Seasonal Propers Sung."

Here are the English words - another of  J.M. Neale's fantastic translation:
The royal banners forward go,
The cross shines forth in mystic glow;
Where He in flesh, our flesh Who made,
Our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood,
Where mingled water flowed, and blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old,
Amidst the nations, God, saith he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the tree.

O tree of beauty, tree of light!
O tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy limbs should find their rest.

Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore,
The price of humankind to pay,
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

Upon its arms, like balance true,
He weighed the price for sinners due,
The price which none but He could pay,
And spoiled the spoiler of his prey.

O cross, our one reliance, hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
To give new virtue to the saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done:
As by the cross Thou dost restore,
So rule and guide us evermore.

So beautiful, and so powerful!

Here's a video of the hymn in Latin, with words below:




Vexilla Regis prodeunt: Fulget Crucis mysterium,
Quae vita mortem pertulit, Et morte vitam protulit.

Quae vulnerata lanceae Mucrone diro, criminum
Ut nos lavaret sordibus, Manavit unda et sanguine.

Impleta sunt quae concinit David fideli carmine,
Dicendo nationibus: Regnavit a ligno Deus.

Arbor decora et fulgida, ornata Regis purpura,
Electa digno stipite tam sancta membra tangere.

Beata, cuius brachiis Pretium pependit saeculi:
Statera facta corporis, tulitque praedam tartari.

O Crux ave, spes unica, hoc Passionis tempore!
Piis adauge gratiam, reisque dele crimina.

Te, fons salutis Trinitas, collaudet omnis spiritus:
Quibus Crucis victoriam largiris, adde praemium. Amen.

Here's TPL on Vexilla Regis:
Vexilla Regis was written by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) and is considered one of the greatest hymns of the liturgy. Fortunatus wrote it in honor of the arrival of a large relic of the True Cross which had been sent to Queen Radegunda by the Emperor Justin II and his Empress Sophia. Queen Radegunda had retired to a convent she had built near Poitiers and was seeking out relics for the church there. To help celebrate the arrival of the relic, the Queen asked Fortunatus to write a hymn for the procession of the relic to the church.

The hymn has, thus, a strong connection with the Cross and is fittingly sung at Vespers from Passion Sunday to Holy Thursday and on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. The hymn was also formerly sung on Good Friday when the Blessed Sacrament is taken from the repository to the altar. The text given below is the full text of Fortunatus' hymn, but verses 2, 4, and 7 are omitted when the hymn is used liturgically. The last two verses which form the concluding doxology are not by Fortunatus, but is rather the work of some later poet.


This hymn is in the 1982 Hymnal, at #162. It's the very last hymn sung at St. Mary the Virgin's Palm Sunday service, in procession and without organ accompaniment.  Powerful, after everything that had gone before:  the distribution of Palms, the procession in Times Square, the station at the church doors, the service, the sung Passion.

Here's the New Advent entry for Vexilla Regis. And here's the chant score from my sources, which uses slightly different words:




The Mattins and Lauds hymns, Pange, lingua, gloriosi Prelium and Lustra sex qui iam perafta, are two pieces of the same hymn, the original Pange, lingua, gloriosi.   This is by now a familiar formula, in which a longer hymn or poem is broken up to create hymns at the various offices for a feast.

The Lauds hymn, in English "Thirty Years Among Us Dwelling," is the second half of the hymn  derived from Venantius Fortunatus' Pange Lingua glorisi.    Here's the chant score for melody #36:



Here's an mp3 of "Thirty Years Among Us Dwelling," sung to melody #36 from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood's "Seasonal Propers Sung."

Oremus gives us the words used here; the English translation is another splendid one from John Mason Neale.  These words, we believe, derive from the verse beginning Lustra sex qui iam perafta in the longer Pange lingua, gloriosi, although the translation is not word-for-word:
Thirty years among us dwelling,
his appointed time fulfilled,
born for this, he meets his passion,
for that this he freely willed:
on the Cross the Lamb is lifted,
where his life-blood shall be spilled.

He endured the nails, the spitting,
vinegar and spear and reed;
from that holy body piercŠd
blood and water forth proceed;
earth and stars and sky and ocean
by that flood from stain are freed.

Faithful Cross! above all other,
one and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest Iron!
sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
thy too rigid sinews bend;
for awhile the ancient rigor
that thy birth bestowed, suspend;
and the King of heavenly beauty
on thy bosom gently tend!

Thou alone wast counted worthy
this world's ransom to uphold;
for a shipwrecked race preparing
harbor, like the ark of old;
with the sacred blood anointed
from the smitten Lamb that rolled.

To the Trinity be glory
everlasting, as is meet:
equal to the Father, equal
to the Son and Paraclete:
Trinal Unity, whose praises
all created things repeat.


This page provides the words to the entire Fortunatus hymn, along with an English translation by Edward Caswall:
PANGE, lingua, gloriosi
proelium certaminis,
et super Crucis trophaeo
dic triumphum nobilem,
qualiter Redemptor orbis
immolatus vicerit.

De parentis protoplasti
fraude Factor condolens,
quando pomi noxialis
morte morsu corruit,
ipse lignum tunc notavit,
damna ligni ut solveret.

Hoc opus nostrae salutis
ordo depoposcerat,
multiformis proditoris
ars ut artem falleret,
et medelam ferret inde,
hostis unde laeserat.

Quando venit ergo sacri
plenitudo temporis,
missus est ab arce Patris
natus, orbis, Conditor,
atque ventre virginali
carne factus prodiit.

Vagit infans inter arcta
conditus praesepia:
membra pannis involuta
Virgo Mater alligat:
et manus pedesque et crura
stricta cingit fascia.

LUSTRA sex qui iam peracta
tempus implens corporis,
se volente, natus ad hoc,
passioni deditus,
Agnus in crucis levatur
immolandus stipite.

En acetum, fel, arundo,
sputa, clavi, lancea:
mite corpus perforatur,
Sanguis, unda profluit
terra, pontus, astra, mundus,
quo lavantur flumine!

CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!

Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.

Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre saeculi pretium,
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit,
fusus Agni corpore.

Aequa Patri Filioque,
inclito Paraclito,
sempiterna sit beatae
Trinitati gloria,
cuius alma nos redemit
atque servat gratia. Amen.
SING, my tongue,
the Savior's glory;
tell His triumph far and wide;
tell aloud the famous story
of His body crucified;
how upon the cross a victim,
vanquishing in death, He died.

Eating of the tree forbidden,
man had sunk in Satan's snare,
when our pitying Creator did
this second tree prepare;
destined, many ages later,
that first evil to repair.

Such the order God appointed
when for sin He would atone;
to the serpent thus opposing
schemes yet deeper than his own;
thence the remedy procuring,
whence the fatal wound had come.

So when now at length the fullness
of the sacred time drew nigh,
then the Son, the world's Creator,
left his Father's throne on high;
from a virgin's womb appearing,
clothed in our mortality.

All within a lowly manger,
lo, a tender babe He lies!
see his gentle Virgin Mother
lull to sleep his infant cries!
while the limbs of God incarnate
round with swathing bands she ties.

THUS did Christ to perfect manhood
in our mortal flesh attain:
then of His free choice He goeth
to a death of bitter pain;
and as a lamb, upon the altar of the cross,
for us is slain.

Lo, with gall His thirst He quenches!
see the thorns upon His brow!
nails His tender flesh are rending!
see His side is opened now!
whence, to cleanse the whole creation,
streams of blood and water flow.

FAITHFUL Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world's Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.

Blessing, honor, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.




So, sing both Pange, lingua, gloriosi Prelium at Matins, and Lustra sex qui iam perafta at Lauds to the same melody above.

TPL has this to say about Pange, lingua, gloriosi:

There are two Pange Linguas in use, one by St. Thomas Aquinas and then this one, by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) which extols the triumph of the Cross. He wrote it for a procession that brought a part of the true Cross to Queen Radegunda in 570. This hymn is used on Good Friday during the Adoration of the Cross and in the Liturgy of the Hours during Holy Week and on feasts of the Cross. The concluding stanza was not written by Fortunatus, but was added later.

When used in the Liturgy the hymn is often broken into smaller hymns such as: Lustra sex qui iam peregit, En acetum, fel, arundo, and Crux fidelis inter omnes.

There is a charming ancient legend that is hinted at in the second verse of this hymn. According to this legend, the wood of the Cross upon which Christ was crucified was taken from that tree which was the source of the fruit of the fall in the Garden of Eden. When Adam died, the legend states, Seth obtained from the Cherubim guarding the Garden a branch of the tree from which Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Seth planted this branch at Golgotha (the place of the skull), which is so named because Adam was buried there. As time went on, the Ark of the Covenant, the pole upon which the bronze serpent was lifted, and other items were made from this tree.



Here's a video of Chanticleer's beautiful rendering of Pange Lingua/Crux Fideles sung in Latin; it's labeled a "Good Friday Hymn." Follow along with the Latin (you'll have to skip around) at the TPL link.



Here is the New Advent entry for Pange Lingua. (Which, BTW, does not include the origin story given at TPL: that the hymn was written for a procession of a relic of the True Cross. NA ascribes that story to the hymn Vexilla Regis Prodeunt; I think TPL has this one wrong, because it has essentially given the same story twice, for two different hymns.)

Edit: Fr. Mark of the blog Vultus Christi has left this link to a blog entry titled "Singing the Mystery of the Cross" that contains more information about "the Hymns of Passiontide." Thanks, Fr. Mark.

Below are the chant scores I have, which use words similar to those on the audio file (which uses the translation by John Mason Neale). Oremus hymnal calls this a "cento of Sing My Tongue the Glorious Battle" (which is the first line in English of the Pange Lingua). A cento is, according to the Webster 1913 online, a term derived from Latin that refers to "a garment of several pieces sewed together, patchwork," and indicates in this case to "a poem made up of various verses of another poem."





Here are links to all three "Lent Office" posts on Chantblog:


Here's the peek-in to the SSM Breviary beginning with Lent 5 (labeled "Passion Sunday"):




Monday, March 03, 2008

The Stations of the Cross

While only tangentially related to the topic of chant (there are a couple of chant mp3s at the links), I thought I'd point out that Full Homely Divinity has posted a new article about the Stations of the Cross, and a set of 14 Stations pages.

Here's the first page of the Stations
, which begins with the Stabat Mater:
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
where he hung, the dying Lord.

For her soul of joy bereaved,
bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,
felt the sharp and piercing sword.


An embedded YouTube video/sound file of the Allegri Misere Mei is on that page, too, following Psalm 51. And you can go through the (illustrated) stations, one by one. There's more music at the end, including a beautiful chanted Vexilla Regis Prodeunt and a Byrd Agnus Dei.






Here's an interesting set of paintings of the Stations
. An example:






The artist has also included many pencil-drawing, and pencil-and-oil-wash studies of the Stations of the Cross; interesting to go through them. For some reason I haven't figured out yet, I really like his style, and these Stations; intriguingly, the final oil versions are quite different from the studies. I wonder if he was commissioned to do this, or if his own interest in the topic produced these? At another page of his stuff, you find many pieces with religious themes, so I suspect the latter. Anyway, here's a link to his own home page.

And I also really like this image I found at Flickr, also labeled "Stations of the Cross":






And don't forget the Postulant's Julian of Norwich-inspired Stations. Here's the PDF file he posted.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...