Monday, October 27, 2008

October 28: Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

Today, sing the hymns for Apostles and Evangelists.

Here are the mass chants for this feast, Ss. Simonis et Iudæ, Apostolorum, at the website of the Benedictines of Brazil.

Here is the gradual, "Constitues eos (mp3)"; here's the chant score:





That comes from Psalm 45, verses 17 - 18: "Instead of thy fathers thou shalt have children : whom thou mayest make princes in all lands. I will remember thy Name from one generation to another : therefore shall the people give thanks unto thee, world without end."

The Introit, Iudicant sancti gentes, seems to be taken from Wisdom 3:8: "They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever." Here's the image of an illuminated manuscript; the last words on the page are Iudicant sancti gentes; the image comes from this interesting site, the Medieval Manuscripts section of "The Free Library of Philadelphia":





The Hebrew Bible reading for the day is from Deuteronomy 32:1-4:
Moses recited the words of this song:

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew;
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.
For I will proclaim the name of the LORD;
ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock, his work is perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God, without deceit,
just and upright is he.


Here's a gorgeous icon of these two (relatively unknown) Apostles:

Daily Office Audio Files

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NOTE, 8/18/16:  According to readers of this blog, the Morning Prayer link below is not working at present; apparently the daily file is no longer being changed.    This means the readings and psalms are being repeated over and over again; this has apparently been the case since July 17, 2016.   Noon Prayer and Compline can still be used as is, since those readings are constant anyway.

I cannot do anything about this, since I do not have charge of or access to the site I'm linking to.  If you'd like them to fix this, you must click on this link: 
The Episcopal Church in Garrett County and make your request directly to the site owner.

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Said Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, and Compline are available as audio files from The Episcopal Church in Garrett County (Maryland). Here are the actual links, which you can click anytime to listen to that day's offering:
You can also subscribe to the Podcasts at the site. No chant, but these are good to have, if you'd rather listen than read.  The link is also on the Resources page for access anytime.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23: St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr

On this day, you can sing the hymns for Apostles & Evangelists or the hymns for the Feast of One Martyr.   From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum services books:

On the Feast of One Martyr:


1st Ev. & Matt.: Martyr Dei, qui unicum
At 1st Ev. (except in Xmas & Paschal-tides) ... ... 25
At 1st Ev. in Xmas-tide & (М.. throughout the year (except in Paschal-tide ) ... ... 26
During Paschal-tide (1st Ev. & М.) ... ... 39
On Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year (1st Ev. & M.) ... ... 6 or 76

Lauds & 2nd Ev.: Deus, Tuorum Militum
At L. (except in Xmas & Paschal-tides) ... ... 25
At 2nd Ev. (& L. when no 2nd Ev.) ... ... 49
During Xmas-tide (L. & 2nd Ev.) ... ... 27
During Paschal-tide (L. & 2nd Ev.) ... ... 39
On Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year (L.) ... ... ... 40


The Latin words for Martyr Dei, qui unicum are these:
Martyr Dei, qui (quæ) unicum
Patris sequendo Filium,
victis triumphas hostibus,
victor (victrix) fruens cælestibus.

Tui precatus munere
nostrum reatum dilue,
arcens mali contagium,
vitæ repellens tædium.

Soluta sunt iam vincula
tui sacrati corporis;
nos solve vinclis sæculi,
amore Filii Dei.

Honor Patri cum Filio
et Spiritu Paraclito,
qui te corona perpeti
cingunt in aula gloriæ.


I do not have much else on this hymn right now, although this note at Google Books' Liturgical Prayer says: "The hymn Martyr Dei, qui unicum seems to be a continuation of Deus tuorum militum" - that is, the hymn for Lauds and 2nd Evensong, the discussion of which follows. Again, not unusual; many hymns are broken up in this way to serve several purposes.

[EDIT: I have found an English translation of this hymn, at Cyberhymnal, where it is called "Martyr of God, whose strength was steeled." Cyberhymnal notes that the hymn is by an: "Unknown au­thor, 10th Cen­tu­ry (Mar­tyr Dei qui un­i­cum); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Per­cy Dear­mer in The Eng­lish Hymn­al (Lon­don: Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty Press, 1906), num­ber 180."
Martyr of God, whose strength was steeled
To follow close God’s only Son,
Well didst thou brave thy battlefield,
And well thy heavenly bliss was won!

Now join thy prayers with ours, who pray
That God may pardon us and bless;
For prayer keeps evil’s plague away,
And draws from life its weariness.

Long, long ago, were loosed the chains
That held thy body once in thrall;
For us how many a bond remains!
O Love of God release us all.

All praise to God the Father be,
All praise to Thee, eternal Son;
All praise, O Holy Ghost, to Thee
While never ending ages run.


If I find an audio recording of this hymn, I'll return and post it. Meanwhile, you can use the score for hymn #25 above, which sounds like this (mp3) and looks like this:




]

Deus tuorum militum can be found at "Early christian hymns," listed as a "Vesper hymn, for the feast of a martyr." The Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood offers this hymn (mp3), "O God Thy Soldiers Crown and Guard," as a "Hymn about the Martyrs (male)." Here are the words to this, noted as from an unknown author in the sixth century, with a translation by J.M. Neale:
O God, thy soldiers' crown and guard,
and their exceeding great reward;
from all transgressions set us free,
who sing thy martyr's victory.

The pleasures of the world he spurned,
from sin's pernicious lures he turned;
he knew their joys imbued with gall,
and thus he reached thy heavenly hall.

For thee through many a woe he ran,
in many a fight he played the man;
for thee his blood he dared to pour,
and thence hath joy for evermore.

We therefore pray thee, full of love,
regard us from thy throne above;
on this thy martyr's triumph day,
wash every stain of sin away.

O Christ, most loving King, to thee,
with God the Father, glory be;
like glory, as is ever meet,
to God the holy Paraclete.


(LLPB also offers two other hymns for martyrs: O Glorious King of Martyr Hosts (mp3) and The Noble Deeds of Saints (mp3); both of these have been discussed elsewhere, as used on the feast days of several martyrs.)

As you can see, there are many possible tunes for use with this hymn, depending on the liturgical season; I am in a hurry just now so will let you look them up in Hymn melodies for the whole year. Perhaps I'll come back later and post them all individually.

Here's today's entry at Episcopal Café's Speaking to the Soul: "The Liturgy of St. James":
Daily Reading for October 23 • St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, c. 62
Then the Priest signs the Gifts, bows and says:
We make this offering to you, Master, for your holy places also, which you glorified by the divine Epiphany of your Christ, and by the visitation of your all-holy Spirit, especially for the holy and glorious Sion, the mother of all the Churches; and for your holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church throughout the whole inhabited world. Richly bestow on it now too, Master, the gifts of your all-holy Spirit.
People (quietly, many times, as the Priest prays): Remember, Lord our God.
Remember, Lord, also our holy fathers and bishops in your Church, who throughout the inhabited world rightly proclaim the word of truth. . . .
Remember, Lord, the honourable order of presbyters here and everywhere, the diaconate in Christ, all the rest of the ministers, every order in the Church and our brotherhood in Christ and the whole Christ-loving people.
Remember, Lord, the deacons who stand round your holy altar and them a life without reproach, preserve their diaconate unstained and grant them good standing.
Remember, Lord, those who travel by land, sea and air, Christians who live far from home, those in bondage and prisons, those in captivity and exile, those in mines and in tortures and bitter slavery, our fathers, mothers and brethren, and a peaceful return for each of them to their own homes.
Remember, Lord, those in old age and incapacity, the sick, the suffering, those troubled by unclean spirits, and for their speedy healing from God and for their safety and salvation.
Remember, Lord, those who pass their lives in virginity, purity and asceticism, and in holy wedlock, and for our venerable fathers, mothers and brethren who struggle on mountains, in caves, and in the hollows of the earth, and Orthodox communities in every place and for our community in Christ in this place.
Remember, Lord, all for their good. Have mercy on all, Master. Be reconciled with us all. Give peace to the multitudes of your people. Disperse scandals; put an end to wars; ends the schisms of the churches; speedily dissolve the uprisings of heresies; throw down the pride of the nations; exalt the horn of Christians; grant us your peace and your love, O God, our Saviour, the hope of all the ends of the earth.
Remember, Lord, seasonable weather, gentle showers, fair dews, abundant harvests, perfect seasons and the crowning of the year with your goodness. For the eyes of all hope on you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and fill every living being with your good pleasure.
Remember, Lord, those who have brought and those who bring offerings in the holy Churches of God, those who remember the poor, and those who have asked us to remember them in our prayers.
Also be pleased to remember, Lord, those too who have brought offerings today for your holy altar, and those for whom each has brought them, or whom each one has in mind, and those whose names are now read to you. And he commemorates those whom he wishes of the living. . . .
Also be pleased to remember, Lord, those who have been well-pleasing to you from the beginning of time, generation by generation, holy Fathers, Mothers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Teachers, Ascetics, and every righteous spirit, made perfect in faith.
Deacon: And for the peace and stability of the whole world and of the holy Churches of God, and those for whom each has made offerings or whom they have in mind and for the people here present, and for all people.
Priest (aloud): Through whom for us and for them, for you Master are a good God and a Master who loves humankind:
People: Remit, forgive, pardon, O God, our transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in knowledge and in ignorance.
Priest (aloud): By the grace, compassion and love for humankind of your Christ, with whom you are blessed and glorified with your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.
People: Amen.
Excerpts of prayers offered with the gifts in the Divine Liturgy of St James, which until recently was only celebrated on the island of Zakynthos on his feast on 23 October and in Jerusalem on the Sunday after Christmas, but is today celebrated in an increasing number of Orthodox churches. It was the ancient rite of Jerusalem, as the Mystagogic Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem imply. The entire text may be found at http://web.ukonline.co.uk/ephrem/lit-james.htm.


Here's another piece on this liturgy, from CCEL.

Here is a page of music from this liturgy at "Divine Music Project," from St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Arizona. It seems to be a big deal to download the necessary software to open the audio files (.MUS files, a Finale extension) - and they are only MIDI-type music files anyway, so I will put this off till later, myself. There are PDFs of the music, though, as well.

Here, though, is an mp3 the from Byzantine Catholic Church in Slovakia of "I Love Thee, O Lord," a Canticle from this liturgy. It's a short piece, and comes from Psalm 17:2-3. Gorgeous, too.

The hymn "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent" orginally came from this liturgy, apparently:
An ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion based on the verses taken from Habakkuk 2:20

"Let all the earth keep silence before Him"

taken from one of the books of the 12 minor prophets of Bible. The original was composed in Greek as a Cherubic Hymn for the Offertory of the Divine Liturgy of St James in the fourth Century AD, with local Churches adopting arrangements in Syriac and English transcription. In modern times, the Ralph Vaughn Williams arrangement of a translation from the Greek by Gerard Moultrie to the tune of Picardy, a French medieval folk melody, popularized the hymn among Christian congregations that worship liturgically.


Here's an mp3 of the Byzantine Catholic version of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, again from the Byzantine Catholic Church in Slovakia - and again, just lovely. Interestingly, it does have that same opening motif as Picardy, and actually has some similar feeling! I bet that's why RVW picked the French melody, that old rascal.

Here's Mission St. Clare on James of Jerusalem.
James of Jerusalem is referred to in the New Testament as the brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

He was for many years the leader of the Christian congregation in Jerusalem, and is generally supposed to be the author of the Epistle of James, although the Epistle itself does not state this explicitly.

James is mentioned briefly in connection with Jesus' visit to Nazareth (M 13:55; P 6:3).

We are told that Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him (J 7:2-5), and from this, and from references in early Christian writers, it is inferred that James was not a disciple of the Lord until after the Resurrection.

Paul, listing appearances of the Risen Lord (1 Cor 15:3-8), includes an appearance to James.

Peter, about to leave Jerusalem after escaping from Herod, leaves a message for James and the Apostles (A 12:17).

When a council meets at Jerusalem to consider what rules Gentile Christians should be required to keep, James formulates the final consensus (A 15:13-21).

Paul speaks of going to Jerusalem three years after his conversion and conferring there with Peter and James (G 1:18-19), and speaks again of a later visit (perhaps the one described in A 15) on which Peter, James, and John, "the pillars," placed their stamp of approval on the mission to the Gentiles (G 2:9).

A few verses later (G 2:11-14), he says that messengers from James coming to Antioch discouraged Jewish Christians there from eating with Gentile Christians. (If this is refers to the same event as A 15:1-2, then Paul takes a step back chronologically in his narration at G 2:11, which is not improbable, since he is dictating and mentioning arguments and events that count as evidence for his side as they occur to him.)

On his last recorded visit to Jerusalem, Paul visits James (others are present, but no other names are given) and speaks of his ministry to the Gentiles (A 21:18).

Outside the New Testament, James is mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus, who calls him "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ," and reports that he was much respected even by the Pharisees for his piety and strict observance of the Law, but that his enemies took advantage of an interval between Roman governors in 62 AD to have him put to death. His death is also reported by the second-century Christian writer Hegesippus.

Numerous references in early Christian documents show the esteem in which he was held in the early Church.

There appear to be at least three persons named James mentioned in the New Testament, and possibly as many as eight.


Check out Fr. Haller's icon of St. James; it's really great.

Here's a different one:

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 18: St. Luke Evangelist, Part I

From an earlier post:
Hymn Melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service books lists a variety of hymns to be sung on the feast days of Apostles and Evangelists, and the LLPB provides two mp3s that match up with Hymn Melodies for the whole year. First, the hymn listed for Lauds and Evening Prayer (using two different tunes): "Let the Round World With Songs Rejoice" (mp3), which in Latin is Exultet caelum laudibus. Here is the chant score for this melody, the one listed for Evensong:




And here are the words used here:
Let the round world with songs rejoice;
let heaven return the joyful voice;
all mindful of the Apostles' fame,
let heaven and earth their praise proclaim.

Ye servants who once bore the light
of Gospel truth o'er heathen night,
still may your work that light impart,
to glad our eyes and cheer our heart.

O God, by whom to them was given
the key that shuts and opens heaven,
our chains unbind, our loss repair,
and grant us grace to enter there;

for at thy will they preached the word
which cured disease, which health conferred:
O may that healing power once more
our souls to grace and health restore:

that when thy Son again shall come,
and speak the world's unerring doom,
he may with them pronounce us blessed,
and place us in thy endless rest.

To thee, O Father; Son, to thee;
to thee, blessed Spirit, glory be!
So was it ay for ages past,
so shall through endless ages last.

Second, "The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King" (mp3); in Latin, this is Aeterna Christi Munera. I've linked to the St. David's Compline Choir version of this before; here it is again. Here's the chant score:




The words used on this mp3 are in the 1982 Hymnal at #233, and originally come from the 1940 hymnal, it says; here's a translation by J.M. Neale of the original words from Ambrose; this isn't the exact version used on the audio file.
The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
the apostles' glory, let us sing,
and all, with hearts of gladness, raise
due hymns of thankful love and praise.

For they the Church's princes are,
triumphant leaders in the war,
in heavenly courts a warrior band,
true lights to lighten every land.

Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
and hope that never yields nor faints;
and love of Christ in perfect glow
that lays the prince of this world low.

In them the Father's glory shone,
in them the will of God the Son,
in them exults the Holy Ghost,
through them rejoice the heavenly host.

To thee, Redeemer, now we cry,
that thou wouldst join to them on high
thy servants, who this grace implore,
for ever and for evermore.


Here is the version from my sources, which I had not been able to identify until now - but in fact, this is Annue, Christe, the hymn listed at Hymn melodies for the whole year for Mattins and 1st Evensong:


Below is a video of Annue Christe; the singers chant only the first and last verse of the Latin words:



For more, see Hymnody: Apostles and Evangelists.

From Mission St. Clare:
Almost all that we know about Luke comes from the New Testament. He was a physician (Col 4:14), a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys (Acts 16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28). Material found in his Gospel and not elsewhere includes much of the account of Our Lord's birth and infancy and boyhood, some of the most moving parables, such as that of the Good Samaritan and that of the Prodigal Son, and three of the sayings of Christ on the Cross: "Father, forgive them," "Thou shalt be with me in Paradise," and "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

In Luke's account of the Gospel, we find an emphasis on the human love of Christ, on His compassion for sinners and for suffering and unhappy persons, for outcasts such as the Samaritans, tax collectors, lepers, shepherds (not a respected profession), and for the poor. The role of women in Christ's ministry is more emphasized in Luke than in the other Gospel writings.

In the book of Acts, we find the early Christian community poised from the start to carry out its commission, confident and aware of Divine guidance. We see how the early Christians at first preached only to Jews, then to Samaritans (a borderline case), then to outright Gentiles like Cornelius, and finally explicitly recognized that Gentiles and Jews are called on equal terms to the service and fellowship of Christ.


Below are several works of art depicting Luke that I like especially, posted chronologically.

First, from the Augustine Gospels Folio, "an illuminated Gospel Book which probably dates from the 6th century. It is traditionally considered to be one of the volumes brought by St. Augustine of Canterbury to England in 587. The book was probably given to St. Augustine by the pope St. Gregory the First." (Quoted from this page.)





Next: part of the tradition says that Luke was the first iconographer, and painted pictures of the Virgin Mary (The Black Madonna of Częstochowa) and of Peter and Paul. This one is called "Evangelist Luka pishustchiy ikonu" ("Luke the Evangelist painting Vladimirskaya icon of Our Lady"), and is not dated:





This one is "St Luke & St John, from The Adysh Gospels," Georgian, AD 897.





Next: Stiersymbol des hl. Lukas (Bull symbol of Luke the Evangelist), from early 12th C. Flanders, and made either of "walrus tooth" or bone:





Next, an image of "St Luke Drawing a Portrait of Virgin Mary," by Rogier van der Weyden, about 1434-1440.







Naxt, a relief from the Altar of the shoemakers in St.John and St.Martin church in Schwabach, and dates from 1510. Other images here.





This is another of the very colorful illustrations from "Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry ("the king of illuminated manuscripts"), from the early 15th Century:





Part II of this entry will concern the Gospel Canticles, written by St. Luke.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Compline online, and other news

  • Mirabile dictu, you can now subscribe (via any news reader), or listen online - anytime - to the complete weekly service of sung Compline (Night Prayer) from St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle. Get the feed at this page; now we can have this wonderful service delivered to our readers directly. My plan is to listen to Sunday's recording each night during the week, and then start anew when the next week's recording becomes available. Here's the music from the October 5 service (yesterday's is not available yet):
    ORISON: "Jesus, Redeemer of the world" (Jesu, nostra redemptio, plainsong, Mode 8, Worcester MS., 13th century)

    PSALM: 104: 25 - 37 (Peter Hallock)

    HYMN: "Lord, make us servants of your peace" (tune: Dickinson College, Lee Hastings Bristol, Jr. [1923 - 1979])

    NUNC DIMITTIS: (setting by Orlando Gibbons)

    ANTHEM: "Iustus germinabit sicut lilium" (Jakob (Handl) Gallus [1550 - 1591])


    Imagine! Free! It's just beautiful.

    Compline has been sung each night in monastic communities for centuries, and on Sunday night at St. Mark's for over 50 years. The Compline Choir's website is here.  Compline in the Book of Common Prayer is here (a PDF file).  (Read a wonderful article about Compline at St. Mark's here.)

    You can also access audio files of sung Compline, offered each Sunday but available anytime for everyday listening, as above, at the website of the Minnesota Compline Choir.  You can subscribe to the podcast here.  (Note:  The liturgy for this webcast is taken from the Lutheran Book of Worship.)

    This is all in addition to the wonderful St. David's Compline Choir of Austin, TX, who also post their services online - and who've been invaluable for me as I write about hymnody (and other topics) for this blog.

    We are very lucky to be the beneficiaries of the generosity of these choirs.


  • In other news: This blogger writes about the closing of the Order of St. Helena's convent in Vails' Gate, NY.

    I'd never been there myself, but others in my area loved the place - and I have met a number of the sisters. The New York sisters have moved to their branch convent in Augusta, Georia - so it's not as if they are shutting down the order completely. They seem to be planning to move again, to someplace entirely new:
    What has brought this about? For several years we have been facing an increasingly serious budget deficit, and we have also come to realize that our shortage of “sister power” is draining us of the energy we need to do ministry, both to the church and to our own sisters, some of whom are aging and in need of special assistance.

    While the decision was made with much heartbreak and many tears, we do feel the Holy Spirit has led us to this point. We have been in both the Diocese of New York and the Diocese of Georgia for many years, and the idea of leaving both brings us much pain, but we recognize that we can no longer afford to operate and staff three convents.

    We do not as yet know where we might end up, but we have faith and confidence that God is leading us into new directions for new ministry. In the meantime, we ask your prayers and support as we begin this journey of faith.


    God be with them. I wish now I'd gotten to the New York convent; it does look like a wonderful place.




Friday, October 03, 2008

October 4: St. Francis of Assisi

Today is the Feast day of my man Francis; here's the wonderful Collect of the Day, which uses Francis' own words as it starts out, from Mission St. Clare, "Francis of Assisi 4 October 1226":
Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace gladly to renounce the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfect joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 
Here is St. Francis' hymn, "The Canticle of the Sun," from which those words are taken:
Most high, omnipotent, good Lord,
Praise, glory and honor and benediction all, are Thine.
To Thee alone do they belong, most High,
And there is no man fit to mention Thee.

Praise be to Thee, my Lord, with all Thy creatures,
Especially to my worshipful brother sun,
The which lights up the day, and through him dost Thou brightness give;
And beautiful is he and radiant with splendor great;
Of Thee, most High, signification gives.

Praised be my Lord, for sister moon and for the stars,
In heaven Thou hast formed them clear and precious and fair.

Praised be my Lord for brother wind
And for the air and clouds and fair and every kind of weather,
By the which Thou givest to Thy creatures nourishment.

Praised be my Lord for sister water,
The which is greatly helpful and humble and precious and pure.
Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
By the which Thou lightest up the dark.
And fair is he and gay and mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our sister, mother earth,
The which sustains and keeps us
And brings forth diverse fruits with grass and flowers bright.

Praised be my Lord for those who for Thy love forgive
And weakness bear and tribulation.
Blessed those who shall in peace endure,
For by Thee, most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be my Lord for our sister, the bodily death,
From the which no living man can flee.
Woe to them who die in mortal sin;
Blessed those who shall find themselves in Thy most holy will,
For the second death shall do them no ill.

Praise ye and bless ye my Lord, and give Him thanks,
And be subject unto Him with great humility.

It's appropriate today to sing any of the hymns "For a Holy Man," "For a Confessor," or "For a Monastic. From an earlier post:

Here's an mp3 of Iste Confessor, labeled a "hymn about a Holy Man" for the Common of Saints, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood. Here's the listing at Hymn Melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service books, where Iste Confessor is appointed as the hymn for First Vespers and Mattins. Below is a an image of the chant score for this hymn:





The words to the hymn above - the first line of which is "He whose confession God of old accepted" - are found at Oremus Hymnal, where it says the hymn is "Latin, eighth century; trans. Laurence Housman, 1906."
He whose confession God of old accepted,
whom through the ages all now hold in honor,
gaining his guerdon this day came to enter
heaven's high portal.

God-fearing, watchful, pure of mind and body,
holy and humble, thus did all men find him;
while, through his members, to the life immortal
mortal life called him.

Thus to the weary, from the life enshrinèd,
potent in virtue, flowed humane compassion;
sick and sore laden, howsoever burdened,
there they found healing.

So now in chorus, giving God the g lory,
raise we our anthem gladly to his honor,
that in fair kinship we may all be sharers
here and hereafter.

Honor and glory, power and salvation,
be in the highest unto him who reigneth
changeless in heaven over earthly changes,
triune, eternal.


Here is another set of words for this hymn; this source says that the hymn "was originally composed in honor of St. Martin of Tours":
This the Confessor of the Lord, whose triumph Now all the faithful celebrate, with gladness Erst on this feat-day merited to enter Into his glory.

Saintly and prudent, modest in behavior, Peaceful and sober, chaste was he, and lowly, While that life's vigor, coursing through his members, Quickened his being.

Sick ones of old time, to his tomb resorting, Sorely by ailments manifold afflicted, Oft-times have welcomed health and strength returning, At his petition.

Whence we in chorus gladly do him honor, Chanting his praises with devout affection, That in his merits we may have a portion, Now and forever.

Glory and virtue, honour and salvation, Be unto him that, sitting in the highest, Governeth all things, Lord and God Almighty, Trinity blessed.


Here's the chant score from my source to the hymn sung at Vespers on the feast days of monastics; the words are quite similar in content to those above. (That source lists hymns - different ones - for both monastics and "Holy Men.") The tune for this one is the same as on the mp3 and in the chant score above; again it's my favorite 11 11 11 5 meter, and this is one of my favorite of all hymns:





And here's the chant score for "Holy Men"; again, the music is the same:





Again from an earlier post:
But actually, Hymn melodies lists Iste Confessor as the hymn only for 1st Evensong and Mattins; Jesu, Redemptor Omnium is sung at Lauds and 2nd Evensong, to several different tunes, depending on the season. Here's the rundown:

At L. (except in Xmas & Paschal-tides) ... 25
At 2пd Ev. (& L. when по 2пd Ev.) ... 49
During Xmas-tide (L. & 2пd Ev.) ... 26
During Easter-tide ... ... 39
During Ascension-tide ... ... 41
On Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year (L.) ... ... ... ... 6l


So there you have it. We are talking 25, 49, and/or 61 here. That's this gang:













#25 above uses the tune heard on this mp3, a tune I've heard used for the Lauds hymn on a Feast day.

Use the words to Jesu Redemptor Omnium with any one of these, and you're in business:
1. Jesu Redemptor omnium,
Quem lucis ante originem,
Parem paternae gloriae,
Pater supremus edidit.

2. Tu lumen et splendor Patris,
Tu spes perennis omnium:
Intende quas fundunt preces
Tui per orbem servuli.

3. Memento, rerum Conditor,
Nostri quod olim corporis,
Sacrata ab alvo Virginis,
Nascendo, formam sumpseris.

4. Testatur hoc praesens dies,
Currens per anni circulum,
Quod solus e sinu Patris
Mundi salus adveneris.

5. Hunc astra, tellus, aequora,
Hunc omne quod caelo subest,
Salutis auctorem novae,
Novo salutat cantico.

6. Et nos, beata quos sacri
Rigavit unda sanguinis,
Natalis ob diem tui,
Hymni tributum solvimus.

7. Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna saecula.


Here's Satucket's entry for this feast:
Francis renouncing worldly goods, by GiottoFrancis was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. His early years were frivolous, but an experience of sickness and another of military service were instrumental in leading him to reflect on the purpose of life. One day, in the church of San Damiano, he seemed to hear Christ saying to him, "Francis, repair my falling house." He took the words literally, and sold a bale of silk from his father's warehouse to pay for repairs to the church of San Damiano. His father was outraged, and there was a public confrontation at which his father disinherited and disowned him, and he in turn renounced his father's wealth--one account says that he not only handed his father his purse, but also took off his expensive clothes, laid them at his father's feet, and walked away naked. He declared himself "wedded to Lady Poverty", renounced all material possessions, and devoted himself to serving the poor. In his day the most dreaded of all diseases was something known as leprosy. (It is probably not the same as either the modern or the Biblical disease of that name.) Lepers were kept at a distance and regarded with fear and disgust. Francis cared for them, fed them, bathed their sores, and kissed them. Since he could not pay for repairs to the Church of San Damiano, he undertook to repair it by his own labors. He moved in with the priest, and begged stones lying useless in fields, shaping them for use in repairing the church. He got his meals, not by asking for money so that he might live at the expense of others, but by scrounging crusts and discarded vegetable from trash-bins, and by working as a day laborer, insisting on being paid in bread, milk, eggs, or vegetables rather than in money. Soon a few companions joined him. Dante in his Paradiso has Aquinas say of him:
Let me tell you of a youth whose aristocratic father disowned him because of his love for a beautiful lady. She had been married before, to Christ, and was so faithful a spouse to Him that, while Mary only stood at the foot of the Cross, she leaped up to be with Him on the Cross. These two of whom I speak are Francis and the Lady Poverty. As they walked along together, the sight of their mutual love drew men's hearts after them. Bernard saw them and ran after them, kicking off his shoes to run faster to so great a peace. Giles and Sylvester saw them, kicked off their shoes and ran to join them....
After three years, in 1210, the Pope authorized the forming of the Order of Friars Minor, commonly called the Franciscans. ("Friar" means "brother," as in "fraternity", and "minor" means "lesser" or "younger." I take the meaning to be that a Franciscan, meeting another Christian, is to think, "I am your brother in Christ, and your younger brother at that, bound to defer to you and to give you precedence over myself."
Francis and his companions took literally the words of Christ when he sent his disciples out to preach (M 10:7-10):
Preach as you go, saying, "The kingdom of Heaven is at hand." ... You have received the Gospel without payment, give it to others as freely. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, no spare garment, nor sandals, nor staff.
They would have no money, and no property, individually or collectively. Their task was to preach, "using words if necessary," but declaring by word and action the love of God in Christ. Francis was partial to a touch of the dramatic (see his parting from his father, for example), and it was probably he who set up the first Christmas manger scene, to bring home the Good News of God made man for our salvation, home to men's hearts and imaginations as well as to their intellects.
In 1219, Francis went to the Holy Land to preach to the moslems. He was given a pass through the enemy lines, and spoke to the Sultan, Melek-al-Kamil. Francis proclaimed the Gospel to the Sultan, who replied that he had his own beliefs, and that moslems were as firmly convinced of the truth of Islam as Francis was of the truth of Christianity. Francis proposed that a fire be built, and that he and a moslem volunteer would walk side by side into the fire to show whose faith was stronger. The Sultan said he was not sure that a moslem volunteer could be found. Francis then offered to walk into the fire alone. The Sultan who was deeply impressed but remained unconverted. Francis proposed an armistice between the two warring sides, and drew up terms for one; the Sultan agreed, but, to Francis's deep disappointment, the Christian leaders would not. Francis returned to Italy, but a permanent result was that the Franciscans were given custody of the Christian shrines then in moslem hands.
Francis preaching to the birds, by giottoBack in Italy and neighboring countries, the Order was suffering from its own success. Then, as now, many persons were deeply attracted by Francis and his air of joy, abandonment, and freedom. What is overlooked is that these were made possible only by his willingness to accept total poverty, not picturesque poverty but real dirt, rags, cold, and hunger, and lepers with real pus oozing from their sores and a real danger of infection. Many idealistic young men were joining the Order in a burst of enthusiasm and then finding themselves not so sure that such extremes of poverty were really necessary. When there were only a few friars, they were all known to Francis personally, and the force of his personality kept the original ideals of the Order alive in them. Now that the Order was larger, this was no longer enough. In 1220 Francis resigned as minister-general of the Order, and in 1221 he agreed to a new and modified rule, which he did not approve, but could not resist. He died on 4 October 1226. The Franciscan split into the Conventual Franciscans, who held a limited amount of property in common, and the Spiritual Franciscans, who disavowed all property. They taught that Christ and the twelve apostles had held no property, singly or jointly. This view offended those who held property, and was declared to be heretical (proof text, J 18:10; Jesus said to Peter, "Put up THY sword...."). In 1318, several Spiritual Franciscans were burned at the stake in Marseilles.
A story is told of the days when the friars first began to have permanent houses. A beggar came by when Brother Juniper was at the gate and asked for a little money. Brother Juniper said, "There is no money in the house. But wait a minute. Last week someone gave us an altar cloth with little silver bells attached. We don't need those. I will cut them off for you. They will be as good as money." And he did. When the sacristan learned what had happened, he complained to the prior, who said, "We are fortunate that he did not give away the cloth itself. But send him to me, and I will scold him." Brother Juniper came, and the prior scolded him until he was hoarse. Brother Juniper noticed that the prior was hoarse, and went to the kitchen and cooked him some mint sauce. He brought it to the prior, who had gone to bed. He said, "Father Prior, get up and eat this mint sauce. It will be good for your throat." The prior said, "I don't want any mint sauce. Go away and let me sleep." Brother Juniper said, "It's good sauce, and will be good for your throat." The prior said, "Go away, I don't want it." Brother Juniper said, "Well, if you won't eat it, how about holding the candle while I eat it?" This was too much for the prior. He got up and they both ate.
From the first known letter from Francis to all Christians:
"O how happy and blessed are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord himself said in the gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul, and your neighbor as yourself. Thereofore, let us love God and adore him with pure heart and mind. This is his particular desire when he says: True worshipers adore the Father in spirit and truth. For all who adore him must do so in the spirit of truth. Let us also direct to him our praises and prayers, saying: "Our Father, who are in heaven," since we must always pray and never grow slack.

    Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neightbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will recieve from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be sinple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to very human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many readers are enthusiastic about St. Francis of Assisi, a biography of Francis by G K Chesterton. A reader of these essays has also recommended The Biography of Saint Francis of Assisi by Englebert.


Here's an El Greco:





Here's a Giotto, called "Legend of St Francis, Death and Ascension of St Francis," from sometime in the 13th Century:





Here is Caravaggio's St. Francis in Ecstasy:





And here is the story of this work:
The painting was the first of Caravaggio's religious canvasses, and is thought to date from 1595, when he had recently entered the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. It was presumably painted at the behest of Del Monte, and is thought to be one of the first paintings done by the artist as "Del Monte's painter", as he is believed to have described himself over the next few years while living in Palazzo Madama. It shows Saint Francis of Assisi (the Cardinal's name-saint) at the moment of receiving the signs of the Stigmata, the wounds left in Christ's body by the Crucifixion. The story is told by one of Francis' companions, Brother Leo. In 1224 Francis retired to the wilderness with a small number of his followers to contemplate God. On the mountainside at night Brother Leo saw a six-winged seraph (one of the higher Orders of angels) come down to Francis in answer to the saint's prayer that he might know both Christ's suffering and His love:
All of a sudden there was a dazzling light. It was as though the heavens were exploding and splashing forth all their glory in millions of waterfalls of colours and stars. And in the centre of that bright whirlpool was a core of blinding light that flashed down from the depths of the sky with terrifying speed until suddenly it stopped, motionless and sacred, above a pointed rock in front of Francis. It was a fiery figure with wings, nailed to a cross of fire. Two flaming wings rose straight upward, two others opened out horizontally, and two more covered the figure. And the wounds in the hands and feet and heart were blazing rays of blood. The sparkling features of the Being wore an expression of supernatural beauty and grief. It was the face of Jesus, and Jesus spoke. Then suddenly streams of fire and blood shot from His wounds and pierced the hands and feet of Francis with nails and his heart with the stab of a lance. As Francis uttered a mighty shout of joy and pain, the fiery image impressed itself into his body, as into a mirrored reflection of itself, with all its love, its beauty, and its grief. And it vanished within him. Another cry pierced the air. Then, with nails and wounds through his body, and with his soul and spirit aflame, Francis sank down, unconscious, in his blood.


And here is - for some reason - my favorite these days, Bellini's St. Francis in the Desert:

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