Friday, June 26, 2009

Missa pro Defunctis: Dies Irae (Sequentia)

Dies Irae is the old Gregorian Sequence from the Requiem Mass, here sung by the Alfred Deller Consort.

According to this article at Wikipedia:
Those familiar with musical settings of the Requiem Mass—such as those by Mozart or Verdi—will be aware of the important place Dies Iræ held in the liturgy. Nevertheless the "Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy" - the Vatican body charged with drafting and implementing reforms to the Catholic Liturgy ordered by the Second Vatican Council - felt the funeral rite was in need of reform and eliminated the sequence from the ordinary rite. The architect of these reforms, Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, explains the mind of the members of the Consilium:
They got rid of texts that smacked of a negative spirituality inherited from the Middle Ages. Thus they removed such familiar and even beloved texts as the Libera me, Domine, the Dies Iræ, and others that overemphasized judgment, fear, and despair. These they replaced with texts urging Christian hope and arguably giving more effective expression to faith in the resurrection.[2]

It remained as the sequence for the Requiem Mass in the Roman Missal of 1962 (the last edition before the Second Vatican Council) and so is still heard in churches where the Tridentine Latin liturgy is celebrated.

The "Dies Irae" is still suggested in the Liturgy of the Hours during last week before Advent as the opening hymn for the Office of Readings, Lauds and Vespers (divided into three parts).[3]

Here are the words from that page:

Dies iræ! dies illa
Solvet sæclum in favilla
Teste David cum Sibylla!

Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando judex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulchra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendæ majestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie,
quod sum causa tuæ viæ:
ne me perdas illa die.

Quærens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti Crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.

Juste judex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meæ non sunt dignæ:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum præsta,
et ab hædis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis:
voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.

Day of wrath! O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophets' warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning!

Oh, what fear man's bosom rendeth,
when from heaven the Judge descendeth,
on whose sentence all dependeth.

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth;
through earth's sepulchers it ringeth;
all before the throne it bringeth.

Death is struck, and nature quaking,
all creation is awaking,
to its Judge an answer making.

Lo! the book, exactly worded,
wherein all hath been recorded:
thence shall judgment be awarded.

When the Judge his seat attaineth,
and each hidden deed arraigneth,
nothing unavenged remaineth.

What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding,
when the just are mercy needing?

King of Majesty tremendous,
who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us!

Think, good Jesus, my salvation
cost thy wondrous Incarnation;
leave me not to reprobation!

Faint and weary, thou hast sought me,
on the cross of suffering bought me.
shall such grace be vainly brought me?

Righteous Judge! for sin's pollution
grant thy gift of absolution,
ere the day of retribution.

Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
all my shame with anguish owning;
spare, O God, thy suppliant groaning!

Thou the sinful woman savedst;
thou the dying thief forgavest;
and to me a hope vouchsafest.

Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
rescue me from fires undying!

With thy favored sheep O place me;
nor among the goats abase me;
but to thy right hand upraise me.

While the wicked are confounded,
doomed to flames of woe unbounded
call me with thy saints surrounded.

Low I kneel, with heart submission,
see, like ashes, my contrition;
help me in my last condition.

Since this one's so long, I'll point you to the chant score in this PDF file (it begins on page 9), which comes originally from Giovanni Viannini and his Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis.

Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...