Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Easter Sequence: Victimae Paschali Laudes

"Uno sguardo ai mosaici della Basilica di San Marco a Venezia, ascoltando l'antica sequenza pasquale. Per un augurio di Buona Pasqua 2009."

(A look at the mosaics of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, while listening to the ancient Easter sequence. Good wishes for a Happy Easter 2009.)



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.


The English translation above comes from the Episcopal Church's Hymnal 1982.

Victimae Paschali Laudes is usually attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (1039), but sometimes to Notker Balbulus (10th century) and Adam of St. Victor (13th century).

Here's another interesting take on the hymn; it's the Sequence, followed by the Alleluia, from Notre Dame on Easter Day, 2010. I've heard it sung this way on another French recording as well; perhaps this rather martial rhythm is traditional in France.



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