Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Palestrina's "Lamentations of Jeremiah"

Via the Hilliard Ensemble; lovely. The Lamentations are sung in plainchant as part of Holy Week's Office of Tenebrae, sung at Mattins and Lauds on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday; see Breviary.net for the full Office, beginning with Maundy Thursday.  (Here is the Episcopal Church's liturgy for the single-service version of Tenebrae, from The Book of Occasional Services.)

The Palestrina here is broken into the three videos below, as the Lamentations would be sung at the three separate services (although a few sections are missing here); the YouTube blurb is below each video, and the complete Lamentations in English at the end of the post.



Incipit : Aleph : Beth (Maundy Thursday, Lesson 1)

Incipit lamentatio Ieremiae prophetae.

ALEPH Quomodo sedet sola civitas plena populo: Facta est quasi vidua domina Gentium: Princeps provinciarum facta est sub tributo.

BETH Plorans ploravit in nocte, et lacrimae eius in maxillis eius: Non est qui consoletur eam ex omnibus caris eius: Omnes amici eius spreverunt eam, et facti sunt ei inimici.

Ierusalem, Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.



Heth : Teth : Iod (Good Friday, Lesson 1)

HETH Cogitavit Dominus dissipare murum filiae Sion: tetendit funiculum suum, et non avertit manum suam a perdtione: Iuxitque antemuraele, et murus pariter dissipatus est.

TETH Defixae sunt in terra portae eius: perdidit, et contrivit vectes eius: Regem eius et principes eius in gentibus: non est lex, et prophetae eius non invenerunt visionem a Domino.

IOD Sederunt in terra, conticuerunt senes filiae Sion: consperserunt cinere capita sua, accincti sunt ciliciis, abiecerunt in terram capita sua virgines Iuda.

Ierusalem, Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.



Lamed : Mem : Nun (Good Friday, Lesson 2)

LAMED Matribus suis dixerunt: Ubi est triticum et vinum? Cum deficerent quasi vulnerati in plateis civitatis: cum exhalarent animas suas in sinu matrum suarum.

MEM Cu comparabo te? Vel cui assimilabo te, filia Ierusalem? Cui exaequabo te, et consolabor te, virgo filia Sion? Magna est enim velut mare contritio tua: quis medebitur tui?

NUN Prophetae tui viderunt tibi falsa et stulta, nec aperiebant iniquitatem tuam, ut te ad paenitentiam provocarent: viderunt autem tibi assumptiones falsas, et eiectiones.

Ierusalem, Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.

 Here are the Lamentations in English (taken from the St. Thomas leaflet).  The initial words (Aleph, Beth, Ghimel, etc.), are letters of the Hebrew alphabet; Lamentations make up another Biblical acrostic.

LESSON 1 Lamentations of Jeremiah 1:1-14

Aleph. How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

Beth. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

Ghimel. Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.

Daleth. The ways of Sion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.

He. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God!


LESSON 2

Vau. From the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.

Zain. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries, all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hands of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.

Heth. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

Teth. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down  wonderfully: she had no comforter: O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God!


LESSON 3

Jod. The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things; for she hath seen that  the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.

Caph. All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to  relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and consider; for I am become vile.

Lamed. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto  my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce  anger.

Mem. From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread  a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.

Nun. The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon  my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God!

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