Monday, October 21, 2013

The Hymns at the Lesser Hours: Compline II

This is the second of three posts about the Compline hymns; see Part I here and Part III here

The following are the hymns listed for Compline, in Hymn melodies for the whole year, from the Sarum service-books:
Daily throughout the year, except on Double Feasts & from the 1st Sunday in Lent until Trinity Sunday inclusive :-
Te lucis ante terminum

(1) On Sundays & when the Choir has Rulers ... ... 14
(2) On Ferias & Simple Feasts of the lowest class ...11

On Double Feasts during Advent & daily from Xmas Eve to the 8ve of Epiphany, & on all Double Feasts from thence until the 1st Sunday in Lent, on the Vigil of Pentecost, on the Thursday, Friday, & Saturday in the 8ve of the same, & on all Double Feasts from Trinity Sunday until Advent, except on the Feast of the Holy Name :

Salvator mundi Domine ... ... 8

[At Christmas-tide (York): Corde natus ex Parentis ... 73]

On the First Sunday in Lent & daily until Passion Sunday :

Christe, qui Lux es et Dies ... ... 12

On Passion Sunday & daily until Wednesday in Holy-Week inclusive:

Cultor Dei, memento ... ... 13

From Maundy Thursday to Low Sunday no Hymns are sung.

On Low Sunday & daily until Ascension Day :

Jesu, Salvator seculi, Verbum ... 14

On Ascension Day & daily until Whitsun Day :

Jesu, nostra Redempcio ... ... 34

On Whitsun Day, (but not on the Vigil, see above) & on the three days following, & on the Feast of the Holy Name :

Alma chorus Domini ... Sequence p. (xxiij)

[On Monday & Wednesday in Whitsun Week (York):

Laudes Deo devotas ... Sequence p. (x)]

Follow along with the office here, at Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston, 1885).     I'll link-in via iFrame at the bottom of the post too.

We'll start this time with Christe, qui Lux es et Dies, the hymn sung "On the First Sunday in Lent & daily until Passion Sunday," as above.    Here is the chant score for melody #12:

Here's an mp3 of melody #12, sung by the St. David's (Austin, TX) Compline Choir.   TPL (which calls the hymn "Christe, qui spelndor et dies") notes that this is:
Another old and venerable hymn for the close of day at Compline. This hymn has 8th century origins and is sometimes attributed to the Venerable Bede.

Here are the Latin words, as given at CPDL, followed by an English translation (via "William John Copeland and others, 1906") from Oremus Hymnal.  The English words are different than what's on the mp3 (whose English words I believe come from the 1982 Hymnal, from Hymns #40 and 41).
Christe qui lux es et dies,
Noctis tenebras detegis,
Lucisque lumen crederis,
Lumen beatum praedicans.

Precamur Sancte Domine,
Defende nos in hac nocte,
Sit nobis in te requies,
Quietam noctem tribue.

Ne gravis somnus irruat,
Nec hostis nos surripiat,
Nec caro illi consentiens,
Nos tibi reos statuat.

Oculi somnum capiant,
Cor ad te semper vigilet,
Dextera tua protegat
Famulos qui te diligunt.

Defensor noster aspice,
Insidiantes reprime,
Guberna tuos famulos,
Quos sanguine mercatus es.

Memento nostri Domine
In gravi isto corpore,
Qui es defensor animae,
Adesto nobis Domine.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Eiusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Et nunc et in perpetuum. Amen.

O Christ, who art the Light and Day,
thou drivest darksome night away!
we know thee as the Light of light
illuminating mortal sight.

All holy Lord, we pray to thee,
keep us tonight from danger free;
grant us, dear Lord, in thee to rest,
so be our sleep in quiet blessed

And while the eyes soft slumber take,
still be the heart to thee awake,
be thy right hand upheld above
thy servants resting in thy love.

Yea, our Defender, be thou nigh,
to bid the powers of darkness fly;
keep us from sin, and guide for good
thy servants purchased by thy blood.

Remember us, dear Lord, we pray,
while in this mortal flesh we stay:
'tis thou who dost the soul defend
be present with us to the end.

Blest Three in One and One in Three,
almighty God, we pray to thee,
that thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
our fast with fruits of righteousness.

Cultor Dei, memento is sung to Melody #13 "On Passion Sunday & daily until Wednesday in Holy-Week inclusive":

I have found no recording of melody #13, but I do like this melody (that's a midi file) used for this hymn, from; it's another of those tuneful German hymn chorales, Nun Lasst Uns Geh’n - and would certainly make a good substitute.   Here's a page scan of the score for the tune on that midi file (PDF), again from HymnTime:

The words to this hymn are very beautiful - the first verse is a reference to baptism - and it's no surprise that they come from Prudentius.
Servant of God, remember
The stream thy soul bedewing,
The grace that came upon thee
Anointing and renewing.

When kindly slumber calls thee,
Upon thy bed reclining,
Trace thou the cross of Jesus,
Thy heart and forehead signing.

The cross dissolves the darkness,
And drives away temptation;
It calms the wavering spirit
By quiet consecration.

Begone, begone, the terrors
Of vague and formless dreaming;
Begone, thou fell deceiver,
With all thy boasted scheming.

Begone, thou crooked serpent,
Who, twisting and pursuing,
By fraud and lie preparest
The simple soul’s undoing.

Tremble, for Christ is near us,
Depart, for here He dwelleth,
And this, the sign thou knowest,
Thy strong battalions quelleth.

Then while the weary body
Its rest in sleep is nearing,
The heart will muse in silence
On Christ and His appearing.

To God, eternal Father,
To Christ, our king, be glory,
And to the Holy Spirit,
In never ending story.

Here's a note at about Cultor dei, memento:
Cultor Dei memento—Servant of God, remember. Prudentius. This portion of the hymn, given in Daniel , i., No. 110; Card. Newman's Hymnal Eccl. 1838 and 1865; Wackernagel and others, is composed of lines 125-152, with the addition of a doxology. It was used in the Sarum Breviary "At Compline on Passion Sunday, and Daily up to Maundy Thursday." Also in the Mozarabic Breviary; the Mozarabic Hymnarium ; and in an 11th century manuscript in the British Museum (Harl. 2961, f. 238). The translation in common use is:—"Servant of God! remember," by W. J. Blew. First printed with music on a broadsheet, and then in The Church Hymn and Tune Book, 1852; 2nd ed. 1855. It is from the Sarum text, and in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. In 1870 it was included in Mr. Rice's Hymns, No. 105.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

This comes from Prudentius' longer poem Hymnus Ante Somnum ("Hymn before sleeping"); the poem's first line is Ades Pater Supreme.  Here's a short note about that longer poem:
Ades Pater supreme. This is in a manuscript of the 6th century, in the Bibl. Nat. Paris (Lat, 8084, f. 18). Another translation of the cento Ades Pater is "Father, Most High, be with us." In the 1885 edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, by the Compilers.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

And here's a bit about Prudentius himself (with much more at the link):
Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, "The Christian Pindar" was born in northern Spain, a magistrate whose religious convictions came late in life. His subsequent sacred poems were literary and personal, not, like those of St. Ambrose, designed for singing. Selections from them soon entered the Mozarabic rite, however, and have since remained exquisite treasures of the Western churches. His Cathemerinon liber, Peristephanon, and Psychomachia were among the most widely read books of the Middle Ages. A concordance to his works was published by the Medieval Academy of America in 1932. There is a considerable literature on his works.

--The Hymnal 1940 Companion

And this longer quote is taken from the introduction to the (out-of-print, it seems) book Hymns of Prudentius: The Cathemerinon; or, The Daily Round by Aurelius Prudentius Clemens:
"Fetch me a pen, lad. I mean to sing of the noble deeds of Jesus Christ, the theme of my heavenly Muse."

Born in Spain in the fourth century, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens held a position of considerable authority in the Roman imperial administration. He was thirteen when Julian, the last pagan emperor, came to the throne and attempted to suppress Christianity and restore paganism. And he watched, two years later, when Julian was succeeded by the co-emperors, Valentinian and Valens, both Christians whose courts included such men as Jerome, Ausonius, and Martin of Tours.

His lasting influence comes, however, from his work as a poet: a pioneer in the creation of a Christian literature, Prudentius is generally regarded as the greatest of the Christian Latin poets, and his legacy informed the work of future poets, among them George Herbert and John Donne. Prudentius wrote two collections of hymns: the Cathemerinon Liber and the Peristephanon. The former, a collection of twelve songs in English "The Daily Round" is translated here by David Slavitt. Essentially literary in nature, the hymns replaced mythology of the classical mode with stories from the Scriptures and enjoyed immense popularity and success for centuries in the liturgy of the church.

"Prudentius's Latin is decorative and his poetic stance is enormously appealing. I have tried to do the voice and suggest to others something of what I admire in it. If I read these poems as objets d'art, I have no objection to my Christian friends reading them another way, as devotions. Indeed, I cannot for the life of me guess which of us will be getting more out of them. The particular belief is perhaps not so much the crucial issue as the yearning for belieffor the faithful feel, in the momentary flaggings of their faith, a fervent longing most agnostics have experienced, whether they admit it or not."

The Hymnus Ante Somnum from which Cultor Dei, memento is taken comes from The Cathemerinon; you can find that online in full, with English translation by R. Martin Pope, at (subtitled there "Hymns for the Christian's Day").  Or, you can download the book in various e-formats here.

On Low Sunday & daily until Ascension Day, Jesu, Salvator seculi, Verbum is sung at Compline to Melody #14:

Melody #14 is the same tune used for Te Lucis Ante Terminum above.  Here's the  mp3 of that hymn sung to melody #14, again from the St. David's (Austin, TX) Compline Choir, recorded during an actual service of Compline.

The Hymner has the words for this one in English:
JEsu, who brought'st redemption nigh,
Word of the Father, God most high:
O Light of Light, to man unknown,
And watchful Guardian of thine own.

Thy hand Creation made and guides;
Thy wisdom time from time divides:
By this world's cares and toils opprest,
O give our weary bodies rest.

That, while in frames of sin and pain
A little longer we remain,
Our flesh may here in such wise sleep,
That watch with Christ our souls may keep.

O free us, while we dwell below,
From insults of our ghostly foe,
That he may ne'er victorious be
O'er them that are redeem'd by thee.

We pray thee, King with glory deck'd,
In this our Paschal joy, protect
From all that death would fain effect,
Thy ransom'd flock, thine own elect.

To thee who, dead, again dost live,
All glory, Lord, thy people give:
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

Here's an interesting alternatim of this hymn; I believe this is Thomas Tallis' composition:

Sing Jesu, nostra Redempcio to Melody #34 "On Ascension Day & daily until Whitsun Day":

Giovanni Viannini has posted this as an Inno Gregoriano per la solennità dell'Ascensione I e II Vespri; it's Melody #34, for sure:

The Hymner has an English translation (not a good one, alas!) for this one, too:

JEsu, Redemption all divine,
Whom here we love, for whom we pine,
God, working out creation's plan,
And, in the latter time, made Man:

What love of thine was that, which led
To take our woes upon thy head,
And pangs and cruel death to bear,
To ransom us from death's despair!

To thee hell's gate gave ready way,
Demanding there his captive prey:
And now, in pomp and victor s pride,
Thou sittest at the Father's side.

Let very mercy force thee still
To spare us, conquering all our ill;
And, granting that we ask, on high
With thine own face to satisfy.

Be thou our Joy and thou our Guard;
Who art to be our great Reward:
Our glory and our boast in thee
For ever and for ever be.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
Ascending o'er the stars to-day:
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

CPDL has the Latin words, along with a non-metrical English translation here; it's quite a beautiful hymn, actually:
Jesu, nostra redemptio,
Amor et desiderium,
Deus creator omnium,
Homo in fine temporum.

Quae te vicit clementia,
Ut ferres nostra crimina,
Crudelem mortem patiens
Ut nos a morte tolleres!

Inferni claustra penetrans,
Tuos captivos redimens,
Victor triumpho nobili
Ad dextram Dei residens

Ipsa te cogat pietas
Ut mala nostra superes
Parcendo et voti compotes
Nos tuo vultu saties.

Tu esto nostrum gaudium,
Qui es futurus praemium,
Sit nostra in te gloria,
In sempiterna saecula.

Jesus, our redemption,
love and desire,
God, Creator of all things,
becomes man in the fullness of time.

What mercy made thee
bear our crimes,
to suffer a cruel death
that we might be saved from death!

Descending into Hell’s prison,
freeing thy captives,
Thy noble triumph won,
dwelling at the Father’s right hand.

Let pity compel thee
to overcome our evils,
granting pardon,
fulfil and satisfy us with thy face.

Be our joy,
who will be our future prize;
let all our glory be in Thee
forever, throughout all ages.

Tomas Luis de Victoria had something (beautiful!) to say about this hymn as well:

Here's still another English translation found in an 1837 book by John Chandler, Hymns of the Primitive Church, at Google Books that has the Latin words.
O Christ, our Hope, our heart’s Desire,
Redemption’s only Spring!
Creator of the world art Thou,
Its Savior and its King.

How vast the mercy and the love
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free.

But now the bands of death are burst,
The ransom has been paid,
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.

O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare;
O may we come before Thy throne,
And find acceptance there!

O Christ, be Thou our lasting Joy,
Our ever great Reward!
Our only glory may be it be
To glory in the Lord.

All praise to Thee, ascended Lord;
All glory ever be
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Through all eternity.
And this is another chant version (mp3) of Jesu, nostra redemptio - but it's not Melody #34.   Again this comes from the St. David's Choir, and seems to be an entirely different translation from any of those we've seen here.  The version sung here is taken from #38 (for Compline) in the 1982 Hymnal. The note there says that the words are "Latin, 10th cent.; ver Hymnal 1982. St. 5, Anne K. LeCroy (b. 1930)."  The tune, BTW, is also used for #238 for Martyrs, and there is a metrical version at #233 for Apostles, as well. This page at Google books notes that Jesu nostra redemptio is "an Ascension hymn of the 9th or 10th Century."

The last two hymns are Sequences, and I'll make a separate post about them.

Here's a peek-in to the SSM Breviary entry for Compline:

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