Saturday, January 13, 2018

The sung Gospel at Christmas Matins: Liber Generationis ("The book of generations")

In doing some reading after posting my last post, The sung Gospel at Epiphany Matins: Factum Est Autem ("Now it came to pass"), I found that the corresponding genealogy from Matthew is sung at the end of Matins on Christmas.    So this one comes first in the liturgical year, and may be the older custom; see below for more on this.  This is sung here by the medieval music group Sequentia.

Here is the text, taken from a parallel reading of the Vulgate and King James Versions of the Bible; I added some punctuation to the Latin:
Dominus vobiscum.
R/.  Et cum spiritu tuo.
Initium sancti evangelii secundum Mattheum.
R/.  Gloria tibi, Domine.

Liber generationis Iesu Christi filii David filii Abraham; 

Abraham genuit Isaac; Isaac autem genuit Iacob; Iacob autem genuit Iudam et fratres eius;  Iudas autem genuit Phares et Zara de Thamar; Phares autem genuit Esrom; Esrom autem genuit Aram;  Aram autem genuit Aminadab; Aminadab autem genuit Naasson; Naasson autem genuit Salmon;  Salmon autem genuit Booz de Rachab; Booz autem genuit Obed ex Ruth; Obed autem genuit Iesse; Iesse autem genuit David regem;  David autem rex genuit Salomonem ex ea quae fuit Uriae;  Salomon autem genuit Roboam; Roboam autem genuit Abiam; Abia autem genuit Asa;  Asa autem genuit Iosaphat; Iosaphat autem genuit Ioram; Ioram autem genuit Oziam;  Ozias autem genuit Ioatham; Ioatham autem genuit Achaz; Achaz autem genuit Ezechiam;  Ezechias autem genuit Manassen; Manasses autem genuit Amon; Amon autem genuit Iosiam;  Iosias autem genuit Iechoniam et fratres eius in transmigratione Babylonis;  et post transmigrationem Babylonis Iechonias genuit Salathihel; Salathihel autem genuit Zorobabel;  Zorobabel autem genuit Abiud; Abiud autem genuit Eliachim; Eliachim autem genuit Azor;  Azor autem genuit Saddoc; Saddoc autem genuit Achim; Achim autem genuit Eliud;  Eliud autem genuit Eleazar; Eleazar autem genuit Matthan; Matthan autem genuit Iacob;  Iacob autem genuit Ioseph virum Mariae, de qua natus est Iesus qui vocatur Christus.

The Lord be with you.
R/.  And with your spirit.
The beginning of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
R/.  Glory to you, Lord.

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 

Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;  And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;  And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;  And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;  And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;  And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;  And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;  And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;  And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;  And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:  And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;  And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;  And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;  And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Here's the Latin Sarum Christmas office from McMaster; you can find the chant score beginning on page 312 of that PDF document; the English-language version of this Office is here.  

While the melody on the Sequentia video above does not match the score in the Sarum Breviary, you can listen to the McMaster mp3 recording of Liber Generationis here, which does match up, of course, with the chant score they provide.

The melody on the video, though, is somewhat similar to the melody on the video I posted for Luke's genealogy sung at Epiphany.  I am very curious where this melody comes from and will continue to search it out, if I can. 

Once again, there is an instruction that introduces this chant after the ninth and final responsory; in English, it's:
While this final R. together with its V. and Gloria Patri. are sung, let the Deacon proceed with the Subdeacon and the Thurifer and the Taperer and the Acolyte bearing the Cross, all solemnly vested in preparation to cense the Altar. And, having received a Blessing from the Officiant in the midst of the Choir, let him approach the Pulpit for the singing of the following Gospel.
And the Te Deum is sung after the genealogy, to end the Office.

Divinum Officium does not list either of these two genealogies as part of Christmas or Epiphany Matins in its 1570 Trident versions - but the Matthew genealogy (Matt 1:1-16) is there in the "Pre-Trident Monastic" Matins of Christmas, sung after the Te Deum.   It's labeled "Initium Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum" ("The beginning of the HOly Gospel according to Matthew").

In DO's "Pre-Trident Monastic" Matins of Epiphany, it's Matthew 2:1-12 that follows the Te Deum at the very end of the Office; it's labeled "Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum" ("Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew").

On its versions page, the creator of Divinum Officium wrote, about the "Pre-Trident Monastc" version:
The pre-Tridentine Monastic version is an attempt to illustrate the Benedictine Breviary, as it is described in the Regula of St. Benedict, with the exception that, for lack of resources, only 9 lessons are included for Sundays and Feasts, instead of 12 lessons. See details below.
(In his note below, just for your information (although not really relevant to this post!), is this:
Implemented pre-Tridentine Monastic changes:
  • Matins starts with Domine labia and Psalm 3
    • First Nocturn is always 6 psalms.
    • First Nocturn has 3 lessons with responsories from Scriptures from November to Low Sunday, with one short lesson in summertime
    • Second Nocturn is always 6 psalms.
    • Except for Sundays and Feasts (Duplex majus, 2nd class, 1st class), the second nocturn has a scriptural capitulum with responsory only, and there is no third nocturn.
    • For Sundays and Feasts (for lack of resources, only 3 * 3 instead of 3 * 4 lessons) there are three nocturns. The third nocturn has Old Testament canticles under one antiphon.
    • There is also a responsory after the last lesson, followed by the Te Deum, the reading of the full passage of Gospel, and the short hymn "Te decet".
  • Lauds starts with Psalm 66
    • Lauds has 3 psalms, a canticle and psalms 148-149-150 as one unit. Responsory is added to Capitulum.
  • Prime has 4 or 3 psalms (parts). Preces, reading of the Regula and Commemoration of the dead (which was not part of Prime) is added to the office.
  • Minor Hours have a psalm scheme only for Sunday, Monday and the rest of days. Capitulum is followed only by Verse.
  • Vespers has 4 psalms, Responsory is added to Capitulum.
  • Compline has always the same psalms without antiphons; also without Nunc dimittis)

I will check the Regula to see if this genealogy and the following verses from Matthew are in fact prescribed for Christmas and Epiphany.  Will return here to report what I find.

I did find, though, in reading about the Epiphany genealogy Factum Est Autem, these two notes:
* The Gospel from the first chapter of St. Matthew. “The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham." It was solemnly sung after the ninth lesson at Matins before the midnight Mass on Christmas, the Gospels being processionally carried with lights on either side to the pulpit or the steps of the chancel. The ceremony is still carried out in many of the churches in France. The chant of the Genealogy is one of the most beautiful in the liturgy.

1‘ The “Factum est autem” is a gospel from St. Luke iii. 21. “ Now it came to pass when all the people was baptized." It was sung after the manner of the Genealogy after the ninth lesson of Matins on the night of the eve of Epiphany, and before the Te Damn.
So apparently this custom was not limited to the Sarum Office, but was also practiced in France.  This may be the source of the melody on the videos, but I still haven't found either of these genealogies listed in any of the usual chant databases.  Still looking for manuscripts and sources there, too.

The genealogies are really quite a wonderful addition to the Christmas and Epiphany Offices; I really like the way they are bookended at Christmas and Epiphany, too.   Would love to know more about the history of this, and hopeful to find out!

Here's a video of one polyphonic setting of this Gospel, without an obvious attribution.  Will try to find out more about this, too.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

The sung Gospel at Epiphany Matins: Factum Est Autem ("Now it came to pass")

This is a very interesting and unique chant:   the singing of the Gospel at Epiphany Matins, after the ninth responsory, almost at the end of the Office.  As far as I can tell, the video below comes from this recording by Stirps Iesse and Enrico de Capitani, although the YouTube page doesn't say.

The instruction introducing this part of the Office reads this way:
While this final Responsory with its Verse and with its Gloria Patri. is being sung, the Deacon proceeds together with the Subdeacon and the Thurifer and the Candle Bearer and the Acolyte bearing the Cross, in the same way as on the night of the Nativity of the Lord, all clothed in solemn vestments for incensing the Altar, and having received a blessing from the Officiant they process through the middle of the Quire to the Pulpit for the singing of the Gospel : let it be begun this way.

This is the sung Gospel reading, taken from the genealogy in the Gospel of Luke.
Dominus vobiscum.
R/.  Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam
R/.  Gloria tibi, Domine.
Factum est autem, cum baptizaretur omnis populus, et Jesu baptizato et orante, apertum est cælum: et descendit Spiritus Sanctus corporali specie sicut columba in ipsum: et vox de cælo facta est: Tu es Filius meus dilectus, in te complacui mihi.

Et ipse Jesus erat incipiens quasi annorum triginta, ut putabatur, filius Joseph, qui fuit Heli, qui fuit Mathat, qui fuit Levi, qui fuit Melchi, qui fuit Janne, qui fuit Joseph, qui fuit Mathathiæ, qui fuit Amos, qui fuit Nahum, qui fuit Hesli, qui fuit Nagge, qui fuit Mahath, qui fuit Mathathiæ, qui fuit Semei, qui fuit Joseph, qui fuit Juda, qui fuit Joanna, qui fuit Resa, qui fuit Zorobabel, qui fuit Salathiel, qui fuit Neri, qui fuit Melchi, qui fuit Addi, qui fuit Cosan, qui fuit Elmadan, qui fuit Her, qui fuit Jesu, qui fuit Eliezer, qui fuit Jorim, qui fuit Mathat, qui fuit Levi, qui fuit Simeon, qui fuit Juda, qui fuit Joseph, qui fuit Jona, qui fuit Eliakim, qui fuit Melea, qui fuit Menna, qui fuit Mathatha, qui fuit Nathan, qui fuit David, qui fuit Jesse, qui fuit Obed, qui fuit Booz, qui fuit Salmon, qui fuit Naasson, qui fuit Aminadab, qui fuit Aram, qui fuit Esron, qui fuit Phares, qui fuit Judæ, qui fuit Jacob, qui fuit Isaac, qui fuit Abrahæ, qui fuit Thare, qui fuit Nachor, qui fuit Sarug, qui fuit Ragau, qui fuit Phaleg, qui fuit Heber, qui fuit Sale, qui fuit Cainan, qui fuit Arphaxad, qui fuit Sem, qui fuit Noë, qui fuit Lamech, qui fuit Mathusale, qui fuit Henoch, qui fuit Jared, qui fuit Malaleel, qui fuit Cainan, qui fuit Henos, qui fuit Seth, qui fuit Adam, qui fuit Dei.  Jesus autem plenus Spiritu Sancto regressus est a Jordane.

The Lord be with you.
R/.  And with your spirit.
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
R/.  Glory to you, Lord.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” 

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
And here is the last instruction for Mattins  on this day:
At the end of the Gospel, let the Priest in his stall in a Silken Cope in a loud voice
immediately begin the Psalm Te Deum.

 While the Psalm is being sung let the Priest cense the Altar.

You can see the chant score in this PDF file on its page 554; it's much too long to post here!  (The melody on the video above does not match exactly with the score there.  Will try to find out why it doesn't.)  That document contains the Epiphany Offices, in Latin, from the Sarum Breviary, courtesy of Dr. William Renwick, et al., of Canada's McMaster University.  (Here's the English translation of that same document.)   They have also provided an mp3 file of the chant, as well as a page with links to other chants for the Feast of the Epiphany.

And there is this, the 60th footnote in the Latin PDF file above:
The “Qui fuit” section cycles through nine small phrases. Each third phrase comes to rest on the finalis. In AS:88-89. bar lines group the 'Qui fuit N.' phrases in threes. This is followed in the edition. 1519 groups the phrases in threes but with an irregular grouping of two near the beginning (Matathie, Amos) and with a group of four at the end (Enos, Seth, Adam, Dei). In the following note numbers in parentheses refer to lines of the music.

This entire sequence of events appears to be unique to the Sarum Breviary; it does not at any rate appear in the 1570 Roman Breviary at, or in the "pre-Trident monastic" version of the Office (although a portion of Matthew's Gospel is read after the Te Deum is sung in the pre-Trident monastic).   I will have to check some of the others, and will edit this post accordingly whatever I find.

It seems clear to me that the singing of this Gospel is a pointer to how important a day Epiphany was and is.   It is one of the oldest feasts on the calendar; early on it was a celebration of all the manifestations of Christ's divinity prior to the start of his earthly ministry.   It has celebrated, among other events, the visitation of the Magi, Christ's baptism in the Jordan (as here), and the wedding at Cana.  In fact, the Feast Nativity itself was celebrated as one of these events, before Christmas was fixed on December 25.

The singing of Luke's genealogy - a rather odd passage with the ultimate effect of proclaiming Christ's divinity through his human lineage! - is perfect for this most mystical of feasts.

Here's an image that illustrates the threefold celebration of the Epiphany in earlier times; I am not sure where it came from originally, but it has been posted at many sites. 

Left to right:  the wedding at Cana; the visitation of the Magi; the baptism in the Jordan.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...