Friday, February 08, 2008

Lauds, Mattins, and Vespers Hymns, Ash Wednesday - Lent 3

From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books:
On the 1st Sunday in Lent, & daily until the 3rd Sunday (when the Service is of the Season) :-
Evensong: Ex more docti mystico ... ... ... 30
Mattins: Summi Largitor premii ... ... ... 31
Lauds: Audi, benigne Conditor ... ... ... 32

This 2-week period is known as Invocavit; that's the Latin first word of the Introit for Lent 1 - in English, "He shall call upon Me."   Follow along with the Offices for this period, beginning with Ash Wednesday itself, at Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston) (published in 1885). You'll find  all the Psalms, the collect, Chapter, antiphons, etc. at that link, although no music is provided; also check the iFrame look-in at the bottom of this post.

Here's melody #30, used for Ex more docti mystico at Evensong:

Here's an mp3 of Ex more docti mystico, sung to melody #30, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood's "Seasonal Propers Sung."  They call it "The Fast, as taught by holy lore."

Here are J.M. Neal's English words, which are those used on the mp3:
The fast, as taught by holy lore,
we keep in solemn course once more;
the fast to all men known, and bound
in forty days of yearly round.

The law and seers that were of old
in diverse ways this Lent foretold,
which Christ, all seasons' King and Guide,
in after ages sanctified.

More sparing therefore let us make
the words we speak, the food we take,
our sleep and mirth,-- and closer barred
be every sense in holy guard.

In prayer together let us fall,
and cry for mercy, one and all,
and weep before the Judge's feet,
and his avenging wrath entreat.

Thy grace have we offended sore,
by sins, O God, which we deplore;
but pour upon us from on high,
O pardoning One, thy clemency.

Remember thou, though frail we be,
that yet thine handiwork are we;
nor let the honor of thy name
be by another put to shame.

Forgive the sin that we have wrought;
increase the good that we have sought;
that we at length, our wanderings o'er,
may please thee here and evermore.

We pray thee, Holy Trinity,
One God, unchanging Unity,
that we from this our abstinence
may reap the fruits of penitence. 

TPL says this, about Ex more docti mystico; note that it refers to "the first half" of the hymn.  This is another longer hymn broken up into parts for use at various office.  I believe that the Evensong hymn Ex more docti mystico itself, then, would only consist of the first 3 or 4 verses, plus the doxology; the rest is sung at Matins, as noted below.
Attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). In the Roman Breviary this hymn is used in its entirety for Matins from the first Sunday in Lent until the Saturday before Passion Sunday. Today the hymn is still used, but from Ash Wednesday until the Fifth Sunday of Lent and it is broken into two hymns. The first half, Ex more docti mystico, is used for the Sunday Office of the Readings. The second half, Precemur omnes cernui is used for Sunday Lauds. Both those hymns conclude with the final verse as found below.

Here is a chant score from my sources of the same tune, with a (slightly) different set of words:

Here's melody #31, used for Summi Largitor premii at Mattins:

Here's an mp3 of this melody; what you're hearing on the audio file is LLPB's Mattins hymn tune for Lent 3 - Lent 4,  Clarum decus ieiunii.   (It's sung here in English as "The Glory of These Forty Days.")

These seem to be the Latin words to Summi Largitor premii:
Summi largitor praemii,
spes qui es unica mundi,
preces intende seruorum
ad te deuote clamantum.

Nostra te conscientia
graue offendisse se monstrat,
quam emundes supplicamus
ab omnibus piaculis.

Si rennuis, quis tribuet?
Indulge, quia poetns es:
si corde rogamus mundo,
certe debes ex promisio.

Erog acceptare nostrum
quie sacrati ieiunium,
quo mystice paschalia
capiamus sacramenta.

Summa nobis hoc conferat
in Deitate Trinitas,
in qua gloriatur unus
per cuncta saecula Deus.

Here is an English translation of this text, in the meter used by the Latin text; this was provided by a reader of this blog, Rob Stoltz of Portland, Oregon.  Many thanks to him! 

I just found this translation in George Herbert Palmer's Hymner, but it may have come from the Dominican Breviary (PDF) originally.
Thou only hope of all below,
Who dost the full reward bestow :
Regard thy servants one and all,
Who unto thee devoutly call.

Our guilty conscience tells that we
Have grievously offended thee:
We pray thee, cleanse it by thy grace,
And every stain of sin efface.

If thou wiltnot, who shall condone?
Send pardon, for 'tis thine alone:
And grant, O Lord, our pray'rs may be
By clean hearts offer'd unto thee.

Thus may our fast thy favour gain,
Who didst this Lenten-tide ordain :
That meetly we the mystick fare
Of Paschal Sacraments may share.

This grant us, Blessed Trinity,
Supreme and wondrous Deity:
Who, through all ages glorified,
Dost still one God unchanged abide. Amen.

Derek points to this hymn translation at Oremus as another English text for Summi Largitor premiiHowever, these words do not fit the meter of the hymn score above.
O thou who dost accord us
the highest prize and guerdon,
thou hope of all our race,
Jesus, do thou afford us
the gift we ask of pardon
for all who humbly seek thy face.

With whispered accusation
our conscience tells of sinning
in thought and word and deed;
thine is our restoration,
the work of grace beginning
for souls from every burden freed.

For who, if thou reject us,
shall raise the fainting spirit?
'Tis thine alone to spare:
if thou to life elect us,
with cleansèd hearts to near it,
shall be our task, our lowly prayer.

O Trinity most glorious,
thy pardon free bestowing,
defend us evermore;
that in thy courts victorious,
thy love more truly knowing,
we may with all thy saints adore.

This is melody #32, used for Audi, benigne Conditor at Lauds:

Here is an mp3 of Audi, benigne Conditor sung to melody #32, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood's "Seasonal Propers Sung."  They call it "O Kind Creator."   Here's Oremus Hymnal's entry for this hymn; they attribute the hymn to Gregory the Great, sixth century.  English words here - same as the ones used on the audio file - are by Thomas Alexander Lacey, 1906.
O Kind Creator, bow thine ear
to mark the cry, to know the tear
before thy throne of mercy spent
in this thy holy fast of Lent.

Our hearts are open, Lord, to thee:
thou knowest our infirmity;
pour out on all who seek thy face
abundance of thy pardoning grace.

Our sins are many, this we know;
spare us, good Lord, thy mercy show;
and for the honor of thy name
our fainting souls to life reclaim.

Give us the self-control that springs
from discipline of outward things,
that fasting inward secretly
the soul may purely dwell with thee.

We pray thee, Holy Trinity,
one God, unchanging Unity,
that we from this our abstinence
may reap the fruits of penitence.

This hymn is called Audi, benigne Conditor (O Merciful Creator, Hear!) at TPL, and there is a different set of words there. Here's their description of the hymn:
Attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). In the Roman Breviary this hymn is used at Vespers during Lent for both Sundays and the ferial Office from the first Sunday in Lent until the Friday before Passion Sunday. In the Liturgia Horarum it is used at Vespers for the Sunday Office from the first Sunday until the Saturday before Holy Week.

Here is the chant score from my sources of the same tune, with yet a different set of words. This one's called "O Maker of the Human Race," and is sung, too, at Lauds from Ash Wednesday to Lent 3:

Here's the peek-in to the SSM Breviary:

Here are links to all three "Lent Office" posts on Chantblog:


Unknown said...

re 'et more docti mystico' sadly the link is broken and I need to be reminded of the chant for matins at this time of year!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It's fixed now.

stpetric said...

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Gre­go­ry I (540–604) (Sum­mi lar­gi­tor prae­mi­i). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John W. Hew­ett, Vers­es by a Coun­try Cu­rate, 1859.

O Thou who dost to man accord
His highest prize, his best reward,
Thou hope of all our race;
Jesu, to Thee we now draw near,
Our earnest supplications hear,
Who humbly seek Thy face.

With self accusing voice within,
Our conscience tells of many a sin
In thought, and word, and deed:
O cleanse that conscience from all stain,
The penitent restore again,
From every burthen freed.

If Thou reject us, who shall give
Our fainting spirits strength to live?
’Tis Thine alone to spare;
With cleansèd hearts to pray aright,
And find acceptance in Thy sight,
Be this our lowly prayer.

’This Thou has blest this solemn fast;
So may its days by us be passed
In self control severe,
That, when our Easter morn we hail
Its mystic feast we may not fail
To keep with conscience clear.

O blessèd Trinity, bestow
Thy pardoning grace on us below,
And shield us evermore;
Until, within Thy courts above,
We see Thy face, and sing Thy love,
And with Thy saints adore.

bls said...

Thanks, stpetric. This one still has too many lines, though. Looking for words in 4-line stanzas in 8-8-8-8 meter. Still haven't found it!


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