Friday, October 17, 2008

October 18: St. Luke Evangelist, Part I

From an earlier post:
Hymn Melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service books lists a variety of hymns to be sung on the feast days of Apostles and Evangelists, and the LLPB provides two mp3s that match up with Hymn Melodies for the whole year. First, the hymn listed for Lauds and Evening Prayer (using two different tunes): "Let the Round World With Songs Rejoice" (mp3), which in Latin is Exultet caelum laudibus. Here is the chant score for this melody, the one listed for Evensong:

And here are the words used here:
Let the round world with songs rejoice;
let heaven return the joyful voice;
all mindful of the Apostles' fame,
let heaven and earth their praise proclaim.

Ye servants who once bore the light
of Gospel truth o'er heathen night,
still may your work that light impart,
to glad our eyes and cheer our heart.

O God, by whom to them was given
the key that shuts and opens heaven,
our chains unbind, our loss repair,
and grant us grace to enter there;

for at thy will they preached the word
which cured disease, which health conferred:
O may that healing power once more
our souls to grace and health restore:

that when thy Son again shall come,
and speak the world's unerring doom,
he may with them pronounce us blessed,
and place us in thy endless rest.

To thee, O Father; Son, to thee;
to thee, blessed Spirit, glory be!
So was it ay for ages past,
so shall through endless ages last.

Second, "The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King" (mp3); in Latin, this is Aeterna Christi Munera. I've linked to the St. David's Compline Choir version of this before; here it is again. Here's the chant score:

The words used on this mp3 are in the 1982 Hymnal at #233, and originally come from the 1940 hymnal, it says; here's a translation by J.M. Neale of the original words from Ambrose; this isn't the exact version used on the audio file.
The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
the apostles' glory, let us sing,
and all, with hearts of gladness, raise
due hymns of thankful love and praise.

For they the Church's princes are,
triumphant leaders in the war,
in heavenly courts a warrior band,
true lights to lighten every land.

Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
and hope that never yields nor faints;
and love of Christ in perfect glow
that lays the prince of this world low.

In them the Father's glory shone,
in them the will of God the Son,
in them exults the Holy Ghost,
through them rejoice the heavenly host.

To thee, Redeemer, now we cry,
that thou wouldst join to them on high
thy servants, who this grace implore,
for ever and for evermore.

Here is the version from my sources, which I had not been able to identify until now - but in fact, this is Annue, Christe, the hymn listed at Hymn melodies for the whole year for Mattins and 1st Evensong:

Below is a video of Annue Christe; the singers chant only the first and last verse of the Latin words:

For more, see Hymnody: Apostles and Evangelists.

From Mission St. Clare:
Almost all that we know about Luke comes from the New Testament. He was a physician (Col 4:14), a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys (Acts 16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28). Material found in his Gospel and not elsewhere includes much of the account of Our Lord's birth and infancy and boyhood, some of the most moving parables, such as that of the Good Samaritan and that of the Prodigal Son, and three of the sayings of Christ on the Cross: "Father, forgive them," "Thou shalt be with me in Paradise," and "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

In Luke's account of the Gospel, we find an emphasis on the human love of Christ, on His compassion for sinners and for suffering and unhappy persons, for outcasts such as the Samaritans, tax collectors, lepers, shepherds (not a respected profession), and for the poor. The role of women in Christ's ministry is more emphasized in Luke than in the other Gospel writings.

In the book of Acts, we find the early Christian community poised from the start to carry out its commission, confident and aware of Divine guidance. We see how the early Christians at first preached only to Jews, then to Samaritans (a borderline case), then to outright Gentiles like Cornelius, and finally explicitly recognized that Gentiles and Jews are called on equal terms to the service and fellowship of Christ.

Below are several works of art depicting Luke that I like especially, posted chronologically.

First, from the Augustine Gospels Folio, "an illuminated Gospel Book which probably dates from the 6th century. It is traditionally considered to be one of the volumes brought by St. Augustine of Canterbury to England in 587. The book was probably given to St. Augustine by the pope St. Gregory the First." (Quoted from this page.)

Next: part of the tradition says that Luke was the first iconographer, and painted pictures of the Virgin Mary (The Black Madonna of Częstochowa) and of Peter and Paul. This one is called "Evangelist Luka pishustchiy ikonu" ("Luke the Evangelist painting Vladimirskaya icon of Our Lady"), and is not dated:

This one is "St Luke & St John, from The Adysh Gospels," Georgian, AD 897.

Next: Stiersymbol des hl. Lukas (Bull symbol of Luke the Evangelist), from early 12th C. Flanders, and made either of "walrus tooth" or bone:

Next, an image of "St Luke Drawing a Portrait of Virgin Mary," by Rogier van der Weyden, about 1434-1440.

Naxt, a relief from the Altar of the shoemakers in St.John and St.Martin church in Schwabach, and dates from 1510. Other images here.

This is another of the very colorful illustrations from "Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry ("the king of illuminated manuscripts"), from the early 15th Century:

Part II of this entry will concern the Gospel Canticles, written by St. Luke.


john church said...


Stumbled across here by accident -- I love the blog! I'm all about Gregorian Chants and icons, so this stuff is awesome to me.

I myself am doing a blogpost on the Early Papacy, and I would like to humbly bring up an inaccuracy: that Augustine died in the year 430, and Gregory the First wasn't born until 540 -- Gregory simply couldn't have given Augustine a book of the Gospels.

God bless you abundantly

bls said...

Thanks, John! The St. Augustine referred to here is St. Augustine of Canterbury - different guy, and very important in English history: he was the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Here's his Wikipedia page: . Very interesting, and since you're an icon guy, you'll love his: . He's holding Canterbury Cathedral!

Thanks for coming by and commenting! I've been slacking off lately, but plan to get back to it, soon.


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