Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Sarum Pentecost Office

I have previously posted on hymns for Pentecost, but haven't yet listed the entire Office schedule given at Hymn melodies for the whole year, from the Sarum service-books. Which is as follows:
On Whitsun Day & daily until Trinity Sunday
1st Ev.& Matt.:  Jam Christus astra ascenderat ... ... 42
Lauds:   Impleta gaudent viscera ... ... ... 42
2nd Evensong:   Beata nobis gaudia ... ... ... 25

(Follow along with the Offices for Pentecost here, at Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston, 1885); that links to "Whitsun Eve."   I'll link-in via iFrame at the bottom of this post, too.)

This is the chant score for melody #42 Hymn-melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books:

And here's an audio file of  When Christ Our Lord Had Passed Once More (mp3), the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood's version in English of the Latin hymn. Jam Christus astra ascenderat.  (They presecribe this hymn for Lauds rather than for 1st Vespers and Mattins, though.) 

Here's one version of the full Latin text, and the English words used on the mp3; this is Percy Dearmer's translation from the English hymnal of 1906:

Jam Christus astra ascenderat,
Reversus unde venerat,
Patris fruendum munere
Sanctum daturus Spiritum.

Solemnis urgebat dies,
Quo mystico septemplici
Orbis volutus septies
Signat beata tempora.

Cum lucis hora tertia
Repente mundus intonat,
Apostolis orantibus
Deumvenire nuntiat.

De patris ergo lumine
Decorus ignis almus est,
Qui fida Christi pectore
Calore Verbi compleat.

Impleta gaudent viscera,
Afflata Sancto Spiritu,
Vocesque diversas sonant,
Fantur Dei magnalia.

Notique cunctis gentibus,
Græcis, Latinis, Barbaris,
Simulque demirantibus,
Linguis loquuntur omnium.

Judæa tunc incredula,
Vesana torvo spiritu,
Madere musto sobrios
Christi fideles increpat.

Sed editis miraculis
Occurrit et docet Petrus,
Falsum profari perfidos,
Joele teste comprobans.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito.
In sæculorum sæcula.

When Christ our Lord had passed once more
Into the heaven He left before,
He sent a Comforter below
The Father’s promise to bestow.

The solemn time was soon to fall
Which told the number mystical
For since the resurrection day
A week of weeks had passed away.

At the third hour a rushing noise
Came like the tempest’s sudden voice,
And mingled with the apostles’ prayer,
Proclaiming loud that God was there.

From out the Father’s light it came,
That beautiful and kindly flame,
To kindle every Christian heart,
And fervor of the Word impart.

As then, O Lord, Thou didst fulfill,
Each holy heart to do Thy will,
So now do Thou our sins forgive
And make the world in peace to live.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, praise be done;
May Christ the Lord upon us pour
The Spirit’s gift forevermore.

As you can see, the Sarum Lauds hymn, Impleta gaudent viscera, is found within the text of Jam Christus astra ascenderat itself; this is a very familiar formula.  It very often happens that the hymn texts for the various Offices on a particular feast are actually split-up pieces of one longer text.

It's probably the case that the set of words above made up the long text, and Jam Christus astra ascenderat only uses the first four verses above, plus a doxology.   Then Impleta gaudent viscera uses the rest of the words at Lauds; I do not, at the moment, have an English translation to that hymn (but will keep looking).  In any case, both hymns are sung to the same hymn tune in the Sarum system.

There's quite a bit about the hymn from the page above; I believe it originally comes from Britt's Hymns of the Breviary and MissalReferences to the English translation don't apply to the translation I've posted here.
Author:  Ambrosian, 4th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation: First four stanzas by J. M. Neale; remainder by G. H. Palmer and J. W. Doran. There are about fifteen translations; three of which are in the Annus Sanctus. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins on Whitsunday and throughout the octave. The hymn is a metrical setting of Acts 2,
  1. “Christ had already ascended on high, returning whence He came, that He might send the Holy Spirit, who was to be received as the gift of the Father.” Fruendum: fut. part. of fruor, signifying one who or that which is to be enjoyed; here rather in the sense of “to be imparted.” Munere, by the liberality, generosity, etc. The Holy Ghost
    proceeds from the Father and the Son, and was sent by the Father and the Son.
  2. “The solemn day drew nigh, on which the earth, having revolved seven times in the mystical sevenfold, announces the blessed time.” Dies, Pentecost. Septemplici = hebdomas, a period of seven days. It is styled mystical because of the well known mysterious significance of the number seven. The meaning of the stanza is that seven times seven revolutions of the earth take place between Easter and Pentecost. The Pentecost of the Jews was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Passover or Jewish Easter. The Easter and Pentecost of the Jews were figures of the Christian festivals. The Pentecost of the Old Law was the festival on which was celebrated the “ingathering”
    of, and also the thanksgiving for the harvest (cf. Ex. 34, 22; Deut.
    16, 9-10). See also the article on Whitsunday, in the Cath.

    Behold the appointed morn appear
    In solemn mystery sublime!
    Seven times sevenfold this earthly sphere
    Revolving, marked the blessed time.

    J. D. Chambers.
  3. “When at the third hour of day the whole world suddenly resounds, and announces to the praying Apostles that God is come.” Deum = Spiritum Sanctum.
  4. “Of the Father’s light, therefore, is that beauteous, kindly flame, which fills with the fervor of the Word the hearts of those believing in Christ.” Fidus is generally followed by the dative, but in poetry also  by the genitive. Or, fida pectora, Christ’s faithful
    souls. Calore verbi: This may be interpreted as in Neale’s
    version, viz. “To fill with fervor of His word.” It would
    then refer to the gift of fervid eloquence with which the Apostles
    were endowed. Or Verbum might preferably be rendered: the
    Word, the eternal Son of God. Note the following:
    To warm each faithful breast below
    With Christ, the Lord’s all-quickening glow.
    Father Aylward.
  5. “Filled therewith (sc. calore verbi), their hearts, inspired by the Holy Ghost, rejoice, and speaking divers tongues, they proclaim the wondrous works of God.”
  6. “At one and the same time, they (each one) spoke to the astonished people in the tongues of all, and they were understood by all, Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians.” Noti (sunt). Cunctis, etc., are in the dative
    with the passive, not the ablative. Read the article on Tongues,
    Gift of
    , in the Cath. Encycl.
  7. “Then faithless Judea, rendered insane by its savage spirit, accuses the sober, faithful followers of Christ of being drunk with new wine.” Judæa, i.e., the Jews.
  8. “But by the miracles wrought, Peter opposes them, and shows that the perfidious Jews speak falsely, proving it by the testimony of Joel.” (cf. Joel 2, 28).

Here's a PDF of Jam Christus astra ascenderat, including chant score and words, published by Giovanni Vianni.

Here's the Pentecost Vespers hymn, Rejoice, the Year Upon Its Way (mp3), again courtesy of the LLPB.  It's Beata nobis gaudia in Latin, and #25 in the Hymn-melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books; here's that score:

This page has the words in Latin; this one has the English words used on the audio file; the translation here is by Richard Ellis Roberts, 1906:

Beata nobis gaudia
Anni reduxit orbita,
Cum Spiritus paraclitus
Illapsus est Apostolis.

Ignis vibrante lumine
Linguæ figuram detulit,
Verbis ut essent proflui,
Et caritate fervidi.

Linguis loquuntur omnium,
Turbæ pavent Gentilium:
Musto madere deputant,
Quos spiritus repleverat.

Parata sunt hæc mystice,
Paschæ peracto tempore,
Sacro dierum circulo,
Quo lege fit remissio.

Te nunc Deus piissime
Vultu precamur cernuo,
Illapsa nobis cœlitus
Largire dona Spiritus.

Dudum sacrata pectora
Tua replesti gratia:
Dimitte nostra crimina,
Et da quieta tempora.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito.
In sæculorum sæcula.

Rejoice! the year upon its way
has brought again that blessed day,
when on the chosen of the Lord
the Holy Spirit was outpoured.

On each the fire, descending, stood,
in quivering tongues' similitude,
tongues, that their words might ready prove,
and fire, to make them flame with love.

To all in every tongue they spoke;
amazement in the crowd awoke,
who mocked, as overcome with wine,
those who were filled with power divine.

These things were done in type that day,
when Eastertide had passed away,
the number told which once set free
the captive at the jubilee.

And now, O holy God, this day
regard us as we humbly pray,
and send us, from thy heavenly seat,
the blessings of the Paraclete.

To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, praise be done;
may Christ the Lord upon us pour
the Spirit's gift for evermore.

Here is the Britt entry for this hymn (linked above); the references to the English translation don't apply to the translation I've posted here:
Author: Ascribed to St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (d. 368), but on insufficient evidence. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by W. J. Blew.
There are about twenty translations. The Annus Sanctus contains three translations, and a fragment of a fourth. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on Whitsunday and throughout the octave.
  1. “The circle of the year has again brought back to us blessed joys, when the Spirit, the Comforter, came down upon the Apostles.”
  2. “The fire with tremulous flame assumed the shape of a tongue, that they might be eloquent in speech and fervent in charity.” Et apparuerunt illis dispertitæ linguæ tamquam ignis, seditque supra singulos eorum (Acts 2, 3).
  3. “Speaking in the tongues of all, the multitudes of the Gentiles are amazed: they deemed as drunk with new wine, those whom the Holy Ghost had filled.”
  4. “These things were wrought mystically, when the Paschal time was completed, in the sacred circle of days in which by law remission occurred.” Circulo = numero, as in the Original Text. Remissio: The allusion is to the annus remissionis (Ezech. 46, 17), or Year of Jubilee, which in the Old Law occurred every fifty years (cf. Lev. 25). During the Year of Jubilee, debts were remitted, slaves liberated, etc. Read the article on Jubilee, in the Cath. Encycl. Read also the article on Sabbatical Year, as both are referred to in Lev. 25.
  5. “With bowed heads, we now beseech Thee, O most loving God, to bestow upon us the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were sent down from heaven.” Largire, imper. of largior.
  6. “Formerly Thou didst fill with Thy grace sacred breasts; pardon now our sins and grant us peaceful days.” The first two lines of this stanza may refer either to our own breasts sanctified in Baptism, or to the breasts of the Apostles which were sanctified in so wondrous a manner on the day of Pentecost. Note the elaborate English doxology.

The LLPB also offer us three additional mp3s for Pentecost:  "a Versicle [mp3] for the Feast of Pentecost";  for Compline:  Veni Creator Spiritus (mp3); and a great bonus file: A Solemn Nunc Dimittis, with a Pentecost antiphon (mp3).  So we are really in luck today.

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

Here's some of my favorite (Western) Pentecost art.   First, from Pierre Reymond, from 1550:

Here's an El Greco, from around 1610:

A Giotto, from around 1305:

A Duccio di Buoninsegna, from around 1310:

My favorite of all, though, is this one, from "the end of the 15th Century," and attributed to "Meister des Salemer Heiligenaltars" (in English: "Master of the Salem Heiligenaltar"), which, as far as I can see, is an anonymous credit (see this page in German, too). This is something I've never seen before, but how gorgeous:

And here are Chantblog posts on the Pentecost propers:

Byzantine and Orthodox Chants for Pentecost

The (Byzantine Catholic) Metropolitan Cantor Institute is a treasure-trove of liturgical and musical resources.

For instance: Here is an mp3 of the hymn "O Heavenly King", for the Pentecost Divine Liturgy; here is the "Communion Hymn." Other chant items for the Pentecost Divine Liturgy can be found on this page.

Also from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute: here is a PDF of Vespers of the Day of the Holy Spirit (Kneeling Vespers). From the same source, here is a PDF called "Vespers - music in the Order of Vespers for Sundays after Pentecost," along with many music samples: (the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America) offers its own version of the Pentecost Vespers liturgy, a web page of "The Office of the Great Vespers of Pentecost (THE KNEELING)." Here's the page about Pentecost.

There is a detailed article about Vespers at, with a section covering the "General Structure of Great Vespers" and another called "Vesperal Services," which outlines various divergent forms. It all seems quite complicated, but of course that's because I really know very little about it and am only learning.

Here's the main orthodoxWiki page about Pentecost.

There is also some really interesting (Eastern) Pentecost art out there.

First, from the "Rabula Gospels," a "6th century illuminated Syriac Gospel Book":

Google Translate tells me that this - described as "Собор 12-ти апостолов с Константином Великим" on this Wikimedia page - is an "Icon: Cathedral of 12 Apostles of Constantine the Great." Don't know from what time period:

Here's an icon described as "from the latter half of the 18th Century":

Then, an interesting painting from around 1902 called "To the Pentecost," by Sergey Korovin. I assume this is a painting of farmers on their way to Pentecost services, but don't really know; I'm looking more in to it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

An Ascension anthem, and other music for Ascension Day

Here's a video of Patrick Gowers' Viri Galilaei; it's sung by the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir.

Viri Galilaei is the incipit of the Introit for the Feast of the Ascension; you can listen to all the mass propers for Ascension Day here.

Here are the words to this anthem; I found them in an old service bulletin from St. Thomas Church:
Alleluia. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven
as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which said unto them, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up to heaven?
In like manner as ye have seen him going up into heaven, so shall he come again.
God is gone up with a merry noise, and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
Christ to highest heaven ascending, led captivity captive.
Sing ye to the Lord who ascended to the heaven of heavens to the sun rising.

See the conqueror mounts in triumph, Ssee the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds his chariot to his heavenly palace gate.
Hark! the choirs of angel voices Joyful Alleluias sing.
And the portals high are lifted to receive their heavenly King. Alleluia.

Proper of the Mass, Ascension; Bishop Christopher Wordsworth

I think the citation in italics at the end means that the text here was taken from two sources; the first section comes from the mass propers for Ascension Day, and there is a hymn called "See the conqueror mounts in triumph," text by one Christopher Wordsworth (I think that's him, in the photo on left at the link - whew!).

In the St. Thomas service for that day, the Mass Ordinary was a very beautiful one, too: Zoltán Kodály's Missa Brevis. The "Music Notes" from St. Thomas tell its story:
The Missa Brevis of Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) was originally written as an organ mass during a holiday that the composer took in Galyateto in the Summer of 1943. The composer had been asked to play the harmonium at a low mass in the church at Galyateto and, feeling that the music that he played ought to reflect the text, he made a number of sketches before the service, later converting these into the Missa Brevis for organ and choir. The subtitle of the setting, Tempore belli (Time of war), adopted from Haydn’s Mass in C major of 1796, gives a clue to the unfortunate and unusual circumstances surrounding the piece’s first performance. During the siege of Budapest, Kodály and his wife took shelter in the cellars of the Opera House and it was on 11th February 1945 in one of the cloakrooms that the first performance of this version of the Mass was given by a group of the House’s principal soloists accompanied by harmonium. In 1948 Kodály orchestrated the piece and it was premiered at the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester. The work shows many influences including Gregorian chant and the works of Handel, Bach, Palestrina and an organ mass by Franz Liszt dating from 1879.

And there were two selections - the Prelude and Postude from the service - from Messiaen's L'Ascension, if you like that sort of thing.

Here's the original Gregorian chant Viri Galilaei:

The text comes from Acts 1:11 and Psalm 47:1, and these are the Latin words, followed by the English:
Viri Galilaei, quid admiramini aspicientes in caelum?
Alleluia: quemadmodum vidistis eum ascendentem in caelum,
ita veniet, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Omnes gentes plaudite manibus:
iubilate Deo in voce exsultationis.

Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

O clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God, with the voice of exultation.

There are two collects available for Ascension Day - I'm interested in why two, and where they came from, and will try to find out - one of which is one of my favorites for the year:
Almighty God, whos blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Full Homely Divinity's Pentecost Novena

New this year, I believe, from this page:
The nine days from Ascension Day to the Eve of Pentecost are the original novena--nine days of prayer. Before he ascended, Jesus ordered the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. After his Ascension, they returned to the upper room in Jerusalem where they devoted themselves to prayer. These last days of the Great Fifty Days of Easter can be a time for us to prepare for the celebration of Pentecost. As we anticipate the coming of the Holy Spirit, this can be a time to pray for renewal in the Spirit and a time to reflect on the gifts which the Spirit bestows on the Church. The prayer for the newly baptized, p. 308, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the traditional prayer for the seven gifts of the Spirit, based on the prophecy of Isaiah 11:2-3. This prayer could be the basis for daily reflection on the gifts of the Spirit in the days between the Ascension and Pentecost and the following adaptation of it could be used daily as a simplified novena.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sin, and have raised us to the new life of grace in your Son Jesus Christ. Sustain us, O Lord, in the gifts of your Spirit: an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

Or, here is a fuller novena, based on the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. It may be used at the conclusion of the Daily Office or as a separate act of devotion.

A Novena for the Gifts of the Spirit

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.
Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.
Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home:
where thou art guide, no ill can come.
Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee with both to be but One,
that through the ages all along,
this may be our endless song:
praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Come, great Paraclete, Father of the poor, Comforter of the blest, fulfill the promise of our Savior who would not leave us as orphans. Enter our minds and hearts as you descended on the day of Pentecost upon the Mother of Jesus and upon his Apostles. Grant that every member of the Church may have a part in those gifts which were bestowed that day. O Holy Spirit, giver of every good and perfect gift, may the Father's will be done in us and through us, and may you, O mighty Spirit, equal to the Father and the Son in Being and majesty, be praised and glorifed for ever and ever. Amen.

Here may be added any of the following prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary, Trisagion, Kyrie eleison, Gloria Patri, concluding with the prayer appropriate to the day of the novena.

First Day
Come, O Holy Spirit, the Lord and Lifegiver: Take up your dwelling within my soul and make of it your sacred temple. Make me live by grace as an adopted child of God. Pervade all the energies of my soul, and create in me a fountain of living water springing up into life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Second Day - Wisdom

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to me the mysteries of divine things, their greatness, and power, and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the transient joys and satisfactions of the mortal world. Show me the way by which I may be able to attain to them and participate in them forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Third Day - Understanding
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten my mind, that I may know and believe all of the mysteries of salvation and discern your hand at work in the world. Teach me to see with your eyes that I may apply my heart unto wisdom in this life and be made worthy to attain to the vision glorious in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Fourth Day - Counsel
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do your holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good, turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the path of him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life to the goal of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Fifth Day - Fortitude
Come, O Spirit of Fortitude, and give courage to my soul. Make my heart strong in all trials and in all distress, generously pouring strength into it that I may be able to resist the allurements of the world, the flesh, and the devil; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Sixth Day - Knowledge

Come, O Spirit of Knowledge, and make me understand the emptiness and chaos of life without you. Give me grace to recognize the goodness of the whole creation and to honor the Creator by using the world only for your glory and for the benefit and the salvation of all whom you have made; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Seventh Day - Piety

Come, O Spirit of Piety, possess my heart; incline it to a true faith in you, to a holy love of you, my God, that with my whole being I may seek you, and find you to be my best, my truest joy;through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Eighth Day - Holy Awe [Fear]
Come, O Spirit of Holy Awe, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever. In joy and wonder may I be made worthy to appear before the pure eyes of your divine Majesty and behold your glory face to face in the heaven of heavens, where you live and reign in the unity of the Ever-blessed Trinity, now and forever. Amen.

Ninth Day

Come, O Holy Comforter, come in all your fullness and power. Enrich us in our poverty, inflame us in our feebleness, melt our hearts with your love. Make us wholly yours, until your gifts are ours and we are lost in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

A video of the Pentecost hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus (the English words of which are above, just under the title "A Novena for the Gifts of the Spirit"), sung by the Schola Cantorum of Amsterdam Students:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sarum Ascension Office

I have previously posted about the Ascension Day Music for the Mass and also put up an Office Hymns for Ascension post.

But I haven't actually posted the listing from Hymn Melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service books before - so I will now:
On Ascension Day, & daily until Whitsun Day :
Ev. & Matt.:  Eterne Rex altissime ... ... ... 41
[Matt. (York):   Hymnum canamus glorie ... ... ... 42]
Lauds:   Tu, Christe, nostrum gaudium ... ... 41

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

Here's the chant score for the melody #41, used at Sarum at Vespers, Mattins, and Lauds:

Here is an mp3 file of "a Hymn for First Vespers of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord", from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood.   The tune is #41 above.

This hymn in English is "O Eternal Monarch"; in Latin, it's Eterne Rex altissime.  You can find the Latin words to this hymn, and more about it, on page 157 of Britt's Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (a large PDF file), and the English ones on page 43 of The Hymner: Containing Translations of the Hymns from the Sarum Breviary, at Google Books. 

Here are the words to Eterne Rex altissime from the source mentioned above; this is J.M. Neale's translation.  The words don't match exactly with what's on the LLPB sound file, though:
Eternal Monarch, King most high,
Whose Blood hath brought redemption nigh,
By whom the death of Death was wrought
And conquering Grace's battle fought:

Ascending to the throne of might,
And seated at the Father's right,
All power in heav'n is Jesu's own,
That here his Manhood had not known.

That so, in Nature's triple frame,
Each heav'nly and each earthly name,
And things in hell's abyss abhorr'd,
May bend the knee and own him Lord.

Yea, Angels tremble when they see
How changed is our humanity;
That Flesh hath purged what flesh had stain'd,
And God, the Flesh of God, hath reign'd.

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.

Here is an mp3 file of "a Hymn for Morning Prayer of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord", also from the LLPB.  This one is also sung to melody #41.

This hymn in English is "O Christ Thou Art Our Joy Alone"; in Latin: Tu, Christe, Nostrum Gaudium. Here's a page from a site called "A MIDI Collection of Traditional Catholic Hymns" that includes the words in Latin and English (a J.M Neale translation), and gives the source of this hymn as "Anon. 5th Cent." (The tune there is listed as "a Grenoble church melody"; it's the same tune as the one in #448 in the 1982 Hymnal, "O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High." listed there as "Deus tuorum militum, from Antiphoner, 1753.")

The words in English can be found on on page 43 of The Hymner: Containing Translations of the Hymns from the Sarum Breviary, at Google Books; I do not know who did this translation.

And here are the words to Tu, Christe, Nostrum Gaudium, from the same source:
O Christ ! thou art our Joy alone,
Exalted on thy glorious throne ;
Who o'er earth's fabrick bearest sway,
Transcending earthly joys for aye.

We suppliants, therefore, ask of thee
To pardon our iniquity;
And of thine own supernal grace
Uplift our hearts to seek thy face.

When, cloud-throned 'mid the reddening sky,
In glory thou, our Judge, art nigh ;
O then, remitting guilt and pain,
Restore our long-lost crowns again.

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.

Here's a chant score of this hymn from my sources, one that uses a different set of words but the same tune:

Here is an mp3 file of "a Hymn for Second Vespers of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord," also from LLPB.   This tune is not either of those listed above - but it's very pretty!

This hymn in English is "A Hymn of Glory"; in Latin, it's Hymnum canamus glorie; here's a page at CCEL with the words from the Lutheran hymnal, which are used on the mp3. The author is given as "The Venerable Bede, 735" on that page; here are the English words:
1. A Hymn of glory let us sing:
New songs throughout the world shall ring:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Chirst, by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
And with His followers they see
Jesus' resplendent majesty.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. To whom the angels, drawing nigh,
"Why stand and gaze upon the sky?
Alleluia! Alleluia!
This is the Savior!" thus they say;
"This is His noble triumph-day."
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

4. "Again shall ye behold Him so
As ye today have seen Him go,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
In glorious pomp ascending high,
Up to the portals of the sky."
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

5. Oh, grant us thitherward to tend
And with unwearied hearts ascend
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Unto Thy kingdom's throne, where Thou,
As is our faith, art seated now.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

6. Be Thou our Joy and strong Defense
Who art our future Recompense:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

7. O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The LLPB also includes "a Versicle [mp3] for Exaudi, the Sunday after Ascension": the text, from Psalm 47, is: "God is gone up with a shout, alleluia. The Lord with the sound of the trumpet, alleluia."

Apparently York did it differently than Salisbury - see the note in the listing above - but as the Lutherans did! It's always interesting to see these regional variations.  (Here's the chant score for melody #42, listed above, for which I have no audio file):

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

You can read more about the propers for Ascension Day on Chantblog as well:

Here's a terrific Giotto Ascension:

And this Tintoretto - completely different - is pretty great, too:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vocem iucunditatis

Vocem iucunditatis is the Introit for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, and is a very lovely, melodic piece. Here is Giovanni Viannini's version of this entrance song:

Here's the chant score, so you can follow along.

The text is a reference to Isaiah 48:20, followed by a verse from Psalm 66:
Vocem iucunditatis annuntiate, et audiatur, alleluia: nuntiate usque ad extremum terræ: liberavit Dominus populum suum, alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Iubilate Deo omnis terra: psalmum dicite nomini eius, date gloriam laudi eius.

Speak out with a voice of joy; let it be heard, alleluia, to the ends of the earth: The Lord has set his people free, alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!

The other mass propers (with one exception) are all taken from the Gospel of John. For Year B, the Alleluia I is Exivi a Patre (mp3), full of mystical drama and emotion, and taken from John 16:28:
Exivi a Patre et veni in mundum, iterum relinquo mundum et vado ad Patrem.

"I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

Here is the chant score:

The Alleluia II (mp3), and the Communio (mp3), are both called "Ego vos elegi," taken from John 15:16:
Ego vos elegi de mundo, ut eatis, et fructum afferatis et fructus vester maneat.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Sound files above taken from the website of the Benedictines of Brazil, and the chant scores come from there, too:

Here's another version of the Ego vos elegi (Alleluia II), along with some images and a bit of commentary.

The Offertory is Benedicite, gentes, also from Psalm 66 (vv 8-9 and 20):
Benedicite gentes Dominum Deum nostrum et obaudite vocem laudis ejus: qui posuit animam meam ad vitam et non dedit commoveri pedes meos. Benedictus Dominus qui non amovit deprecationem meam et misericordiam suam a me. Alleluia.

O nations, bless the Lord our God, let the voice of His praises resound: He has restored my soul to life and He has not suffered my feet to stumble. Blessed be the Lord who has neither rejected my prayer nor turned His mercy away from me. Alleluia.

Here's the chant score:

You can also find chant scores at JoguesChant; I think he's still working on the mp3s for this section, though, as they are not working for me.

It's interesting to go through all the propers to see what's used for the various pieces; I've been enjoying listening to the Gospel of John this year - especially last week's reading, "I am the true vine." I've always loved the Prologue of John, but then the rest - the long monologues in particular - not so much. But they grow on you.

This week, I realize, is very poignant, since Ascension is this coming Thursday; the chant propers are all, in fact, saying "Goodbye" to the Risen Christ as he prepares to return to God the Father.

English: Icon of Good Shepherd:

Christ feeding the multitude (Coptic icon):

Спас Лоза Истинная/ Christ True Vine:

Friday, May 08, 2009

"The Sarum gradual and the Gregorian antiphonale missarum" online

Here, "Extracted from Graduale Sarisburiense published for members of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society. Traces the "development of the Sarum Gradual from the Gregorian Antiphonale missarum." By Walter Frere, and published in 1895:
The Sarum gradual and the Gregorian antiphonale missarum: a dissertation and an historical index
By Walter Howard Frere, Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society (Great Britain), Catholic Church, Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society (Great Britain).
Published by published for members of the Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society [by] B. Quaritch, 1895
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Oct 29, 2007
102 pages

You can download a 3M PDF of the book, too (that's the link right there).

Haven't looked very closely at this yet, but I'm sure it will be very interesting. There are some (black and white) samples of illuminated chant manuscripts, too, such as the one below, which I believe is Plate 1, and is described this way:
1. From Brit. Mus. MS. Additional, 12194—tne MS. which is the main basis of the reproduction given in the complete work. Sec p. xxxv.

This page contains the end of the Service for Saturday in the September Ember Week, and the beginning of the Procession on the Dedication Festival.

Pérotin 'Alleluia nativitas'

As sung by the Hilliard Ensemble, per this YouTube entry.

Background information at the YouTube page:
Pérotin (fl. c. 1200), also called Perotin the Great, was a European composer, believed to be French, who lived around the end of the twelfth and beginning of the 13th century. He was the most famous member of the Notre Dame school of polyphony. He was one of very few composers of his day whose name has been preserved, and can be reliably attached to individual compositions; this is due to the testimony of an anonymous English student at Notre Dame known as Anonymous IV, who wrote about him and his predecessor Léonin. Anonymous IV called him "Perotin Magister", which means "Pérotin the master or expert." The name Pérotin is itself derived from "Perotinus," the Latin diminutive of Petrus, the Latin version of the French name Pierre.

"Alleluia nativitas"

Choral Alleluya V. Nativitas gloriose virginis is a three-part organum, which is attributed to the medieval French composer Perotinus (fl c.1200), who is also known as Pérotin. Written for three male voices, it contains many common aspects of organa composition, including particularly the frequent and interweaving juxtaposition of intervalic consonance with extreme discord. Following the tradition of tropes and sequences in the 10th and 11th centuries, organa were composed for feast days. They were used in both the Offices (small services held throughout the day) and the Ordinary of the Mass (The part of the mass that could use changeable texts). Alleluya Nativitas forms the Alleluia from the Mass of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is celebrated on September 8. As such, it consists of an the sung word "Alleluia" followed by three verses (the first line of which is "Nativitas gloriose virginis") ~ All Music Guide

Performed : The Hilliard Ensemble

And now we know where the women's vocal ensemble, Anonymous 4, got their name, too! More about the original Anonymous IV here.

And here, apparently, is the chant score:

EDIT:   Then there's this version, from Japan; it says "[Len Teto Gakupo] Perotin "Alleluya. Nativitas" from Organum with pipe organ [Vocalo Classica]":

And there's also this, jazz version. It says "Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble - Alleluia. Nativitas," although I must say it's difficult to find the tune of the original 'Alleluia nativitas' in there! Still, I like it quite a lot.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Missa Orbis Factor

Missa Orbis Factor is the XIth setting of the Ordinary of the Mass; it's a setting for Ordinary Time. (All the chant scores are at that link, but here's another that shows them all on one page.) The version below is from Giovanni Vianini's YouTube Channel:

That's the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei. "Orbis Factor" means "Creator of the World." This site says that:
The composer of this music is unknown. The music is either based on, or was the source for, a devotional hymn “Orbis factor, rex aeternae eleison” (“Creator of the world, eternal king, have mercy”).

"Russia lends icons for extensive U.S. display"

From Episcopal Life Online:
[Episcopal Life] Twenty Episcopal iconographers packed their bags recently for a journey to see historic Russian icons. But instead of flying thousands of miles to Moscow, they boarded a bus in New Hope, Pennsylvania, for a 275-mile, two-day trip to Clinton in western Massachusetts.

There, at the Museum of Russian Icons, a state-of-the-art, renovated 150-year-old mill building, they viewed some of the most important Russian icons, spanning the 16th to 19th centuries, ever displayed in the United States. The exhibition, Two Museums, One Culture, displayed a collection from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, one of the largest museums in Russia, along with icons from the Museum of Russian Icons, a nonprofit educational museum.

The Clinton museum has more than 340 Russian icons, the largest collection of its kind in North America and one of the largest private collections outside of Russia, said its founder, Gordon Lankton. Its icons span six centuries and include those from the earliest periods of icon painting to the present.

The excursion was arranged by the Rev. Peter Pearson, an accomplished iconographer, teacher and author of A Brush With God: An Icon Workbook.

A priest who currently serves part-time at St. Philip's Episcopal Church, New Hope, in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, he has led Episcopal iconographers, many of them his students, on trips to Italy, Greece, Turkey and, this coming October, to Ireland.

The opportunity to see ancient icons along with the modern ones was striking, said Jody Cole of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, an iconographer and lecturer on the spirituality of iconography who with Pearson has co-organized several trips for iconographers.

"They were of different sizes and mostly very colorful. One ancient one, The Last Judgment from the 17th century, appeared to have a cast of thousands," she said. "It was a tremendous opportunity to have these historic icons here without having to travel to Russia."

Elizabeth Bowman, a poet from Lambertville, New Jersey, who accompanied the group on the bus trip, said she was spellbound by the icons. "What fascinated me was one icon of John the Baptist. I stood where he was," she said, describing the life-like figure that looked down at her.

"It is history recorded," she added. "It's neat to see history recorded in this way by people who take the time to do that kind of detail."

Two examples accompany the article:


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