Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Introit for Sexagesima Sunday: Exsurge Quare

The Introit for Sexagesima Sunday - the second Sunday before Lent (used only in the Extraordinary Form today) - is Exsurge Quare.  The text comes from Psalm 44:23-26, and is quite dramatic, in fact:

Pre-Lent -  Sexagesima: Introit from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.
Exsúrge, quare obdórmis, Dómine? exsúrge, et ne repéllas in finem: quare fáciem tuam avértis, oblivísceris tribulatiónem nostram? adhaésit in terra venter noster: exsúrge, Dómine, ádjuva nos, et líbera nos. Vs. (Ps. 43: 2) Deus, áuribus nostris audívimus: patres nostri annuntiavérunt nobis. Vs. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saécula sæculórum. Amen. Exsúrge, quare obdórmis, Dómine? exsúrge, et ne repéllas in finem: quare fáciem tuam avértis, oblivísceris tribulatiónem nostram? adhaésit in terra venter noster: exsúrge, Dómine, ádjuva nos, et líbera nos.

Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? arise, and cast us not off to the end. Why turnest Thou Thy face away, and forgettest our trouble? our belly hath cleaved to the earth: arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us. Vs. (Ps. 43: 2) We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us. Vs. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? arise, and cast us not off to the end. Why turnest Thou Thy face away, and forgettest our trouble? our belly hath cleaved to the earth: arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us.

Here's another video of this, here by The Benedictine nuns of Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, Le Barroux.

Here's the chant score:

About Sexagesima, from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913:
(Latin sexagesima, sixtieth) is the eighth Sunday before Easter and the second before Lent. The Ordo Romanus, Alcuin, and others count the Sexagesima from this day to Wednesday after Easter. The name was already known to the Fourth Council of Orléans in 541. For the Greeks and Slavs it is Dominica Carnisprivii, because on it they began, at least to some extent, to abstain from meat. The Synaxarium calls it Dominica secundi et muneribus non corrupti adventus Domini. To the Latins it is also known as "Exsurge" from the beginning of the Introit. The statio was at Saint Paul's outside the walls of Rome, and hence the oratio calls upon the doctor of the Gentiles. The Epistle is from Paul, 2 Corinthians 11 and 12, describing his suffering and labours for the Church. The Gospel (Luke 8) relates the falling of the seed on good and on bad ground, while the Lessons of the first Nocturn continue the history of man's iniquity, and speak of Noah and of the Deluge. (See SEPTUAGESIMA.) 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chichester Choral Evensong

Here's a full service of Evensong from Chichester Cathedral, in 5 videos.
This is a live recording from Choral Evensong in Chichester Cathedral during our tour of England in which we sang at Ely Cathedral and nor Chichester Cathedral. The choirs are made up of the choristers and schola members of Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts under the direction of Richard Webster.

The Preces and Responses are by Richard Webster. The Psalm setting is Anglican chant. The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G by Stanford and is sung by the choristers. The anthem is "Attend to the Music Divine" by Richard Webster.

At the end of each video is a link to the next; just click through.

The Order for Holy Confirmation, Church of the Ascension, Chicago

The Order for Holy Confirmation, Church of the Ascension, Chicago

Some gorgeous photos at the Church's Flickr site, including this lovely picture of the rood screen:

And this, of the procession:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Download Ockeghem, Dufay, Dunstable MP3s: Antioch Chorus

Download Ockeghem, Dufay, Dunstable MP3s: Antioch Chorus

There's some really wonderful early polyphony at the above link - with mp3s available for download for free; they ask only that you send a thank-you note. These were recorded live on two different European tours; more about that here.

Here's what they're offering:

Guillaume Dufay
Missa Ave Regina caelorum (1973 recording)

Antiphon Ave Regina caelorum (1975 recording)

Cantilena Flos florum (1975 recording)

Alleluia from Missa Sancti Jacobi (1975 recording)

John Dunstable
Textless Motet (1973 recording)

Textless Motet (1975 recording)

Textless Motet (low-quality 1996 reunion recording)

Johannes Ockeghem

Requiem (Missa pro defuntis) (1973 recording)

Kyrie from Missa Cuíusvis toni, mixolydian mode

Kyrie from Missa Cuíusvis toni, phrygian mode (1973 recordings)

Missa Prolationum (1975 recording)

Kyrie and Gloria from Missa Prolationum (low-quality 1996 reunion recording)

So listen, download - and send the note!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany: Domine In Tua

Here's Giovanni Vianini's version of this Introit for the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany:

Here's the chant score from JoguesChant, with the English translation below:

O Lord, I have placed my trust in your merciful love; my heart has rejoiced in your salvation. I will sing unto the Lord who has dealt bountifully with me. How long will you forget me, O Lord? For ever? How long will you hide your countenance from me?
The text comes from Psalm 13 - first verse 6 and then verse 1.

Here's a version of the Introit in English, using Gregorian Tone 5 (but not the tune above). 

The collect for the day is one that is rarely heard:

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Hatchett's Commentary says this about the collect:

This collect was composed for the 1549 Prayer Book for use on Quinquagesima, the Sunday next before Ash Wednesday, where it was associated with the Epistle, 1 Corinthians 13.  In the revised lectionary it reinforces the Gospel injunction in Years A and C:  "Love your enemies."

Since this is year A, we will have that Gospel reading, Matthew 5:38-48 (still part of the Sermon on the Mount):

Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

"You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Here's a small "Christ teaching" from about the year 1000; it's "Anglo-Saxon, possibly Canterbury," according to the site:

More from that link:
Inside an ornamental frame, Jesus sits on a mountaintop, symmetrically flanked by six of his disciples. He holds a book in one hand while gesturing with the other, perhaps answering a question. Like his apostles, he wears a Roman-style pallium. The artist emphasized Jesus' role as teacher by placing him higher than his apostles, giving him more space, and positioning the apostles so that they all turn and look toward him.

The fabric of the apostles' and Jesus' clothing falls in agitated, patterned circles on the figures' knees and bellies and in repetitive, embedded V-folds on their chests, between their legs, and at the hems of their tunics. These animated lines move in spirals and zigzags, energizing the balanced composition.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The third Sunday before Ash Wednesday: Septuagesima

About 70 days before Easter, a season of "preparation for Lent" begins with "Septuagesima" Sunday (the third before Ash Wednesday).  The name comes from the tradtional name for Lent, "Quadragesima" (the forty days), and counts each of the Sundays prior to Ash Wednesday in a Latin-prefix-backwards sort of way.  The Sunday before Ash Wednesday is "Quinquagesima"; the Sunday prior to that is "Sexagesima," and the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday is "Septuagesima."

From this page at Holy Trinity German Catholic Church in Boston:

So important was Lent to both Eastern and Western Christians that they actually had a separate season to prepare for it. Thus, the day after Septuagesima Sunday, they would begin a period of voluntary fasting that would grow more severe as it approached the full and obligatory fast of Lent. The amount of food would be reduced, and the consumption of certain items, such as butter, milk, eggs, and cheese, would gradually be abandoned. Starting on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, this self-imposed asceticism would culminate in abstinence from meat. Thus the name for this seven-day period before Ash Wednesday, is "Carnival," from the Latin carne levarium, meaning "removal of meat." Finally, within the week of Carnival, the last three days (the three days prior to Lent) would be reserved for going to confession This period was known as  "Shrovetide," from the old English word "to shrive," or to have one's sins forgiven through absolution.

These incremental steps eased the faithful into what was one of the holiest -- and most demanding -- times of the year. Lent is a sacred period of forty days set aside for penance, contrition, and good works. Just as Septuagesima imitates the seventy years of Babylonian exile (see elsewhere), Quadragesima ("forty," the Latin name for Lent) imitates the holy periods of purgation recorded in the Old Testament. The Hebrews spent forty years wandering in the wilderness after their deliverance from the Pharoah and before their entrance into the Promised Land. Moses, representative of the Law, fasted and prepared forty days before ascending Mount Sinai, as did Elias, the greatest of the Hebrew prophets. (So too did the gentile Ninevites in response to Jonah's prophecy.) Moreover, these Old Testament types are ratified by the example of our Lord, who fasted forty days in the desert before beginning His public ministry. 

Given the significance of the number forty as a sign of perfection-through-purgation, it is little wonder that Lent became associated early on with two groups of people: public penitents and catechumens. The former were sinners guilty of particularly heinous crimes. To atone for their sins, they received a stern punishment from their bishop on Ash Wednesday and then spent the next forty days wearing sackloth and ash and not bathing. The visual, tactile, and odiferous unpleasantness of this practice was meant to remind others-- and themselves -- of the repulsiveness of sin. These penitents would remain in this state until they were publicly welcomed back into the Church during a special Mass on Maundy Thursday morning.  [See this post and the video posted there for what I assume is the Sarum version of this rite.]  Catechumens, on the other hand, underwent a rigorous period of instruction and admonition during Lent. They, too, were not allowed to bathe as part of their contrition for past sins. Near the start of Lent they would be exorcized with the formula that is still used in the traditional Roman rite of baptism: "Depart, thou accursed one!" In the middle of Lent they would learn the Apostle's Creed so that they could recite it on Holy Saturday, and on Palm Sunday they would learn the Lord's Prayer. Finally, on Holy Thursday they would bathe and on Holy Saturday undergo a dramatic ritual during the Easter Vigil formally initiating them into the Body of Christ. Over time, all Catholics would imitate these two groups as a recognition of personal sinfulness and as a yearly re-avowal of the Christian faith. Lent is thus not only a time to probe the dark recesses of our fallen souls and to purge ourselves, with the cooperative grace of Christ, of our stains, but to be renewed in our commitment to live a holy Christian life.

Lent is often thought of as an undifferentiated block of time preceding Easter: It is not. There are actually several distinct "mini-seasons" within Lent designed to move the believer from a more general recognition of the need for atonement (Ash Wednesday to the third Sunday of Lent) to a more specific meditation on the passion of Jesus Christ (Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday). These two periods, in turn, are separated by a brief interlude of restrained joy called mid-Lent, which begins on the Wednesday before Laetare Sunday and ends the Wednesday after. Finally, the meditation on our Lord's suffering culminates during Holy Week with a Mass each day presenting a different Gospel account of the Passion, the divine office of Tenebrae on Spy Wednesday, and the three great liturgies of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) that dwell at length on the final events of Christ's earthly life and the mysteries of the Christian Pasch.

There is more about pre-Lent, and about Septuagesima Sunday (by Dom Gueranger) at the website of St. John Cantius in Chicago.

The 'gesima system has been abandoned now in the West, by everybody that I know of except Extraodinary Form Catholics.

It's too bad, though - because this system seems to have been a sort of parallel to the Eastern Orthodox preparations for Lent, when gradually meat, then fish, then cheese are dropped from the diet in preparation for the really strict Orthodox fast.

In previous times, too, there were chant propers particular to each of the 'gesima Sundays, which could be used no matter when Easter fell that year.  In that system, distinct propers existed for the First, Second, and Third Sundays after Epiphany, and then if there were more Sundays before Septuagesima, the propers for Epiphany 3 were used again. 

Now, though, there are distinct propers assigned for every Sunday following Epiphany (up to nine, as there are this year, when Easter is just about as late as it can be).  Most years, most of these are not used.

The Introit for Septuagesima is "Circumdederunt Me."  (Text and translation below.)  Here it is:

Pre-Lent - Septuagesima: Introit from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.

And here's Cristóbal de Morales' polyphonic version of this:

(In another instance of the wonderful and poignant harmony of the  propers with each other and with the Great Church Year, "Circumdederunt  Me" ("I am surrounded") has also traditionally been sung on Palm Sunday or Good Friday, albeit using a different text and tune:


I am still looking for recorded music and chant scores for all the these propers online - I'm sure I'll find them - but meantime, below are all the proper texts for this Sunday, courtesy of the Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland blog. (EDIT:  In the comments, d.V. of that blog gives credit to the "Tridentine Avenger" for these propers, and leaves a most helpful link as well, to all the propers for the EF; many thanks, d.V.):


2nd Class


INTROIT ¤ Ps. 17. 5-7

Circumdederunt me gemitus mortus, dolores inferni circumdederunt me: et in tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum, et exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam. -- Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea: Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.  V.: Gloria Patri . . . --
Circumdederunt me gemitus . . .
The sorrows of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me; and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice from His holy temple. -- (Ps.17. 2, 3). I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer.  V.:  Glory be
to the Father . . . -- The sorrows of death surrounded me . . .

The Gloria in Excelsis is not said.

COLLECT.--Graciously hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people, that we, who are justly afflicted for our sins, may for the glory of Thy Name, be mercifully delivered.  Through our Lord . .

EPISTLE ¤ 1 Cor. 9. 24-27; 10. 1-5

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.

[The Apostle St. Paul compares our life to an arena where we must fight and mortify ourselves, if we wish to obtain the victory.]
   Brethren, Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize?  So run that you may obtain.  And every one that striveth for the mastery refraineth himself from all things; and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one.  I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty; I so fight, not as one beating the air: but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.  For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud and in the sea: and did all eat the same spiritual food, and drank the same spiritual drink: (that they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ.)  But with most of them God was not well pleased.

GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 101. 16-17

Adjutor in opportunitatibus, in tribulatione: sperent in te, quo noverunt te: quoniam non derelinquis quaerentes te, Domine.  V.:  Quoniam non in finem oblivio erit pauperis: patientia pauperum non peribit in aeternum: exsurge, Domine, non praevaleat homo. A Helper in due time in tribulation: let them trust in Thee who know Thee: for Thou hast not forsaken them that seek Thee, O Lord.  V.: For the poor man shall not be forgotten to the end: the patience of the poor shall not perish for ever: arise, O Lord, let not man prevail.

TRACT ¤ Ps. 129. 1-4

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: Domine, exaudi vocem meam.  V.:  Fiant aures tuae intendentes in orationem servi tui.  V.:  Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine: Domine, quis sustinebit?  V.:  Quia apud te propitiatio est, et propter legem uam sustinui te, Domine. Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Let Thine ears be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant.  V.:  If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it?  V.: For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness, and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

GOSPEL ¤ Matth. 20. 1-16

† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

[The parable of the vineyard shows us that we must all work to obtain the reward of eternal life.]
At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of God is like to a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers in his vineyard.  And having agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market place idle, and he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just.  And they went their way.  And again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour: and did in like manner.  But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle?  The say to him: Becase no man hath hired us.  He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard.  And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the laborers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.  When therefore they were come that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.  But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they also received every man a penny.  And receiving it they murmured against the master of the house, saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us that have borne the burden of the day and the heats.  But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a penny?  Take what is thine and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee.  Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will?  Is thine eye evil, because I am good?  So shall the last be first, and the first last.  For many are called, but few chosen.

OFFERTORY ¤ Ps. 91. 2

Bonum est confiteri Domino, et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High.

SECRET.--Receive our offerings and prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and both cleanse us by these heavenly mysteries, and graviously hear us.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


Preface of the Most Holy Trinity

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus.  Qui cum unigenito Filio tuo, et Spiritu Sancto, unus es Deus, unus es Dominus: non in unius singularitate personae, sed in unius Trinitate substantiae.  Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante te, credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sancto, sine differentia discretionis sentimus.  Ut in confessione verae, sempiternaeque Deitatis, et in personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in majestate adoretur aequalitas.  Quam laudant Angeli atque Archangeli, Cherubim quoque ac Seraphim: qui non cessant clamare quotidie, una voce dicentes:
It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance.  For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation.  So that in confessing
the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored.  Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying:

COMMUNION ¤ Ps. 30. 17-18

Illumina faciem tuam super servum tuum, et salvum me fac in tua misericordia: Domine, non confundar, quoniam invocavi te. Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant, and save me in Thy mercy: let me not be confounded, O Lord, for I have called upon Thee.

POSTCOMMUNION.--May Thy faithful people, O God, be strengthened by Thy gifts; that in receiving them, they may seek after them the more, and in seeking them, may receive them for ever.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee. . .

CSA - AuroraMAX Project - Live broadcast of the Northern Lights from Yellowknife

CSA - AuroraMAX Project - Live broadcast of the Northern Lights from Yellowknife

And from this page:

The AuroraMAX Observatory

What time does the live broadcast start?

The live camera turns on automatically once the Sun sets below the horizon in Yellowknife. As we approach the winter solstice in the month of December, the camera will turn on several minutes earlier each day (since darkness falls earlier). For example, during the week of September 27, 2010, the live feed will begin around 8:50 p.m. Mountain Time (10:50 Eastern). The auroras tend to be most easily visible about an hour or so after dark. If this is past your bedtime, you can watch the daily aurora replay in the Gallery section, choose a date, or watch the AuroraMAX team’s favourite movies in the Featured Videos section.

What am I looking at? Where are the auroras?

The AuroraMAX observatory’s main camera is an all-sky imager, which gives a 180-degree field of view to capture the entire night sky so that you don’t miss any auroras (in Yellowknife, auroras typically light up the sky from one horizon to the other, and very often seem to be right over the observer’s head as well!). Here’s a tip to get used to the image: imagine lying on your back, and being able to see all around you (even behind you).

If you don’t see auroras right away, be patient. Auroras tend to come in waves, called auroral substorms. You may have logged on in between two substorms, or before it is dark enough to see the Northern Lights. Other factors can also reduce visibility locally, including clouds, rain or snow on the observatory’s Plexiglas dome (you may want to check the weather locally to see if weather might be impeding your view of the auroras). the Moon. The full Moon can make the auroras appear paler and less colourful. The Moon also can also reflect off the observatory’s dome, and tends to reflect off snow (especially on the ground).


This montage shows the AuroraMAX observatory's main camera in the foreground, along with one of its images of an aurora (round). While most skywatchers are used to viewing a small section of the Northern Lights as seen in the background image, the 180-degree AuroraMAX camera actually captures the entire aurora as it stretches across the night sky from West to East.

What if I can’t see the image at all?

You might be missing a Flash plug-in to run the videos. You can either download the plug-in free of charge from the following website, or watch the videos in html (on the main page, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select "Html version.")

What’s the AuroraMAX Replay?

The AuroraMAX replay is a time-lapse video of the previous night’s auroras condensed into one or two minutes.

Why are images from the AuroraMAX Observatory round?

AuroraMAX’s main camera shoots a 180-degree view of the sky, which produces a circular image. The circumference of the circle is actually the horizon all around the camera (if you look carefully, you will see the tree tops even in the upper portion of the image). 

When can I see auroras?

Aurora usually begin to appear in the hours following dark locally when skies are clear, and tend to intensify around midnight. Visit Astronomy North for the aurora forecast for tonight and the coming days. Local weather and sky conditions in Yellowknife (including sunrise and sunset) are available from the Government of Canada’s Weather Office.

Why are auroras common in the North?

Northern skywatchers see the aurora more frequently because of the position of the auroral oval, a crown of geomagnetic activity around the north and south magnetic poles. Communities located beneath the oval regularly see bright auroras.

Why is Yellowknife ideal for viewing auroras?

Yellowknife’s latitude (62 degrees North) and semi-arid subarctic climate (which averages less than 300 mm of precipitation annually) make for ideal viewing conditions for the Northern Lights. The auroral oval is often found directly overhead, resulting in auroral displays almost every night (even when the solar wind is calm).

When are the Northern Lights visible in southern Canada?

During periods of increased solar activity, intense solar winds will cause the auroral oval to stretch like a rubber band and expand southwards. When this occurs, southern latitudes are treated to bright auroras.

Where is the AuroraMAX Observatory located?

On your home computer! The AuroraMAX Observatory is a virtual facility that provides aurora enthusiasts everywhere with instant access to Yellowknife’s Northern Lights via the Internet.

The Northern Lights

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights (also known by their Latin name, the aurora borealis) is a natural display of light commonly seen in the northern sky (auroras in the southern hemisphere are known as the aurora australis). Auroras occur when charged particles from the Sun collide with gas molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, producing energy in the form of light.

What is the solar wind?

The solar wind is a continuous flow of charged particles from the Sun.

What is the relationship between the solar wind and auroras?

As the solar wind flows past Earth, its charged particles travel along magnetic field lines that descend into Earth’s atmosphere near the north and south magnetic poles. These particles (electrons and protons) collide with oxygen, nitrogen and other molecules of gas in the atmosphere, resulting in auroras.

What is a substorm?

A substorm is a brief but intense surge in geomagnetic activity that produces very bright, fast-moving auroras.

Why are auroras so colourful?

The colours of the aurora are determined by the composition of gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, the altitude where the aurora occurs, the density of the atmosphere, and the level of energy involved.

Green, the most common colour seen from the ground, is produced when charged particles collide with oxygen at lower altitudes (around 100-300 km). Occasionally, the lower edge of an aurora will have a pink or crimson fringe, which is produced by nitrogen molecules (around 100 km).

Higher in the atmosphere (300-400 km), collisions with atomic oxygen produce reds instead of greens. Since the atmosphere is less dense at higher altitudes, it takes more energy and more time to produce red light (up to 2 minutes), whereas green light can be made quickly at lower altitudes (about one second).

Hydrogen and helium can also produce blue and purple, but these colours tend to be difficult for our eyes to see against the night sky.

The Sun

What is Solar Maximum?

Solar Maximum is a period of increased sunspot activity that is the peak of an 11-year solar cycle. The next Solar Maximum is expected to occur in 2013.

What are sunspots?

Sunspots are regions on the surface of the Sun that are about 2000 degrees cooler than surrounding areas, and therefore show up as being dark patches. Sunspots can be several times larger than the Earth itself, often occur in groups and can last for a couple of weeks.

Sunspots occur when the Sun’s magnetic field becomes twisted. Unlike Earth, the Sun rotates faster at the equator than at its poles (the equator rotates every 27 days, whereas the poles only make a complete rotation every 30 days). This creates “knots” in the Sun’s magnetic field that produce sunspots.

Sunspots form bubble-shaped loops on the surface of the Sun that can erupt, spewing out huge amounts of electrically charged (ionized) gas into the solar system (this is known as a solar prominence). When this stream of charged particles happens to be pointed in the direction of Earth’s magnetic field, it produces intense auroral displays.

What is the sunspot cycle?

The sunspot cycle refers to an 11-year cycle of sunspot activity that varies from Solar Minimum (a period with very few sunspots) to Solar Maximum (a period with numerous sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections).

How do we know which sunspots will cause bright auroras on Earth?

In order for a sunspot to generate auroras on Earth, the solar wind it releases must be pointed in the general direction of Earth. A newly formed sunspot near the middle of the solar disc provides an early warning that a fast-moving burst of charged particles is heading in our direction. As they reach Earth’s magnetic field and penetrate into the atmosphere, intense auroras begin to surge across the sky.

HT Dan.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Epiphany Sequence: Epiphaniam Domino canamus gloriosam

I'm amazed to realize that I've never posted or discussed the Sequence hymn for Epiphany, Epiphaniam Domino canumus gloriosam. Better late than never, though! Here's a bit about the hymn, from
Epiphaniam Domino canamus gloriosam. [Epiphany.] This Sequence occurs in a manuscript of Sequences (circa 1000) in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, No. 775, f. 140. It is also in a Winchester manuscript of the 11th century, now at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and an 11th century manuscript in the British Museum (Harl. 2961, f. 251 b). In the Sarum Missal it is the Sequence for the Feast of the Epiphany only. In the Hereford Missal it is appointed for the Epiphany itself, its Octave, and the Sunday in the Octave. In the York Missal it is divided into three parts: (1) "Epiphaniam Domini," (2) "Balaam de quo vaticinans," and (3) "Magi sibi stelia." The first is to be said on the Feast of the Epiphany, the second on the first day after; the third on the second day after, and so on, to the Octave, when the entire Sequence has to be sung. If however the 2nd or 3rd part should fall upon a Sunday, then it gave place to the proper Sequence for the "Translation of St. William the Archbishop," the Festival of that day. Text in reprints of the Sarum, Hereford, and York Missals, and Kehrein, No. 27. [Rev.W. A. Shoults, B. D.]

Here, the Martin Best Consort sings the Sequence:

Below are the words in Latin and English.
Epiphaniam Domino canamus gloriosam,
Qua prolem Dei vere magi adorant.
Immensam Chaldaei cujus Persaeque venerantur potentiam,
Quem cuncti prophetae praecinere venturum gentes ad salvandas.
Cujus majestas ita est inclinata, ut assumeret servi formam.
Ante saecula qui Deus et tempora, homo factus est in Maria.

Balaam de quo vaticinans, exibit ex Jacob rutilans, inquit, stella
Et confringet ducum agmina regionis Moab maxima potentia.
Huic magi munera deferunt praeclara aurum simul thus et myrrham.
Thure Deum praedicant, auro regem magnum, hominem mortalem myrrha.
In somnis hos monet angelus, ne redeant ad regem commotum propter regna.
Pavebat etenim nimium regem natum verens amittere regni jura.

Magi stella sibi micante praevia pergunt alacres itinera, patriam quae eos ducebat ad propriam linquentes Herodis mandata.
Qui perculsus corda nimia prae ira extemplo mandat, eludia magica non linquitaliter impunita, sed mox privari eos vita.
Omnis nunc caterva tinnulum laudibus jungat organi pneuma,
Mystice offerens regi regum Christo munera pretiosa,
Poscens ut per orbem regna, omnia protegat in saecula sempiterna.

Let us duly magnify
This renown'd Epiphany,
To the Child of God to-day
Wise men rightful homage pay.
Whom, immeasurably great,
Chaldee sages venerate,
To Whose coming, man to save.
All the prophets witness gave :
His majestic throne on high, —
Such His great humility, —
He refused not to forsake.
And a servant's form to take ;
God from all eternity,
Ere the world began to be,
He was man of Mary made :

Whom predicting Balaam said, —
Out of Jacob, seen from far,
There shall come a flaming star,
Which with power shall smite the host
Of Moab to his utmost coast.
Him their costly offering,
Gold, myrrh, incense, wise men bring.
God, sweet incense ; precious gold
A King 5 myrrh doth a Man unfold :
Angel-warned, no word they bring
Back to Herod, ruthless king,
Fearing much, in rage and hate,
He should lose his royal state.

Lo ! the star before them went,
Homeward on their journey bent,
Glad they seek their native land,
Heeding not the king's command.
Madden 'd with exceeding ire
Forth he sends the mandate dire
Throughout Bethlehem's coasts to seek
And to slay the infants meek.
Now the choir their voice unite.
Organs swell with mystic rite,
Bringing to the King of kings.
Praise and costly offerings.
O'er all kingdoms, o'er all lands
May He spread His sheltering hands.
Ever present to defend,
Unto worlds that never end.

And here's the chant score, from Hymn Melodies for the whole year, from the Sarum service-books:

The Internet Archive has this 1871 book in various formats: Sequences from the Sarum Missal - and Google Books has a copy, too.

Epiphany really is one of my favorite feasts of the year; the readings during this period are so intense and potent. The background image I'm using now for this blog is of the Aurora Borealis - which seems absolutely fitting to me.

Here's a beautiful Rubens "Adoration of the Magi"; more lovely light!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Communio : Manducaverunt Et Saturati - the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

The Communion song for this Sunday, the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, is Manducaverunt Et Saturati - "They ate and were satisfied."

Here's a video of this song, posted by a YouTuber in Poland:

And here's the chant score, and the translation:

They ate and were fully satisfied; the Lord gave them all that they desired; they were not deprived of their wants.
The text comes from Psalm 78, vv 29-30, in a section that tells the story of manna and quail given by God to the wandering people of Israel.  (Interestingly, Mark 8 also uses the same phrase:  "They ate and were satisfied."   This is the passage that recounts the feeding of the 4,000 - and once again, we see a conversation among the writers of Scripture that spans over a thousand years.  This is one reason I really love writing this blog - just to see these things being revealed in front of my eyes!  And I realized it only by chance, this time - noticing that a search on "Manducaverunt Et Saturati"   pulled up references to Mark, even though I was aware already that the text is taken from Psalms.  Although - the Vulgate actually has "et comederunt et saturati sunt...." in the Psalm, and "et manducaverunt et saturati sunt...." in Mark.  So that's even a bit more interesting.....)

Here's something lovely, from the Choir of Queen's College Cambridge: a CD called "Paradisi portas - Music from 17th Century Portugal," which contains a track labeled: "At The Elevation - Manducaverunt, Et Saturati Sunt". (Click the link to go to UK and listen to an excerpt only.)  It's beautiful music - and the credit for that song is only "anon."  So I'm not sure exactly what it is - but I imagine it's polyphony composed using the chant propers texts, as was done so often.

(And another of the very wonderful things about writing this blog is coming upon completely unfamiliar music!  It's like finding a treasure buried in a field, each time.)

The readings this week continue with 1 Corinthians and Matthew's version of the Sermon on the Mount.

The Collect is this one:
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hatchett's Commentary says this:

In the Gelasian sacramentary this prayer is found as the first collect for the sixth of the Sundays after the Pascahl octave (no. 566), the first Sunday after the octave of Pentecost. The Gregoria sacramentary appoints it (no. 1129) as the collect for the first Sunday after Pentecost (actually the first Sunday after the octave of Pentecost, later to become the second Sunday after Pentecost or the first Sunday after Trinity). In the Gallican Missale Francorum it is a collect (no. 141) used before reading the names of those to be remembered in prayer, and it is the offertory praryer at the second of the five Sunday Masses in the Gallican Bobbio missal (no. 507). Sarum use and previous Prayer Books appointed it for the first Sunday after Trinity.

Cranmer, in his translation for the 1549 Book, rendered "mortal weakness" as "the weakness of our mortal nature" and substituted "trust" for "hope" and "can do no good thing" for "can do nothing." The revisers in 1662 inserted "put their," "through," and the first "we." The collect reminds us that without the grace of God we can neither will nor do any good thing nor be pleasing to God.

It reminds me, too, of the collect for Proper 12 that starts "O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy...." and the one for Proper 19 that starts "O God, because without you we are not able to please you...."

Next week is Septuagesima Sunday - the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday.  Actually, in the old system, this Communio was sung on Quinquagesima - the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday.  The chants were moved around so that the three Sundays before Ash Wednesday - Septuagesim, Sexigesima, and  Quinquagesima - always had the same proper chants.  But that system was abandoned after Vatican II so now the chants are done sequentially, no matter which Sunday after Epiphany it is.  More on all that next week. 

Here's an icon of the Presentation in the Temple (Candlemas), which was celebrated on February 2:

The Hindu : News / International : Mubarak steps down, Egypt rejoices

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Liturgy for All Faithful Departed 11.02.10 - Trinity Wall Street

Trinity Wall Street - Webcasts - Videos - Worship - Special Services - The Liturgy for All Faithful Departed 11.02.10

This is the 2010 All Souls' service from Trinity Wall Street; it's something of a liturgical trainwreck - it's an odd mishmash of styles that doesn't work very well - but parts are very beautiful. Parts of the Duruflé Requiem are sung, along with other exquisite music; the Processional song is, I think, John Tavener's Alleluia. (In fact, much of the service seems to have an Orthodox-ish flavor.) There doesn't to be a service leaflet, so I'll have to see if I can figure out where all the music comes from as time passes.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Introit for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany: Venite Adoremus ("Come, let us worship God")

The Introit for this Sunday, February 6 is based on the very famous text also used at Morning Prayer:  the  Venite, from Psalm 95.   Here's an mp3 of the introit (which uses verses 6-7), from  And here's one translation:
Come, let us worship God and bow down before the Lord; let us weep before the Lord who made us, for he is the Lord our God. Come, let us sing unto the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise unto God our Saviour.

Here's the chant score, from the Brazilian Benedictines:

The singer's pseudonymn (I think) is "Mocquereau" - obviously a reference to Dom Andre Mocquereau, a monk of the 0.S.B., who lived at Solesmes in the latter part of the 19th Century and first part of the 20th. Here's a paper written by the original Mocquereau, posted at MusicaSacra; it's a translation of his "The Art of Gregorian Music." A footnote at MS says that it was "originally published by the Catholic Education Press with a view to making available in the English language scholarly and scientific works on Gregorian Chant which have hitherto been available to French readers only."

According to Wikipedia, the Psalm 95 is used in several ways in Jewish and Christian prayers:

In Judaism:
  • It is the opening paragraph of Kabbalat Shabbat.
  • It is recited on Shabbat Hagadol.
  • The first three verses are part of the psalm of the day for the Shir Shel Yom on Wednesday. This is the only day of the week in which the song of the day is composed on verses from multiple psalms. These verses are recited by most congregations because of their inspiring message.
In Christianity:

In the Latin Psalters used by the Roman liturgy it forms the invitatory which is sung daily before matins. It may be sung as a canticle in the Anglican liturgy of Morning Prayer, when it is referred to by its incipit as the Venite or Venite, exultemus Domino (also A Song of Triumph).

Shockingly, I cannot find an embeddable video of an Anglican Chant Venite anywhere on the web!  It's almost unbelievable, really. I did find this one solitary video, from St. John's in Detroit - but you'll have to go there to listen.

And I can't find any polyphony based on this text, either; naturally there are a lot reference to Christmasy songs (Venite Adoremus, anyone?) all over the place, though. And it looks like several composers did write music using Psalm 95 - with only Johann Kaspar Aiblinger using the particular text in question - but nobody's put any of these up on the web.

However, I did find this:  Madre, pietosa vergine, a song from Verdi's La Forza del destino, which includes a small portion of the Venite, sung by the Coro di Frati (the chorus of brothers, I guess: monks) in the background! Worth posting, I thought; it's Callas! And opera doesn't make its way into chant propers posts nearly often enough for my tastes - so here it is:

The words:
Madre, pietosa Vergine,
perdona al mio peccato.
Maita quellingrato
dal core a cancellar.
In queste solitudini
espierò lerrore.
Pietà di me, Signore,
Deh! non mabbandonar!
(Lorgano accompagna il canto mattutino dei frati.)
Ah! que sublimi cantici...
(Si leva.)
Dellorgano i concenti,
che come incenso ascendono
a Dio sui firmamenti,
inspirano a questalma fede,
conforto e calma!
CORO DI FRATI (intorno)
Venite, adoremus et procedamus ante Deum,
Ploremus, ploremus coram Domino, coram
Domino qui fecit nos.
LEONORA (savvia)
Al santo asil accorrasi.
E loserò a questora?
Alcun potria sorprendermi!
Oh, misera Leonora, tremi?
Il pio frate, accoglierti, no, non ricuserà.
Non mi lasciar, soccorrimi, pietà, Signor pietà,
Deh! non mabbandonar! ecc.
Ploremus, ploremus coram Domino qui fecit nos.

Unfortunately, I can't find an English translation of this aria online, but it's clear that Callas is pleading with the Virgin Mother for compassion and forgiveness. Will post the English if I find it.

There are some great readings this week, including this wonderful passage from Isaiah:
Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12)

Thus says the high and lofty one
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
"Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?"
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

[If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.]

And this famous text, too:
1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16)

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him" --

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. [And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else's scrutiny.

"For who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?"

But we have the mind of Christ.]

The Collect for this Sunday is this one:
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Hatchett's Commentary
says this:
This new collect was drafted by the Rev. Dr. Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. Scriptural allusions include Gal. 4:3-5; Rom. 8:15 and 8:19-21; Jn. 10:10; and Lk. 4:16-21.

Here all the chant propers for the day, sung by the Sao Paolo Benedictines:
Hebdomada quinta
Introitus: Ps. 94, 6.7 et 1 Venite, adoremus (2m32.8s - 2393 kb) score
                    (anno A) Ps. 111, 9. V. 2 Dispersit, dedit (2m57.2s - 2775 kb mono) score
                   Ps. 95, 8.9. V. Ps. 28,9 Tollite hostias (2m32.7s - 2386 kb)
Alleluia: Ps. 116, 1 Laudate Dominum (1m40.2s - 1573 kb)
Offertorium: Ps. 16, 5.6.7 Perfice gressus meos (1m52.6s - 1761 kb) score
            Ps. 42, 4 Introibo (47.7s- 747 kb mono) score
            (anno B) Lc. 6, 17.18.19 Multitudo languentium (1m24.0s - 1317 kb) score

Friday, February 04, 2011

Photoblog - Christians protect Muslims during prayer in Cairo's dangerous Tahrir square

Photoblog - Christians protect Muslims during prayer in Cairo's dangerous Tahrir square

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in Cairo's dangerous Tahrir square

Meredith Birkett says: On Twitter, Nevine Zaki linked to a picture she said she photographed on Wednesday of Christians protecting Muslims during their prayers in Tahrir Square. The square in Cario continues to be a scene of violence between pro- and anti-Mubarak supporters who were wielding sticks and throwing rocks. She tweeted:

Bear in mind that this pic was taken a month after z Alexandria bombing where many Christians died in vain. Yet we all stood by each other

Egypt's Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as "human shields" - Attack on Egypt Copts - Egypt - Ahram Online

Egypt's Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as "human shields" - Attack on Egypt Copts - Egypt - Ahram Online

This article was posted a month ago (along with other articles as well).

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. (see photo gallery)

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.

Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular Muslim televangelist and preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly Street. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”

In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.

The attack has rocked a nation that is no stranger to acts of terror, against all of Muslims, Copts and Jews. In January of last year, on the eve of Coptic Christmas, a drive-by shooting in the southern town of Nag Hammadi killed eight Copts as they were leaving Church following mass. In 2004 and 2005, bombings in the Red Sea resorts of Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh claimed over 100 lives, and in the late 90’s, Islamic militants executed a series of bombings and massacres that left dozens dead.

This attack though comes after a series of more recent incidents that have left Egyptians feeling left out in the cold by a government meant to protect them.

Last summer, 28-year-old businessman Khaled Said was beaten to death by police, also in Alexandria, causing a local and international uproar. Around his death, there have been numerous other reports of police brutality, random arrests and torture.

Last year was also witness to a ruthless parliamentary election process in which the government’s security apparatus and thugs seemed to spiral out of control. The result, aside from injuries and deaths, was a sweeping win by the ruling party thanks to its own carefully-orchestrated campaign that included vote-rigging, corruption and widespread violence. The opposition was essentially annihilated. And just days before the elections, Copts - who make up 10 percent of the population - were once again the subject of persecution, when a government moratorium on construction of a Christian community centre resulted in clashes between police and protestors. Two people were left dead and over 100 were detained, facing sentences of up to life in jail.

The economic woes of a country that favours the rich have only exacerbated the frustration of a population of 80 million whose majority struggle each day to survive. Accounts of thefts, drugs, and violence have surged in recent years, and the chorus of voices of discontent has continued to grow.

The terror attack that struck the country on New Year’s eve is in many ways a final straw – a breaking point, not just for the Coptic community, but for Muslims as well, who too feel marginalized, oppressed, and overlooked by a government that fails to address their needs. On this Coptic Christmas eve, the solidarity was not just one of religion, but of a desperate and collective plea for a better life and a government with accountability.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Anglican Chant XII: Way - Protestant Church: "Psalm LXXXIV" - Anglican Choir

The wonderful Psalm 84. I actually know this one, but can't think who the composer is. EDIT: Our AC maven, in the comments, has filled me in: it's Hubert Parry in E. Thanks SW!

Here's the Coverdale text:
1 O how amiable are thy dwellings *
thou Lord of hosts!
2 My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord *
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
3 Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young *
even thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house *
they will be alway praising thee.
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee *
in whose heart are thy ways.
6 Who going through the vale of misery use it for a well *
and the pools are filled with water.
7 They will go from strength to strength *
and unto the God of gods appeareth every one of them in Sion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer *
hearken, O God of Jacob.
9 Behold, O God our defender *
and look upon the face of thine Anointed.
10 For one day in thy courts *
is better than a thousand.
11 I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God *
than to dwell in the tents of ungodliness.
12 For the Lord God is a light and defence *
the Lord will give grace and worship, and no good thing shall he withhold from them that live a godly life.
13 O Lord God of hosts *
blessed is the man that putteth his trust in thee.


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