Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Introit for Easter Day: Resurrexi Et Adhuc ("I am risen and behold")

Since I wrote on the Introit for the Second Sunday of Easter two years ago, and since I haven't written on the one for Easter Day ever, I will remedy that now.  Here's a video of the Introit:

And here's an mp3 from JoguesChant.  It lists text source as Psalm 139:18, 5-6, 1-2, and gives this translation:
I am risen, and I am always with you, alleluia; you have placed your hand upon me, alleluia; your wisdom has been shown to be most wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, you have searched me and known me; you know when I sit down and when I rise up.

Here's the chant score:

The first part of the Introit ("I am risen" and "I am with you always") has very interesting resonances for the day. In fact, as far as I can see, verse 18 of Psalm 139 is always translated "When I awake," never "I am risen" (except in the Douay-Rheims!). And "I am with you always") is directly out of Matthew 28:20. But, we can pretend they're part of Psalm 139, if we like.

Here's Giovanni Vianini's version of the introit:

And wow: here's a spectacular version, which is apparently Old Roman chant:

From the YouTube Page:
From an album of Old Roman chant (7th and 8th Century) performed by Ensemble Organum under the direction of Marcel Peres. The playlist for the entire album is found at

The text of Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum ("I am risen and behold I am with you") is that of the Introit (Entrance chant) of the Roman rite celebration of the Eucharist on Easter day, It serves as the antiphon for the chanting of Psalm 139.


Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, alleluia!
Posuisti super me manum tuam, alleluia!
Mirabilis facta est scientia tua, alleluia, alleluia!

Psalm 139 verses and Doxology:

Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me.
Cognovisti sessionem mean, et resurrectionem meam.

Ecce Domine, tu cognovisti omnia novissima et antiqua.
Tu formasti me et posuisti super me manum tuam

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritu Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum.



I am risen and behold I am with you.
You have placed your hand on me.
How wonderful is you knowledge!

Psalm 139 verses and Doxology:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up.

Behold, Lord, you know all things ancient and new.
You have conceived me and laid you hand upon me.

Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.

Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum appears on the recording by Ensemble Organum. Chants of the Church of Roman - Byzantine Period.

The collection is devoted to chants of the Church of Rome when most of the popes came from the churches of the Byzantine Empire (590 - 752), coinciding with the rise of the Prophet Muhammad (550 - 632) and the Umayyad Caliphate (660- 750). Liturgies were celebrated with chants in both Greek and Latin.

This chant was the inspiration for a setting of the text by US composer Michael Barger, I Am Risen and Behold I Am With You.

And that last piece is also at YouTube. Here it's sung by the Choir of St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco, apparently:

Here's the blurb from that page:
Composed by American Michael Barger and performed by the Choir of Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. The visual images, with the exception of the pictures of the two soloists, are all from St Gregory's.

The following are notes from the composer:

The text of I Am Risen is that of the Introit (Entrance chant) of the Roman rite celebration of the Eucharist on Easter day, Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum, which serves as the antiphon for the chanting of Psalm 139.


I am risen and behold and am with you, Alleluia!
You have placed you hand on me, Alleluia!
O God, how wonderf'lly you know me, Alleluia!

Psalm Verse One:

O Lord, you search me and you know me.
You know when I sit down and rise up again, Alleluia!

Psalm Verse Two:

Behold, Lord, you know all things both ancient and new.
You have conceived me, and laid your hand upon me, Alleluia!


Glory be to the Father of Love,
And to the Son, who is risen from the dead,
And to the Spirit giving us new life,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and every shall be, Alleluia!

The composition was inspired by the recording of Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum on Ensemble Organum's recording, Chants of the Church of Roman - Byzantine Period. It is devoted to chants of the Church of Rome when most of the popes came from the churches of the Byzantine Empire ( 590 - 752), coinciding with the rise of the Prophet Muhammad (550 - 632) and the Umayyad Caliphate (660- 750). Liturgies were celebrated with chants in both Greek and Latin.

I Am Risen has become a favorite hymn of the community of the Church of St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco.
It is sung at Communion at the Easter Vigil; by tradition the following Sunday, called Bright Sunday; and at the last Sunday of the Easter season.

It has also been sung at weddings, funerals, and birthday celebrations. Some have said, "It isn't Easter until we sing I Am Risen." Pilgrims have remarked, "I come to St. Gregory's for Easter to hear I Am Risen."

Musically the hymn is in the Mixolydian mode and marked by chords of the ninth. Music for the hymn is available from St. Gregory of Nyssa and from Amazon. It is Number 73 in the St. Gregory's hymnal, Music For Liturgy.

The video closes with a picture of the cover of the hymn book featuring saints from the Dancing Saints iconic mural in the church's rotunda.

From right to left they are:

Origen (c. 185--254), the teacher whose work influenced the humanistic thought of St. Gregory of Nyssa (c 335 -- 395) as he developed his theology of "becoming a friend of God," "the only thing truly worthwhile."

Malcom X (1925 -- 1965), who was murdered after discovering the universality of God's love for all humankind after his pilgrimage to Mecca.

Queen Elizabeth I (1533 -- 1603), who reigned artfully over a kingdom divided by Catholics and Protestants, and who said, "There is one Lord Jesus Christ. All the rest is arguments about trifles."

Iqbal Masih (1983 - 1995) , the 12-year-old Pakistani Christian who agitated against child slave labor by the Carpet Mafia and was murdered after attending church on Easter day.

St. Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582), the great Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church. whose prayers echo those of the great Muslim mystic of Basra, Rabi'ah al- 'Adawiya (717--801),

Composer Michael Barger grew up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. His work is highly influenced by Islamic and Byzantine Arabic chant and especially by the Lebanese Byzantine chanter, Sister Marie Keyrouz.

I was prepared not to like that piece - and didn't, at first - but it grows on you.

Here's the full list of propers for Easter Day at
Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini

Ad Missam in Die
Introitus: Ps. 138, 18.5.6 et 1-2 Resurrexi (cum Gloria Patri)(5m29.3s - 5148 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 117, 24 et 1 Hæc dies... V. Confitemini (2m58.6s - 2794 kb) score
Alleluia: 1 Cor. 5, 7 Pascha nostrum (1m59.3s - 1866 kb) score
Sequentia: Victimæ paschali laudes (1m36.6s - 1510 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 75, 9.10 Terra tremuit (1m21.9s - 1282 kb) score
Communio: 1 Cor. 5, 7.8 Pascha nostrum (1m25.2s - 1334 kb) score
ad dimitendum populum: Ite, Missa est (28.7s - 451 kb) score

And here are posts for most of these on Chantblog:

I've come to adore this apparent 17th-century collaboration on Noli me Tangere between Abraham Janssens (who did the figures) and Jan Wildens (who painted the landscape) - that's what it says, honest! - and which is now in the Musée des beaux-arts in Dunkerque, France. I just love the "gardener" theme, and this is a great one!

"This is the day"

So apparently it's Rutter, for the commissioned piece, at the "Royal Wedding" tomorrow; we've been endlessly curious.

"This is the day," it's called, based on various Psalms. Here's the text:
THIS is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.
O praise the Lord of heaven: praise him in the height.
Praise him, all ye angels of his: praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars and light.
Let them praise the name of the Lord.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways.
The Lord himself is thy keeper: the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;
so that the sun shall not burn thee by day: neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in: from this time forth for evermore.
He shall defend thee under his wings.
Be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart, and put thou thy trust in the Lord.

John Rutter (b 1945)
commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster for this service

Psalms 118: 24; 148: 1-3, 5a; 91: 4a, 11; 121: 5-8; 27: 16b

And now you know. The motet is Ubi Caritas, by Paul Mealor. I don't know it, and can't find a recording online, but here's his Locus Iste, to get perhaps an idea:

Oh, and yes: It's Parry's "I Was Glad" at the "Procession of the Bride":

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Anastasis - Victimae paschali laudes

"Uno sguardo ai mosaici della Basilica di San Marco a Venezia, ascoltando l'antica sequenza pasquale. Per un augurio di Buona Pasqua 2009."

(A look at the mosaics of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, while listening to the ancient Easter sequence. Good wishes for a Happy Easter 2009.)

Here are the Latin words and an English translation that comes from the Episcopal Church's Hymnal 1982:

Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Praecedet vos in Galilaeam.

Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum
Turbae fallaci.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

Christians, to the Paschal victim
offer your thankful praises!

A lamb the sheep redeemeth:
Christ, who only is sinless,
reconcileth sinners to the Father.

Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
the Prince of life, who died,
reigns immortal.

Speak, Mary, declaring
what thou sawest, wayfaring:

"The tomb of Christ, who is living,
the glory of Jesus' resurrection;

"Bright angels attesting,
the shroud and napkin resting.

"Yea, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he will go before you."

Christ indeed from death is risen,
our new life obtaining;
have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!

This is hymn #183 in the 1982 Hymnal, which provides this attribution:
Words: Wigbert [Wipo of Burgundy] (d. 1050?); tr. The Antiphoner and Grail, 1880, alt.
Music: Victimae Paschai laudes, plainsong, Mode I; melody att. Wigbert [Wipo of Burgundy] (d. 1050?)

This Joyful Eastertide - King's College Cambridge.

This joyful Easter-tide,
Away with sin and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
Hath sprung to life this morrow.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Ne'er burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

My flesh in hope shall rest,
And for a season slumber;
Till trump from east to west,
Shall wake the dead in number.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Ne'er burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

Deaths flood hath lost his chill,
Since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
My passing soul deliver.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Ne'er burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

Friday, April 22, 2011

New York Polyphony, et al.: Lamentations of Jeremiah, Part II

This is New York Polyphony: "Lamentations of Jeremiah: Jerusalem by Thomas Crecquillon." Gorgeous.

This is "J.D. Zelenka: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Lamentations for Maundy Thursday."

And this is "Very fine recording of the "Heth" and "Caph" chapters from Antoine Brumel's Lamentations of Jeremiah. Brumel was a French Composer who lived from c.1460 to c.1515."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stations of the Cross at St. Mary the Virgin, NY

From the Episcopal Church website.

New York Polyphony, et al.: Lamentations of Jeremiah, Part I

Here is New York Polyphony singing "Lamentations of Jeremiah for Maundy Thursday." Unfortunately, it doesn't say whose! I think Palestrina, though. [EDIT: No, not. Luis, in the comments, doubted this - and he was right; the Lamentations here are from Thomas Crecquillon, says the listing (see full text in the comments). The same concert, then, probably, as that in video #3 below. Thanks, Luis.] The blurb says "My End is My Beginning at The Church of the Ascension, New York City, 5 November 2009."

This seems to be from the same concert; the blurb says "Bora Yoon performs with New York Polyphony, The Church of the Ascension, New York, 5 November 2009." And also that "note: the repetitive "static" you hear is part of Bora Yoon's improvisation." Haunting, really.

This is New York polyphony, too: "Lamentations of Jeremiah: Jerusalem by Thomas Crecquillon."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Saint Thomas Church - Music - Choral Services - The Office of Tenebrae

Palestrina: Music for Maundy Thursday

These videos contain Palestrina's settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, passages which are read or sung during the Holy Week Office of Tenebrae.  You can follow along with the office at Divinum Officium; enter (for instance) 4-17-2014 in the date field, then click Matutinum (i.e., Matins).  

Tenebrae actually begins on Wednesday of Holy Week (i.e., the eve of the day to which it actually belongs); today it's celebrated in the early evening, but historically Matins and Lauds were middle-of-the-night services in the monastery.  From the Catholic Encyclopedia, via New Advent:
Tenebræ is the name given to the service of Matins and Lauds belonging to the last three days of Holy Week. This service, as the "Cæremoniale episcoporum" expressly directs, is to be anticipated and it should be sung shortly after Compline "about the twenty-first hour", i.e. about three p.m. on the eve of the day to which it belongs. .... Originally Matins on these days, like Matins at all other seasons of the year, were sung shortly after midnight, and consequently if the lights were extinguished the darkness was complete. That this putting out of lights dates from the fifth century, so far at least as regards the night Office, is highly probable. Both in the first Ordo Romanus and in the Ordo of St. Amand published by Duchesne a great point is made of the gradual extinction of the lights during the Friday Matins; though it would seem that in this earliest period the Matins and Lauds of the Thursday were sung throughout with the church brightly illuminated (ecclesia omni lumine decoretur). On Friday the candles and lamps were gradually extinguished during the three Nocturns, while on Saturday the church was in darkness from beginning to end, save that a single candle was kept near the lectern to read by.

There are 10 YouTube videos of the Palestrina music; they are coded so that one follows the last. They're very beautiful.  Some of the videos contain Gregorian responsories not part of the book of Lamentations. The words of Lamentations itself in Latin and English are here, at Choral Public Domain Library.

Here's just Chapter 1 in English:
1:1 ALEPH. How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal.

1:2 BETH. She weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.

1:3 GHIMEL. Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.

1:4 DALETH. The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her maidens have been dragged away, and she herself suffers bitterly.

1:5 HE. Her foes have become the head, her enemies prosper, because the LORD has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

1:6 VAU. From the daughter of Zion has departed all her majesty. Her princes have become like harts that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer.

1:7 ZAIN. Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the foe, and there was none to help her, the foe gloated over her, mocking at her downfall.

1:8 HETH. Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became filthy; all who honored her despise her, for they have seen her nakedness; yea, she herself groans, and turns her face away.

1:9 Her uncleanness was in her skirts; she took no thought of her doom; therefore her fall is terrible, she has no comforter. "O LORD, behold my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed!"

1:10 IOD. The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; yea, she has seen the nations invade her sanctuary, those whom thou didst forbid to enter thy congregation.

1:11 CAPH. All her people groan as they search for bread; they trade their treasures for food to revive their strength. "Look, O LORD, and behold, for I am despised."

1:12 LAMED. "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me, which the LORD inflicted on the day of his fierce anger."

1:13 MEM. "From on high he sent fire; into my bones he made it descend; he spread a net for my feet; he turned me back; he has left me stunned, faint all the day long.

The capitalized words are Hebrew letters; Lamentations is another Old Testament acrostic. Here's CPDL on Lamentations.
Lamentationes Ieremiae (English Lamentations of Jeremiah)

In the Greek and Latin Bibles there are five songs of lament bearing the name of Jeremiah, which follow the Book of the Prophecy of Jeremias. In the Hebrew these are entitled Kinôth. from their elegiac character, or the 'Ekhah songs after the first word of the first, second, and fourth elegies; in Greek they are called Threnoi, in Latin they are known as Lamentationes. The superscription to Lamentations in the Septuagint and other versions throws light on the historical occasion of their production and on the author: "And it came to pass, after Israel was carried into captivity, and Jerusalem was desolate, that Jeremiah the prophet sat weeping, and mourned with this lamentation over Jerusalem, and with a sorrowful mind, sighing and moaning, he said:".

To a man like Jeremiah, the day on which Jerusalem became a heap of ruins was not only a day of national misfortune, for, in a religious sense, Jerusalem had a peculiar importance in the history of salvation, as the footstool of Jahweh and as the scene of the revelation of God and of the Messias. Consequently, the grief of Jeremiah was personal, not merely a sympathetic emotion over the sorrow of others, for he had sought to prevent the disaster by his labours as a prophet in the streets of the city. All the fibres of his heart were bound up with Jerusalem; he was now himself crushed and desolate.

In all five elegies the construction of the verses follows an alphabetical arrangement. The first, second, fourth, and fifth laments are each composed of twenty-two verses, to correspond with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet; the third lament is made up of three times twenty-two verses. In the first, second, and fourth elegies each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the letters following in order, as the first verse begins with ALEPH, the second with BETH etc.

The Lamentations have received a peculiar distinction in the Liturgy of the Church in the Office of Passion Week. If Christ Himself designated His death as the destruction of a temple, "he spoke of the temple of his body" (John 2:19-21), then the Church surely has a right to pour out her grief over His death in those Lamentations which were sung over the ruins of the temple destroyed by the sins of the nation.

You can also download a PDF of the Office of Tenebrae for Good Friday - in English - from the (Catholic) Archdiocese of St. Louis' Institute of Sacred Music (where there are many other fine resources generously offered for free).

Here's Rembrandt's "Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem":

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vexilla regis (Dufay, et al.)

"Recorded live during Mass on 9/14/08 and sung by Les Choristes, the vocal quartet in residence at the French National Church in San Francisco, CA (Steven Olbash, director)."

Vexilla regis prodeunt is the Vespers hymn for the week of Lent 5 and Holy Week; you can find the words here or here. Guilliame Dufay was a Franco-Flemish composer of the early Renaissance, and lived and composed during the 15th century.

Here's a (sadly) short version of Palestrina's take on Vexilla Regis:

Bruckner got into the act, too:

But here's something interesting: a video of the singing of Vexilla Regis in procession:

At the YouTube page, you find, in French, an explanation: the music is Vexilla Regis (Anthoine de Bertrand, 1530-1581) and the video is from the "Mass of the Presanctified on Holy Friday" at Saint Eugène à Paris. In the comments, there's this:
On entend le son des crécelles. J'ai un souvenir d'enfant de choeur. Nous aimions les offices de la semaine sainte, en particulier pour actionner la crécelle. On l'utilisait dès le jeudi saint après le gloria, où les enfants avaient sonné dans le choeur avec une vigueur particulière. La schola continuait a capella et à l'élévation la cloche était remplacée par la crécelle.

That is more or less this:  "You can hear the sound of rattles. I have a memory from when I was  a choir boy. We liked the offices of Holy Week, and particularly to activate the rattle.  It was used on Maundy Thursday after the Gloria, and the choir children used it with special vigor. The choir continued a capella and at the elevation the bell was replaced by rattle."

In other words: the sound is the French version of a crotalus. Here's the Wikipedia page for crécelle - and the text, with translation:
Une crécelle est un instrument de musique idiophone datant du Moyen Âge, aussi appelée brouan et répandue aujourd'hui encore partout en Europe. De conception et d'utilisation simples, elle est un instrument populaire mais aussi un jouet pour les enfants.

Grâce au bruit puissant qu'elle émet, elle était aussi utilisée au Québec par les femmes des agriculteurs pour appeler leur mari au champ, avant la mécanisation de l'agriculture.- Dans la liturgie catholique, avant Vatican II, maniée dans les rues par les enfants de chœur, elle annonçait les offices durant le triduum pascal en remplacement des cloches.

On l'utilisait aussi afin d'avertir du passage de personnes infectieuse, atteintes de maladies redoutées au Moyen Âge : la lèpre, la peste.

A rattle is a percussive musical instrument from the Middle Ages, also known as the brouan,  and still widely used throughtout Europe.  Of simple design and use, it is a popular instrument but also a toy for children.

Due to the loud noise it emits, it was also used in Quebec by farmwomen to call their husbands to the field, before the mechanization of agriculture.  In the Catholic liturgy before Vatican II, operated in the streets by the choir boys, it announced the offices during the Easter Triduum in lieu of bells.

It was also used as a warning that people with infectious illnesses feared in the Middle Ages, like leprosy and the plague, were passing through.

It's a bit hard to tell what's going on here; is it a mass, or an office? It surely seems more like the latter - an "announcement," via the rattle, replacing the tolling of the bells that announce the office. But then, I don't know what happened at a "mass of the presanctified" on Good Friday, either; will see what I can find out and post again if I learn something.

[EDIT: Ah. Here's something that explains things: "The hymn was also formerly sung on Good Friday when the Blessed Sacrament is taken from the repository to the altar." And that must be what's happening here; the procession is (presumably) moving the Sacrament from the Altar of Repose to the altar for distribution during Good Friday Communion of presanctified elements. I'm told that when the Sacrament is taken anywhere it's been customary to ring bells - and of course the bells are silent after the Gloria on Maundy Thursday until they are rung again at the Easter Vigil.]

Friday, April 15, 2011

St. Matthew Passion – Johann Sebastian Bach

From the YouTube page:
This performance is the live. Famous session recording CD (DHM) is a different performance.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Matthäus-Passion BWV244
0:00 Erster Teil
1:12:11 Zweiter Teil
Evangelista: Christoph Prégardien
Jesus: Max van Egmond
Alto: Réne Jacobs
Bass: Klaus Mertens
Tenor: John Elwes
Bass: Peter Lika
Solistes du Tölzer Knabenchor
Tölzer Knabenchor
Gustav Leonhardt
La Petite Bande
Basilique Sainte-Clotilde, Paris, 10 3/1989

Trinity Wall Street - Webcasts - Videos - Music & Arts - The Trinity Choir - Music from the Sarum Rite 02.03.11

Trinity Wall Street - Webcasts - Videos - Music & Arts - The Trinity Choir - Music from the Sarum Rite 02.03.11

Just found this on the Trinity website! It's one of two videos from a concert performed in February of this year.

Here's the blurb on this concert:
The Trinity Choir, along with Guest Conductor George Steel, General Manager and Artistic Director of New York City Opera, perform Music from the Sarum Rite. These gorgeous compositions – taken from the elaborate and theatrical liturgy of pre-Reformation England – feature soaring soprano lines and rich choral textures by masters such as Robert Wylkinson, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, and John Sheppard. Although rarely performed today, the Sarum Rite includes some of the most exquisite music of any age. Purchase tickets online here. Tickets can also be purchased at the Trinity Gift Shop, inside Trinity Church. Watch a video of George Steel on the "music that speaks to us with an emotional clarity you wouldn't expect from...such a far away time.

Here's a PDF of the program. And below is the video of the George Steel discussion.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Planctus Tone (AKA "The Holy Week Weeping Tone")

The Passion According to St. John is often sung at Good Friday worship. The Passion story is sung using its own particular conventions; see this PDF of the Passion according to Luke, for instance, from Grace Church in Newark, for the chant notation. See the note on page 20, after Jesus commends his spirit to God, and breathes his last, that says, "Then the Chronista sings the conclusion of the Passion Gospel to the Planctus tone:" - and note the tone change that starts on page 21.

In the video below, the weeping tone begins at around 20:20, with the phrase, "After this, Joseph of Arimathea...."

Here's one in Latin; it's just the Planctus Tone section.

Under "Planctus" at Wikipedia, you find this:
A planctus is a lament, or song or poem which expresses grief or mourning. It became a popular form in the Middle ages, when they were written both in Latin and the vernacular. A number of varieties have been identified by Peter Dronke. From the 9th century, they include dirges for the dead, particularly for royals or heroes, vernacular laments sung by women, Germanic songs of exile and journeying, and fictional planctus on biblical or classical themes. From the 12th century he identifies laments of the Virgin Mary (called a planctus Mariae) and complaintes d'amour (complaints of love).[1]

The earliest planctus for which music survives are from the 10th century, from manuscripts associated with the abbey of Saint Martial at Limoges. The earliest know, the Planctus de obitu Karoli, was composed around 814 on the death of Charlemagne.[2] From the mid-thirteenth century survives an early Catalan Marian lament, Augats, seyós qui credets Déu lo Payre. Or simply a complaint poem with 27 lines and 8 syllables in each line with alliteration in each line.

Below is Marc Chagall's White Crucifixion, painted in 1938. Below that is a detail from the same painting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hosanna Filo David by Brian Luckner

Well, here's a polyphonic setting of Hosanna Filo David, after all - by "Brian Luckner, Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman in LaCrosse Wisconson." Quite beautiful, in fact; you go, Brian.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Palm Sunday: Hosanna, Filio David

Here's Giovanni Vianini singing the entrance song for Palm Sunday:

Here is the chant score:

In English:
Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
King of Israel:
Hosanna in the highest.

The text of that refrain is from Matthew 21:9, and when sung, verses from Psalm 118, Confitemini Domino alternate with the refrain, as in this longer video:

I'd originally titled this post "The Introit for Palm Sunday: Hosanna, Filio David."  This prompted Ted K., to note in the comments that '"Hosanna, Filio David" is not, in fact, the Introit; it's the first of the processional antiphons for Palm Sunday. The introit for this Mass used to be "Domine ne longe facias" but an introit for Palm Sunday was suppressed by the Bugnini reforms of Holy week in 1955.'

So I changed the post to reflect this.  I had seen this piece sung several times exactly in the same place, and with the same ritual, as was usual for an Introit, so I made the assumption it was the Introit - but it really is called something else.  The three pieces at the beginning of the today's rite are called "antiphons," and they are taken from various offices on the day - so perhaps that explains the terminology used here.  And this does explain, in any case, why there are no polyphonic settings of Hosanna, Filio David!  It appears that this is either a very new or a very old chant, since another text was formerly used as Introit.  Still looking at that.

Here's the Simple English Propers version of this entrance antiphon:

More about the Palm Sunday Liturgy

After the singing of the entrance antiphon, and after the blessing of the palms, two antiphons, Pueri Hebræorum, portantes and Pueri Hebræorum vestimenta, are sung during the Procession, folllowed by the hymn "Gloria, Laus, et Honor" - more famously known today in English, of course, as "All Glory, Laud, and Honor."

Here's Giovanni singing the Gregorian Pueri Hebræorum, portantes:

Here are the words to these antiphons, in Latin and English (translations from two sources, which accounts for the differences between them):
Pueri Hebræorum,
portantes ramos olivarum,
obviaverunt Domino,
clamantes et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

The children of Jerusalem
welcomed Christ the King.
They carried olive branches
and loudly praised the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Pueri Hebræorum vestimenta
prosternebant in via
et clamabant dicentes:
Hosanna Filio David,
benedictus qui venit in nomini Domini.

The Hebrew children
spread their garments in the way,
and cried out, saying:
Hosanna to the Son of God:
blessed is He that cometh
in the Name of the Lord.

It seems that these two Pueri Hebræorum antiphons - far more than the Introit itself - have inspired quite a few composers to polyphonic settings. Here's a lovely one on Pueri Hebræorum vestimenta from Tomás Luis de Victoria:

As for Gloria, Laus, et Honor: wow, it's a beautiful chant! Here's a lovely version:

Here's a chant score from the Benedictines, who call it a "Hymn to Christ the King":

The Latin text is just the same as the J.M. Neale translation we're familiar with singing in English on this day:

GLORIA, laus et honor
tibi sit, Rex Christe, Redemptor:
Cui puerile decus prompsit
Hosanna pium.
R. Gloria, laus, etc.
ALL glory, praise, and honor
to Thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet Hosannas ring.
R. All glory, etc.
Israel es tu Rex, Davidis et
inclyta proles:
Nomine qui in Domini,
Rex benedicte, venis.
R. Gloria, laus, etc.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David's royal Son,
Who in the Lord's Name comest.
the King and blessed One.
R. All glory, etc.
Coetus in excelsis te laudat
caelicus omnis,
Et mortalis homo, et cuncta
creata simul.
R. Gloria, laus, etc.
The company of Angels
are praislng Thee on high,
and mortal men and all things
created make reply.
All glory, etc
Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis
obvia venit:
Cum prece, voto, hymnis,
adsumus ecce tibi.
R. Gloria, laus, etc.
The people of the Hebrews
with palms before Thee went;
our pralse and prayer and anthems
before Thee we present.
R. All glory, etc.
Hi tibi passuro solvebant
munia laudis:
Nos tibi regnanti pangimus
ecce melos
R. Gloria, laus, etc.
To Thee before Thy Passion
they sang their hymns of praise;
to Thee now high exalted
our melody we raise.
R. All glory, etc.
Hi placuere tibi, placeat
devotio nostra:
Rex bone, Rex clemens, cui
bona cuncta placent.
R. Gloria, laus, etc.
Thou didst accept their praises,
accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.
R. All glory, etc.

There are more videos at last year's post.

There's another antiphon, Ingrediente Domino, that is used before the mass itself starts;  its official purpose, I believe, is for the re-entrance of the congregation into the church after a Procession outside.

Here's Giotto di Bondone's "Christ's Entry Into Jerusalem":

Of course, since the service turns in the middle to the Passion itself, it's fitting - after the reading or singing of the story of Christ's crucifixion - to end this post with a video of Vexilla Regis Prodeunt:

The words (English translation by J.M. Neale):
Vexilla regis prodeunt,
fulget crucis mysterium,
quo carne carnis conditor
suspensus est patibulo.

Confixa clavis viscera
tendens manus, vestigia
redemptionis gratia
hic inmolata est hostia.

Quo vulneratus insuper
mucrone diro lanceae,
ut nos lavaret crimine,
manavit unda et sanguine.

Inpleta sunt quae concinit
David fideli carmine,
dicendo nationibus:
regnavit a ligno deus.

Arbor decora et fulgida,
ornata regis purpura,
electa, digno stipite
tam sancta membra tangere!

Beata cuius brachiis
pretium pependit saeculi!
statera facta est corporis
praedam tulitque Tartari.

Fundis aroma cortice,
vincis sapore nectare,
iucunda fructu fertili
plaudis triumpho nobili.

Salve ara, salve victima
de passionis gloria,
qua vita mortem pertulit
et morte vitam reddidit.

O Crux ave, spes unica,
hoc Passionis tempore!
piis adauge gratiam,
reisque dele crimina.

Te, fons salutis Trinitas,
collaudet omnis spiritus:
quos per Crucis mysterium
salvas, fove per saecula. Amen.

The royal banners forward go,
the cross shines forth in mystic glow;
where he in flesh, our flesh who made,
our sentence bore, our ransom paid.


Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
life's torrent rushing from his side,
to wash us in that precious flood,
where mingled water flowed, and blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
in true prophetic song of old,
amidst the nations, God, saith he,
hath reigned and triumphed from the tree.

O tree of beauty, tree of light!
O tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
those holy limbs should find their rest.

Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
the wealth that did the world restore,
the price of humankind to pay,
and spoil the spoiler of his prey.

Upon its arms, like balance true,
he weighed the price for sinners due,
the price which none but he could pay,
and spoiled the spoiler of his prey.



O cross, our one reliance, hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
to give new virtue to the saint,
and pardon to the penitent.

To thee, eternal Three in One,
let homage meet by all be done:
whom by the cross thou dost restore,
preserve and govern evermore.

And that is what will happen at St. Mary the Virgin; this is the recessional hymn, sung without accompaniment. After it's over, there is silence.

This day most definitely has some of the most beautiful music of the year. has all the chant propers for today, sung by the Sao Paolo Benedictines:

Hebdomada SanctaDominica in Palmis de Passione Domini

Antiphona: Hosanna filio David (34.9s - 548 kb) score

Ad processionem
Procedamus (8.3s - 133 kb) score
Antiphona: Pueri... portantes (2m24.9s - 2266 kb) score
Antiphona: Pueri... vestimenta (1m18.4s - 1228 kb) score
Hymnus ad Christum Regem: Gloria, laus (2m43.7s - 2558 kb) score
Responsorium: Ingrediente Domino (3m34.2s - 3350 kb) score

Ad Missam

Tractus: Ps. 21, 2- Deus, Deus meus (1m54.7s - 1794 kb) score
Graduale: Phil. 2, 8. V. 9 Christus factus est (2m19.3s - 2178 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 68, 21.22 Improperium... et dederunt (2m40.2s - 2504 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 26, 42 Pater, si non potest (3m28.0s - 3252 kb) score

And here are Chantblog posts on some of these:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Anglican Chant XIV: Psalm 150, Sunday Choral Evensong

"The Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys, under the direction of John Scott, sings Psalm 150 in closing procession at Sunday Choral Evensong. Choral Evensong occurs most Sundays (September - May) at 4pm and many Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 5:30pm. See for details."

Coverdale again:
1 O praise God in his holiness *
praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him in his noble acts *
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him in the sound of the trumpet *
praise him upon the lute and harp.
4 Praise him in the cymbals and dances *
praise him upon the strings and pipe.
5 Praise him upon the well-tuned cymbals *
praise him upon the loud cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath *
praise the Lord.

Anglican Chant XIII: Psalm 40

"Sung during Choral Evensong at Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal) in Cleveland, Ohio March 24, 2010 Trinity Chamber Singers Horst Buchholz, Choirmaster Todd Wilson, Organist"

This time, the text comes from the 1979 BCP Psalter:
Expectans, expectavi

1  I waited patiently upon the LORD; *

he stooped to me and heard my cry.

2  He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; *

he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.

3  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; *

many shall see, and stand in awe, and put their trust in the LORD.

4  Happy are they who trust in the LORD! *

they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.

5  Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God!

how great your wonders and your plans for us! *

there is none who can be compared with you.

6  Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! *

but they are more than I can count.

7  In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure *

(you have given me ears to hear you);

8  Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required, *

and so I said, "Behold, I come.

9 In the roll of the book it is written concerning me: *

I love to do your will, O my God; your law is deep in my heart.'"

10 I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation; *

behold, I did not restrain my lips; and that, O LORD, you know.

11 Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance; *

I have not concealed your love and faithfulness from the great congregation.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Office hymns "On the Feast of the Dedication of a Church"

I realized recently that I've never completed the seasonal schedule of Daily Office Hymns!  I went from Advent through the octave of Pentecost (skipping a few things that don't match up with modern practice, and more on those later) - but neglected Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, and the "Ordinary Time" hymns.  ("Ordinary Time" is a new designation, of course; what I mean is the hymns used daily from Corpus Christi through the start of Advent, except for saints' days and All Saints/All Souls).    I've missed a few others as well - the hymns for the "little hours," among other things - and will work out which things I need to remedy and fix them all as I go along this year.

I also missed the hymns for "the Feast of the Dedication of a Church," which is the last listing under "Proper of the Season" in Hymn melodies for the whole year, from the Sarum service-books.  And that's an interesting one, so I'll do it now.   (Follow along with the office here, at Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston, 1885).    I'll link-in via iFrame at the bottom of the post too.)

For the Anniversary of the Dedication of a Church, the hymns are as follows:
1st Evensong & Mattins:  Urbs beata Hierusalem..............45
Lauds & 2nd Evensong:   Angulare fundamentum....................45
That's this tune:

Oremus hymnal online has a midi of the plainsong.

Below are the words to Urbs beata Hierusalem in Latin; it was hard to find all four verses online!  Most sources just gave the first one. But The Latin hymns of the Anglo-Saxon church: with an interlinear Anglo-Saxon gloss to the rescue again!
Urbs beata Hierusalem
Dicta pacis visio
Que construitur in celis
Vivis ex lapidibus
Et Angelis coornata
Ut sponsata comite.

Nova veniens e celo
Nuptiali thalamo
Preparata ut sponsata
Copulatur Domino
Piatee et muri ejus
Ex auro purissimo.

Porte nitent margaritis
Aditis patentibus
Et vir tute meritorum
Illuc introducitur
Omnis qui pro Christi nomine
Hic in mundo premitur.

Tonsioribus pressuris
Expoliti lapides
Suisque aptantur locis
Per manus artificis
Disponuntur permansuri
Sacris edificas.

Oremus also offers this J.M. Neale translation:
Blessed city, heavenly Salem,
vision dear of peace and love,
who of living stones art builded
in the height of heaven above,
and, with angel hosts encircled,
as a bride dost earthward move;

from celestial realms descending,
bridal glory round thee shed,
meet for him whose love espoused thee,
to thy Lord shalt thou be led;
all thy streets and all thy bulwarks
of pure gold are fashioned.

Bright thy gates of pearl are shining;
they are open evermore;
and by virtue of his merits
thither faithful souls do soar,
who for Christ's dear Name in this world
pain and tribulation bore.

Many a blow and biting sculpture
polished well those stones elect,
in their places now compacted
by the heavenly Architect,
who therewith hath willed for ever
that his palace should be decked.

Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, coeternal,
while unending ages run.

Here's a really pretty Guilliame DuFay setting of the hymn that uses this plainsong melody in alternatim with the composition; it's sung here by Ensemble Musica Nova:

Giovanni Vianini, though, sings a different tune using the same text (I think!):

You'll find quite a bit more about this hymn - which dates from the 7th or 8th century, it says - at New Advent.  It's obvious that much of the text was taken from Revelation, but NA gives three sources: Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:5; and Apocalypse [Revelation] 21.

The Lauds and 2nd Vespers hymn, Angulare fundamentum, uses the same melody - and comes from the same original hymn text; this is still another instance of a long hymn broken into parts for use during the various Offices of the day.

More from NA:
Sung in the Office of the Dedication of a Church, the first four stanzas were usually assigned to Vespers and Matins, the last four to Lauds. In the revision by the correctors under Urban VIII (see BREVIARY) the unquantitative, accentual, trochaic rhythm was changed into quantitative, iambic metre (with an addition syllable), and the stanza appears in the Breviary with divided lines:
Coelestis Urbs Jerusalem,
Beata pacis visio,
Quæ celsa de viventibus
Saxis ad astra tolleris,
Sponsæque ritu cingeris
Mille Angelorum millibus.
The original hymn for Lauds (Angularis fundamentum lapis Christus missus est) was changed into "Alto ex Olympi vertice", etc. Hymnologists, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, criticise adversely the work of the correctors in general. Of this hymn in particular some think that, where as it did not suffer as much as some others, yet it lost much of its beauty in the revision; others declare that it was admirably transformed without unduly modifying the sense.

Here's the hymn in Latin, from the Esperanto Breviary (my favorite!):
Angularis fundamentum
lapis Christus missus est,
qui parietum compage
in utroque nectitur,
quem Sion sancta suscepit,
in quo credens permanet.

Omnis illa Deo sacra
et dilecta civitas,
plena modulis in laude
et canore iubilo,
trinum Deum unicumque
cum fervore prædicat.

Hoc in templo, summe Deus,
exoratus adveni,
et clementi bonitate
precum vota suscipe;
largam benedictionem
hic infunde iugiter.

Hic promereantur omnes
petita acquirere
et adepta possidere
cum sanctis perenniter,
paradisum introire
translati in requiem.

Gloria et honor Deo
usquequaque altissimo,
una Patri Filioque
atque Sancto Flamini,
quibus laudes et potestas
per æterna sæcula.

And here's J.M. Neale's translation - sure to be familiar and in fact you can go ahead and sing it to the plainsong, since it uses the same meter!
Christ is made the sure Foundation,
Christ the Head and Cornerstone;
Chosen of the Lord, and precious,
Binding all the Church in one,
Holy Zion’s Help forever,
And her Confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
Dearly loved of God on high,
In exultant jubilation,
Pours perpetual melody,
God the One in Three adoring
In glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call Thee,
Come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
With Thy wonted lovingkindness
Hear Thy servants as they pray.
And Thy fullest benediction
Shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all Thy servants
What they ask of Thee to gain;
What they gain from Thee forever
With the blessèd to retain,
And hereafter in Thy glory
Evermore with Thee to reign.

Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One;
Consubstantial, co-eternal,
While unending ages run.

If you'd rather sing it to the more familiar Purcell tune, here's an interesting version of "Christ is made the sure foundation":

Here's a more straight-ahead version:

The Liturgy Office of the Catholic Church in England and Wales offers this PDF document describing the rites for the Dedication of a Church.

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

YouTube - F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy - (4/4) Symphony No. 5 in D minor "Reformation" - IV. Andante - Allegro

YouTube - F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy - (4/4) Symphony No. 5 in D minor "Reformation" - IV. Andante - Allegro

HT Dan.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Introit for the Fifth Sunday in Lent: Judica Me ("Vindicate Me")

I like the singing of the Introit on this video, even though it's a bit faint:

Here's the chant score and the translation from JoguesChant:

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly nation; from wicked and deceitful men deliver me, for you are my God and my strength. Send forth your light and your truth; these have led me and brought me to your holy mountain and to your dwelling place.

The text is from Psalm 43:1-3:
1 Vindicate me, my God,
and plead my cause
against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
deceitful and wicked.
2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
3 Send me your light and your faithful care,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

Here's Giovanni Vianini's version. It's labeled "Introito gregoriano, prima Domenica di Passione," because in the previous Roman system (and thus in today's "Extraordinary Form," and in the Sarum Use, this Sunday was called "Passion Sunday."  (Now "Passion Sunday" is another name for "Palm Sunday."  More about that below.)

Here's New Advent on "Passion Sunday" (keep in mind that this encyclopedia was originally published in 1913):
The fifth Sunday of Lent, a Sunday of the first class, not permitting the celebration of any feast, no matter of what rank, but allowing a commemoration of feasts which are not transferred. It is called Dominica de Passione in the Roman Missal, and Dominica Passionis in the Breviary. Durandus and other liturgical writers speak of it as Dominica in Passione, or simply Passio, or Passio Domini. It is also known as Judica Sunday, from the first word of the Introit of Mass; Isti sunt, from the beginning of the first response in the Matins; Octava mediana, it being the eighth day after Laetare Sunday, called sometimes Mediana, or Middle of Lent; Repus, an abbreviation of repositus, i.e. absconditus, or hidden from the veiling of the Crosses (Du Cange, "Glossar." s.v. repositus). Among the Slavs it is the Nedela strastna (pain, suffering, terrible), muki (painful, or sorrowful), gluha (deaf or silent), tiha (quiet), smertelna (relating to death), or also cerna (black), which appellation is also found in some parts of Germany as Schwartzer Sonntag. Since after this Sunday there are not many more days of the Lenten season the Greek Church admonishes the faithful to special mortifications, and places before them the example of the penitent St. Mary of Egypt.

Here's Wikipedia on the Sarum take on this day:
In those Anglican churches which follow the Sarum Use, crimson vestments and hangings are pressed into service on the fifth Sunday of Lent — replacing the Lenten array (unbleached muslin cloth) — and vestments are crimson until (and including) Holy Saturday. Reflecting the recent playing down of Passiontide, the Church of England's Common Worship liturgical resources suggest red for Holy Week only (with the exception of the Maundy Thursday Eucharist).

The historical readings for this day are Genesis 12:1-3, Hebrews 9:11-15, John 8:46-59, and Psalm 43. I Corinthians 1:21-31 and Matthew 26:17-29 are alternate readings.[7]

The three-year lectionary appoints the following readings for this day[8]:

* Psalm
o A: 116:1-9
o B: 51:10-15
o C: 28:1-9

* 1st Lesson
o A: Ezekiel 37:1-14
o B: Jeremiah 31:31-34
o C: Isaiah 43:16-21

* 2nd Lesson
o A: Romans 8:11-19
o B: Hebrews 5:7-9
o C: Philippians 3:8-14

* Gospel
o A: John 11:47-53/1-53
o B: John 12:20-33
o C: Luke 20:9-19

I would imagine the "playing down of Passiontide" is a reaction to the Second World War and the Holocaust in Europe - a very deep desire to "downplay [religious] passions" seems to me to be a theme in Europe during the second part of the 20th century - but I don't know this for sure. Fisheaters says this about Passion Sunday:
The two weeks of Passiontide begin today, the first week being known as "Passion Week," and the second week being known as "Holy Week."

This day -- Passion Sunday -- memorializes the increasing antipathy against Christ from the Jews who would not accept Him and accused Him of sorcery and of being blasphemous and possessed by a devil. From today until Maundy Thursday, the Júdica me and the Glória patris at the Introit and Lavabo are omitted from Masses of the Season (not Sundays and Feasts).

Today, statues and sacred images (except for the Stations of the Cross) are veiled with purple cloth beginning at the Vespers of Passion Sunday, and they remain covered until the Gloria of Holy Saturday, at which point Lent ends and Eastertide begins. Catholics cover statues and icons, etc., in their homes for the same time period (the cloth shouldn't be transluscent or decorated in any way).

This veiling of the statues and icons stems from the Gospel reading of Passion Sunday (John 8:46-59), at the end of which the Jews take up stones to cast at Jesus, Who hides Himself away. The veiling also symbolizes the fact that Christ's Divinity was hidden at the time of His Passion and death, the very essence of Passiontide.

At the Vespers Mass on Holy Saturday, Lent ends and Easter begins: the statues are unveiled at that time in one of the most glorious liturgical moments of the entire Church year, a moment that affirms His divinity and proclaims that "He is risen!"

"The Mystery of Passiontide and Holy Week" from Dom Gueranger's "The Liturgical Year" is also available at the Fisheaters link. He notes that:
As we have already observed, there are three objects which principally engage the thoughts of the Church during Lent. The Passion of our Redeemer, which we have felt to be coming nearer to us each week; the preparation of the catechumens for Baptism, which is to be administered to them on Easter eve; the reconciliation of the public penitents, who are to be readmitted into the Church on the Thursday, the day of the Last Supper. Each of these three object engages more and more the attention of the Church, the nearer she approaches the time of their celebration.

And also says that:
The miracle performed by our Savior almost at the very gates of Jerusalem, by which He restored Lazarus to life, has roused the fury of His enemies to the highest pitch of frenzy. The people's enthusiasm has been excited by seeing him, who had been four days in the grave, walking in the streets of their city. They ask each other if the Messias, when He comes, can work greater wonders than these done by Jesus, and whether they ought not at once to receive this Jesus as the Messias, and sing their Hosanna to Him, for He is the Son of David. They cannot contain their feelings: Jesus enters Jerusalem, and they welcome Him as their King. The high priests and princes of the people are alarmed at this demonstration of feeling; they have no time to lose; they are resolved to destroy Jesus. We are going to assist at their impious conspiracy: the Blood of the just Man is to be sold, and the price put on it is thirty silver pieces. The divine Victim, betrayed by one of His disciples, is to be judged, condemned, and crucified. Every circumstance of this awful tragedy is to be put before us by the liturgy, not merely in words, but with all the expressiveness of a sublime ceremonial.

Here's more on the former Passion Sunday.  Interestingly, the author asks "So why was this Sunday eliminated from the liturgical year?" - and then "answers" it this way:
According to Cardinal Bugnini in his Reform of the Liturgy, “Also suppressed as a title is 'Passiontide.' The whole of it now becomes, even externally, a part of Lent...The readings and prayers used in antiquity on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays have been restored (the Sundays of 'the Samaritan,' 'the Man Born Blind,' and 'Lazarus'). The final two weeks are dominated by preparation for the celebration of the passion.”

And so, on March 21, 1969, the Sacred Congregation of Rites published the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar which stated that “The Sundays of this season are called the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent. The Sixth Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, is called Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday).”

In spite of the suppression of Passion Sunday, the tradition still echoes in the new rite. It is still permitted to veil the statues and crucifixes at vespers before the fifth Sunday of Lent if your parish wants to do it before Holy Thursday. You can also still hear, if your parish uses the propers of the season, Psalm 42, 1-2 as the Introit on this day. “Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man: for thou art my God and my strength...”

Which doesn't answer the question, but again lends credence to my theory, since the point is made that "the readings and prayers used in antiquity on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays have been restored."  That's another theme; the idea that the church had gone badly wrong during the Middle Ages - a turn that had culminated in disaster - giving rise to a desire to "get back to the source" of Christianity.

That page also gives further details about the day:
Passion Sunday was also known as “Judica Sunday” in reference to the Introit “Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta...”, similar to Laetare and Gaudete Sundays being named after the first word of the Introit for those days.

The Sunday is also known as Neomania, the Sunday of the new moon, because it always falls after the new moon which regulates the feast of Easter.

The Greek Church simply calls this Sunday the fifth Sunday of the holy fasts.

The stational Mass for Passion Sunday was celebrated at the basilica of St. Peter. It was considered such an important day that no other feast had precedence.

Here's something interesting: a "fantastic and exciting organ improvisation by German organist Ansgar Wallenhorst. This piece forms the finale movement of a larger, skilfully improvised symphony for organ. The declamatory statement at the beginning outlines the melody of the plainchant(?) 'Judica me' (the introit for the fifth Sunday in Lent). A powerful piece, extemporised on the large Seifert organ of the church of St Matthias, Berlin-Schöneberg."

Here's the collect for the day, another really great one:
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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:
In the Gelasian sacramentary this collect is appointed for the third Sunday after the octave of Easter (no. 551), as it is also in the supplement to the Gregorian (no. 1120). Cranmer retained the original preamble, which read: "Almighty God, which does make the minds of all faithful men to be of one will." This was revised in 1662. in the Sarum missal and earlier Prayer Books this collect was appointed for the fourth Sunday after Easter; the present revision has shifted it to this Sunday in order that it may replace one of the Gregorian collects (no. 285) asking for protection and not at all suited to the time of the

And that's all! We go into two blank pages next, which means we can't "preview" commentary on the collects from now till Holy Saturday! We'll all have to buy the book if we want to know what it says for this and the Holy Week collects. In any case, it's perfectly suited to this Sunday, I think - whether it's called "Passion Sunday" or "Lent 5."

The historical Gospel reading, as given in the Wikipedia quote above, is John 8:46-59:
Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.’

The Jews answered him, ‘Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?’ Jesus answered, ‘I do not have a demon; but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the judge. Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.’ The Jews said to him, ‘Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, “He is our God”, though you do not know him. But I know him; if I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.’ Then the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

So we have different ideas, here, about what constitutes "historical readings." Cardinal Bugnini says that "Lazarus" was the reading "in antiquity." That's something I'm going to have to look into. In any case, for us the Gospel is indeed John's telling of the raising of Lazarus:
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them." After saying this, he told them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him." The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right." Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world."

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you." And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. provides the full complement of propers for today, here sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines;  note that the Communio again depends on the Gospel for the day.
Hebdomada quinta quadragesimæ  Dominica
Introitus: Ps. 42, 1.2.3 Iudica me, Deus (3m09.1s - 1293 kb) chant score
Graduale: Ps. 142, 9.10. V. Ps. 17, 48.49 Eripe me, Domine (3m49.9s - 1572 kb) chant score
Tractus: Ps. 128, 1-4 Sæpe expugnaverunt (1m50.9s - 759 kb) chant score
Offertorium: Ps. 118, Confitebor tibi, Domine (1m41.8s - 697 kb) chant score
                 quando legitur Evangelium de Lazaro:
                 Io. 11, Videns Dominus (3m43.2s - 1526 kb)

                 quando legitur Evangelium de muliere adultera:
                 Io. 8, 10.11 Nemo te condemnavit (2m35.9s - 1213 kb)

                 quando legitur aliud Evangelium:
                 Io. 12, 26 Qui mihi ministrat(49.0s - 382 kb)

Here are posts on Chantblog about the other propers:

Here's Caravaggio's "The Raising of Lazarus," from around 1609:

And this one is from Juan de Flandes, sometime in the 15th Century:


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