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:

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