Sunday, June 30, 2013

On the Feast of S. Mary Magdalene (July 22)

From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum Service-books:
On the Feast of S. Mary Magdalene (July 22) :
1st Evensong:   Collaudemus Magdalene ... ... ... 45
Mattins Estimavit hortolanum ... ... ... 67
Lauds & 2nd Ev.:   Maria, noli flere ... ... ... 45
Once again, I have written on this feast day previously (also here, where you can listen to an Orthodox Communion hymn for this feast), but with this post I am looking to complete my Sarum hymn listings specifically.  Follow along with the full 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.

Melody #45 is the same tune used for Urbs Beata Ierusalem and Angulare Fundamentum, sung On the Feast of the Dedication of a Church; Oremus hymnal online has a midi of the plainsong.   It's a pretty and distinctive tune.

This melody is also used on several other "Proper of Saints'" days:  at Visitation, on "The Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross" (on May 3 - and not the same holiday as the September 14 "Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross"), and on the Feast of "S. Vincent M."    That's an interesting group of days!   I'm going to try to learn more about this; I wonder especially if this melody has been over the centuries closely associated with Urbs Beata Ierusalem and Angulare Fundamentum - and whether or not those hymns (and thus this melody) had special resonance in the minds of Christians.   Obviously, UBI and AF are hymns that call to mind the church itself; you find them in the "Church" section of the 1982 hymnal under their current incarnations, "Blessed City, Heavenly Salem" and "Christ is made the sure foundation."   I've heard the latter hymn in particular used at ordinations and at other special occasional ecclesial celebrations; they are definitely associated in my mind with the church itself.  So I'm wondering how all that relates to the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene; I'm going to see what I can find out.

There are two versions of  "Blessed City, Heavenly Salem" in the 1982 Hymnal, and one of them - Hymn #519 - uses the original plainchant melody.

Melody #67 is the same one used for Tibi, Christe, Splendor Patris on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels:

Here's G. Vianini's version of Tibi, Christe, Splendor Patris, sung to this melody:

These seem to be obscure hymns, and it was quite difficult to find out much about them.  Then the 1902 book, Description and History of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Munster Square, London came to the rescue.  The book contains English translations of two of the hymns: Collaudemus Magdalene and Maria, noli flere - as well as a few others.  I'm including all five hymns from the book here, just for the interest value; Collaudemus Magdalene and Maria, noli flere are #s III and IV below.  I find the text of Maria, noli flere to be especially beautiful; the mystical "Gardener of the thirsty mind" image is astonishing!


Now let the Church in earth and heav'n
To Christ upraise her melody:
By sev'nfold grace from devils sev'n
A captive soul is now set free.

Full oft she sinned of whom we tell,
Mary, the sister of Lazarus;
Who, from the very jaws of hell,
Repentant life hath shewn to us.

To Christ the Healer see her go,
With precious ointment for her Lord:
The Good Physician speaks, and lo!
He heals her sickness by His Word.

O unction from a broken heart!
O rivers from those laden eyes'!
Such choosing of love's better part
Brings pardon with a glad surprise.

This loving Saint was first to see
The Victor, rising from His rest:
The earliest joy was hers to be
Who loved Him most, who loved the best.

Now God in mercy grant to us,
In life's incessant storms and cares,
That all the Saints most glorious
May aid us sinners with their prayers.

To God Alone be glory giv'n,
For sev'n-fold pow'r and glad release:
To souls of men, from sin forgiv'n,
He gives new life and joy and peace.

(S. Odo of Cluny, 11th Century-)


Dawning was the first of days,
When from death our Hope and Praise,
Son of God rose gloriously; 
Trampling down the infernal King,
Power of darkness vanquishing,
Forth He came 'victoriously.

When the risen Lord was seen,
Blessed Mary Magdalen
Was the herald whom He chose,
News of promised joy to bring
To His brethren sorrowing
O'er their Master's dying throes.

O thrice blessed eyes that first,
(When the chains of death were ourst,
Sin destroy'd and Satan quell'd),
Christ, the King of all, beheld.
This was she who was of old
Lost in sin so manifold,
But at Jesus' feet obtain'd
Grace to pardon all that stain'd.

Mutely suing, grief renewing,
Lo! she proveth how she loveth
Christ supremely, by her tears;
When adoring and imploring,
He regardeth and rewardeth,
Stilling self-accusing fears.

Mary sweetest! as is meetest,
For thy holy deeds and lowly,
Thee we hail as "Ocean Star ";
Name thou bearest which thou sharest
With that other blessed Mother
Who in rank outshines thee far.

One a queenly title gaineth,
One, a sinner, grace obtaineth;
Each upon the Church's night
Heralded returning light.
One the Gate whereby Salvation
Dawn'd amain on all creation;
The other world-wide bliss restored
And blazon'd forth the risen Lord.

Magdalen! our praises heeding,
Aid our vows by interceding,
O befriend us and commend us
At the throne of Christ above!
That the Fount of Expiation
Who effaced her degradation,
Reconcilement from defilement
May vouchsafe us in His love.

(Sarum Gradual, 11th Century.)


Sing we now the praise of Mary,
All her tears, her joy, her love;
High in laud we raise our voices,
While our hearts in concert move;
So the nightingale descanteth
Sweetly to the plaintive dove.

Nought the number of the feasters,
Seeking Jesus, did she fear;
She her Master's feet anointed,
Wash'd them with the falling tear,
Wiped them with her tresses, gaining
Pardon through her love sincere.

Lo, the cleans'd doth wash the Cleanser,
Stream to Fountain floweth fain;
Balm that from the flower distilleth,
Fragrance sheds on flower again;
And the dew from earth ascendeth
To the heav'n that gave the rain.

Spikenard in the alabaster
Is her offering pure and rare;
She, in pouring of the ointment,
Doth a mystic sign declare;
Sick, anointeth her Physician,
To receive His healing care.

Gazed the Lord with special favour
Down on Mary tenderly;
Much she loves; her sins, though many,
Have forgiveness full and free;
On the Resurrection-morning
She shall Jesus' herald be.

Glory be to God, and honour,
Who, true Paschal Sacrifice,
Lamb in death, in strife a Lion,
Did the third day Victor rise,
And the spoils of death, as trophies,
Bare triumphant to the skies.

(Sarum Breviary, 14fh Century.)


Weep not, Mary, weep no longer,
Nor another seek to find:
Here indeed the Gardener standeth,
Gardener of the thirsty mind.
In the spirit's inner garden
Seek that Gardener ever kind.

Whence thy grief and lamentation?
Lift, faint soul, thy heart on high,
Seek not memory's consolation,
Jesus Whom thou lov'st is nigh;
Dost thou seek the Lord? thou hast Him,
Though unseen by human eye.

Whence thy sorrow, whence thy weeping?
True the joy thou hast within;
Undiscerned abides within thee
Balm to heal the wounds of sin;
'Tis within, why, vainly roving,
Seek disease's medicine?

'Tis no wonder if thy Master
Pass thy knowledge while He sows;
For His seed, the word eternal,
Unto fulness in thee grows;
"Mary," saith He—thou, " Rabboni,"—
And the soul her Saviour knows.

Thou didst wash the feet of Jesus,
Thee the Fount of grace did lave;
May we, by that dew's refreshment,
Which to thee remission gave,
Share His glory, Whom thou sawest,
Risen a Victor from the grave.

(Sarum Breviary, 14th Century.)


When blessed Mary wip'd her Saviour's feet,
(Whose precepts she had trampled on before)
And wore them for a jewel on her head,
Shewing His steps should be the street,
Wherein she henceforth evermore
With pensive humbleness would live and tread:

She being stain'd herself, why did she strive
To make Him clean, Who could not be defil'd;
Why kept she not her tears for her own faults,
And not His feet? Though we could dive
In tears like seas, our sins are pil'd
Deeper than they, in words, and works, and thoughts.

Dear soul, she knew Who did vouchsafe and deign
To bear her filth; and that her sins did dash
Ev'n God Himself: wherefore she was not loth,
As she had brought wherewith to stain,
So to bring in wherewith to wash:
And yet in washing one, she washed both.
                              (George Herbert, 1633)

I was also able to find the Mattins hymn, Estimavit Hortolanum, in the book Medieval Hymns and Sequences; it's another Magdalene hymn based on the Gardener motif.  Here's the full entry; sing it to melody #67, as prescribed above:

Aestimabit Hortolanum

The very elegant hymn, Pange lingua Magdalenae, of English origin, is in the Sarum Breviary divided into three, for Vespers, Matins, and Lauds. I translated it for the Hymnal Noted; but it was thought too complex for popular use. The Lauds hymn was accidentally kept: the other translations lost. It is in the Clewer edition of the Day Hours.

As the Gardener, Him addressing,
  Well and rightly she believ'd:
He, the Sower, gave His blessing
  To the seed her heart receiv'd:
Not at first His Form confessing,
  Soon His Voice her soul perceiv'd.

She beheld, as yet not knowing
  In the mystical disguise, 
Christ, That in her breast was sowing
  Deep and heavenly mysteries:
Till His Voice, her name bestowing,
Bade her hear and recognize.

 She to Jesus, Jesus weepeth,
  Of her Lord removed complains;
Jesus in her breast she keepeth;
  Jesus seeks, yet still retains:
He That soweth, He That reapeth
  All her heart, unknown remains.

Why, kind Jesu, why thus hiding,
 When Thyself Thou would'st reveal?
Why, in Mary's breast abiding,
  From her love Thyself conceal?
Why, True Light, in her residing,
  Can she not Its radiance feel?

Oh, how strangely Thou eludest
  Souls that on Thee have believ'd!
But eluding, ne'er deludest,
  Nor deceiv'st, nor art deceiv'd;
But including, still excludest;
  Fully known, yet not perceiv'd.

Laud to Thee and praise for ever,
   Life, Hope, Light of every soul!
Through Thy merits may we never
  Be inscribed in Death's dark roll,
But with Mary's true endeavour
  All our sins, like her, condole! Amen. 

Here's a peek-in to the SSM Breviary entry:

The foundation stone of St. Mary Magdalene Munster Square was laid in 1849; the church's founder was influenced by the Oxford Movement of the 19th Century.

Here are a few images from their Gallery page:

Below I've included a big chunk of the book's "History of the Church" chapter; I wanted to see how and why Mary Magdalene was chosen as the name for the parish, but so far haven't discovered this.
Absence of a Church in any district is certain to ensure the deterioration of the neighbourhood at no very distant date. On the other hand, the provision of a dignified Church in any locality greatly improves the surrounding vicinity. This statement is borne out in a remarkable degree in the history of St. Mary Magdalene's.

When London, in Georgian days, gradually extended its borders and spread further afield, Osnaburgh Street and Munster Square with the surrounding property, were built (c.1810) in a substantial style. Osnaburgh Street, and others near by, were provided with stables to each house, and it appears that the inhabitants at first were people of means and some position. Like all newly built-on districts, it retained, too, some of its rural surroundings for a considerable period. The country was not nearly so far away then as now, and the village pound and village pond of St. Pancras were still on the sites of Holy Trinity Church and Portland Road Station, even within the memory of people still alive. But no Church accommodation of any description was provided for many years, and the area with all these additional rows of houses continued part of the gigantic parish of St. Pancras. It is evident that it was, moreover, recognised, even in those apathetic days, that the parish had outgrown the accommodation of the original little Church of St. Pancras, since, in 1819, the then Duke of York laid the foundation stone of the new Church, as we know it now, which was consecrated in 1822.

In 1818 Dr. Blomfield had been appointed Bishop of London, and he devoted himself very largely to increasing the number of Churches in his Diocese. With this object he founded the Metropolis Church Scheme, which had for its object the building of Churches in London, where the Church accommodation was ridiculously small in proportion to the ever-increasing population.

Christ Church, Albany Street, was the first Church built by this scheme, and was finished in 1837. It was to Christ Church that Mr. Stuart used every Sunday to go for his eight o'clock Communion, when staying with his father in Harley Street during the Oxford vacations, and whenever he went there he always dropped a piece of gold into the box, " For the Building of the New Church," which subsequently formed the nucleus of the fund for purchasing the site of St. Mary Magdalene's.

After completing his studies at Eton, and at Baliol College and New Inn Hall, Oxford, where he came under the influence of Dr. Pusey, he took his degree, and in about 1845 he was ordained, Mr. Wardell of Winlaton, in the Diocese of Durham, giving him a title. He next became an assistant-priest to Mr. Powell, of Cirencester, and afterwards he volunteered to assist Mr. Edward Munro in carrying on the College, which he had founded for the higher education of boys of the lower middle-class.

He then joined Mr. Dodsworth's staff at Christ Church, Albany Street, and while there he conceived the idea of devoting himself and his fortune to what eventually became his life's work, at St. Mary Magdalene's. It is said that he offered the Bishop of London to found a Church and to serve it in such part of London as had the most evil reputation, and the Bishop indicated the then York Square neighbourhood. He may possibly have also been influenced in his choice by Dr. Pusey, who was well acquainted with its terrible condition.

For all the forty or so years since the houses had been built, no Church had yet been erected within sight, and the neighbourhood had deteriorated rapidly. The proximity of the barracks, situated at the back of Cumberland Terrace, had also tended to lower the tone of the inhabitants. The result was that no respectable people would take a house in York Square, on account of the stigma attached to any one dwelling there.

It is typical of the man that Mr. Stuart not only sold his estate to pay the entire cost of the Church, and for its endowment, but he himself took a house in the notorious square itself as his own residence.

The site of the Church was originally occupied by a coach factory, and the site having been provided, as before indicated, by the congregation of Christ Church, the foundation stone was laid on July ioth, 1849, by Mr. Baron Alderson, an old friend of Mr. Stuart's.

The Holy Eucharist was celebrated in Christ Church, and the service was fully choral, five choirs combining to give effect to its performance, viz., those of St. Andrew's, Wells Street, Margaret Chapel, a selection from St. Mark's College, the boys of the Chapel Royal, St. James', and the regular cboir of Christ Church. They were conducted by the Rev. T. Helmore, whose Psalter (Noted) was used for the Psalms, which were chanted antiphonally by priest and choir. The Rev. John Keble preached the sermon. . After the Service, a procession was formed to proceed to the site, consisting of about seventy surpliced Priests and a surpliced Choir of eighty, followed by the greater part of the congregation. The service of the laying of the stone included two sets of Versicles—commencing respectively, "O how amiable are Thy dwellings," and "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious," the 8410 and 127th Psalms, sung to grand old Gregorian tunes, and prayers, including one for consecration of the stone. The stone was then formally laid, and an anthem followed. The blessing, pronounced by Mr. Dodsworth, concluded the ceremony. The procession then returned to Christ Church in the same order, and a banquet subsequently took place the same day.

The building of the Church, however, occupied a longer time than had originally been expected on account of difficulties with the foundations, but in three years the first part of the Church was ready for consecration, and on April 22nd, 1852, the Church of St. Mary Magdalene was consecrated by Bishop Blomfield, and the following, in the handwriting of Mr. Stuart, is the earliest entry from the Parish Book :—

"The Right Rev. Lord Bishop of London consecrated the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on this day. Messrs. Holland and Charrington, parishioners of the new District Parish, with the Rev. Edw. Stuart, Perpetual Curate, presented the petition for consecration.

"The Prayers were said by the Rev. E. Stuart; the Lessons were read by the Rev. M. Shaw, and Rev. W. F. Powell, of Cirencester. The Epistle was read by the Rev. W. F. Burrows, and Holy Communion was administered by the Bishop, assisted by the Rev. E. Stuart, Rev. W. F. Burrows, and Rev. J. W. Molyneux, Assistant Curate of St. Mary Magdalene's, to 300 communicants.

"The Sermon was preached by the Bishop of London, and the offertory, amounting to ^190, was set aside for the building of Schools in the new District.

"In the evening there was Service at seven o'clock, after which a Sermon was preached by the Rev. F. D. Maurice, Professor of King's College."

It may be mentioned in passing that the anomalous title of "Perpetual Curate," which was shared with the incumbent of Christ Church, Albany Street, and many other comparatively recently erected churches, and new districts, was altered to that of Vicar by the passing, in i860, of the Marquis of Blandford's Act.

Thus began the actual history of the Church, the Jubilee of which we have been spared to keep this year (1902). How far reaching may be the results of the single-hearted labours of Mr. Stuart and those others who have ministered and laboured at St. Mary Magdalene's, no man can tell. It is sufficient for us to know that the whole moral tone of the Parish was visibly improved even before Mr. Stuart's death, and the improvement has continued ever since.

The lines on which Mr. Stuart worked to attain this end and in which he has been followed by his successors, were to make the word Thorough the motto of the Church, and this single word best sums up his own life and teaching, as well as the Church and the services.

And he was not afraid to adopt such practices of the Roman branch of the Catholic Church as were fit and edifying, leaving them the "monopoly," as he was wont to write, of compulsory confession, of compulsory celibacy, of miraculous images, and of prayers in Latin. He also strongly championed the voluntary use of private confession in both his teaching and writings. He always insisted, however, on having the congregation with him before he added to the ceremonial or otherwise altered the services. For this purpose he preached on Vestments, Incense, or whatever it. might be, before introducing them, besides writing pamphlets and leaflets with the same object. He also compiled a Hymn-book at a time when the paraphrased versions of the Psalms were almost the only metrical songs used in Churches. Several of these hymns are now -included in the new Hymn-books now in use in the Church. He made the Services and Music bright, congregational, and hearty. One of the customs he borrowed from abroad was that of Open-air Processions, on the greater festivals, in addition to those in the Church. In these he introduced girls in white, with different coloured scarves, as well as the regular choir with the banners of the Church. He admitted that such processions were then (1873) unusual, but hoped that would not be the case much longer. He further justified the proceedings in a tract he published at the time by appealing to common sense and to Biblical tradition, as well as similar efforts of dissenters and others.

At Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Whitsun, he always circulated leaflets, the specimens of which, with the extracts from his other writings on pages 48 to 50 will suffice to show the type of the man, and the direct clearness of his teaching.

In his social work he was as conspicuous as a pioneer as in the services. The Christmas dinners and presents, treats to the children of the schools, their parents, and poor people generally, have always been one of the traditions of the parish. For many years, too, he held annual summer excursions to Rye House, charging the participants one shilling each all round towards their share of the day's expenses, people in better positions being invited to increase their contribution. As far back as 1855 he formulated the rules for St. Mary Magdalene's Club, which was most successful, and in which—as in all the work connected with the Church—he took a great personal interest, and towards the success of which he devoted several hours of his own spare time each week. This social side languished somewhat at the time of his death, but was revived by Mr. Ponsonby, and is now succeeded

hoping that a good Vicarage house would be handed over to his successors free of debt. The corner stone was laid on the morrow of St. Mary Magdalene's Day, 1895, and the house was first occupied in 1896.

Mr. Hitchcock's health was not very good, and after a voyage to the Cape had not done all the good that was expected, it became necessary for him to resign. The Rev. W. H. Jervois, who had been assistant priest for five years at St. Giles's, Reading (Mr. Ponsonby's original parish), and twelve years at St. Matthew's, Westminster, was appointed Vicar in 1896, by the Bishop (Temple) of London, to whom the patronage had fallen by the original settlement.

During the past six years the schools have been enlarged, the new Institute has been opened, the congregation has become more parochial, and thus the Church has started on the second half-century of her work.

The Church's work, whether in general or in any individual parish, must be one of faith, always certain of her divine commission and the divine promises, always looking upward, always confident, always content to leave results in the hands of God. The time will come when the densely populated area bounded by Euston Road, Hampstead Road, and Drummond Street will be annexed to the parish, bringing with it a large increase of responsibility and an imperative call for fresh effort; it is therefore necessary from a purely human point of view to put forth our best energies now on behalf of the present population to bring home to them the Catholic Faith, and so to make them "workers together with God," at least by their example of Christian living.

There are many things still wanting to complete the Church, particulars of which will be found elsewhere, but these notes will indicate what has, by the grace of God, been accomplished in the past, and assuredly we mayitook forward to like blessings in the time to come.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Compline for the Eve of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

From the St. Mark's Seattle Compline Choir, here's an mp3 of Compline for the Eve of St. John the Baptist.  Here's the order of the music:
The Office of Compline for June 23, 2013

5th Sunday after Pentecost
Eve of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24)

Conductor: Jason Anderson
Reader: Tyler Morse
Cantor: Richard Greene

ORISON: “The great forerunner of the morn” (tune: The Truth From Above, English melody, harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams [1872 - 1958])

PSALM: 85: 7 – 13 (Jason Allen Anderson)

HYMN: “Comfort, comfort ye my people ” (tune: Psalm 42 – Genevan Psalter, composed or harmonized by Louis Bourgeois [ca. 1510 - 1560])

NUNC DIMITTIS: (setting by Lodovico Grossi da Viadana [ca. 1560 - 1627]; Tone VII)

ANTHEM: “Benedictus” from Missa Sine Nomine (John Taverner [c. 1490 - 1545])

Subscribe to their podcast here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New York Polyphony: "If ye love me"

NYP sings Thomas Tallis in Länna kyrka in Bergshamra, Sweden; gorgeous.
"New York Polyphony will release 'Times go by Turns' Summer 2013, the highly anticipated follow-up to their acclaimed BIS Records debut 'endBeginning'."

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may 'bide with you forever;  E'en the spirit of truth.  (John 14:15-17)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Feast of SS. Peter & Paul (June 29)

From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum Service-books:
On the Feast of SS. Peter & Paul, (June 29) & during the 8ve (when the Service is of the Feast) :

    Ev. & Matt:   Áurea luce
    On the day (E. & M.) & on the 8ve day (E.) ... ... ... ... ... 46
    Within the 8ve (E. & M.) & on the 8ve day (M.) ... ... ... ... ... 47
I have written about this hymn (and this feast) already, but that was before I'd found Hymn melodies for the whole year;  that post refers instead to the Roman Breviary, and contains a discussion of two other hymns as well.    (It's worth reading, too, this separate post about Felix per omnes festum mundi cardines, "sung at First Vespers of SS. Peter and Paul according to the use of the Church of York.")  Here I'm attempting to complete the Sarum hymn listings for the whole church year - and add links on my Resources page! - so I'll do it "by the book," and just use what I've found in Hymn melodies.

The tunes are the same ones used for the hymn Annue Christe "on Feasts of Apostles and Evangelists throughout the year" - including St. John Evangelist on December 27.  Peter and Paul, though - as you can see - are special cases and have their own hymn for this joint celebration.

This rendition of Áurea luce, from Giovanni Vianini, is sung to tune #46 above; it's a beautiful melody and a terrific text:

Here's the chant score by itself:

Here is the Latin and English text, taken from a page at CPDL.  The translation for verses 4 and 5 are not included on that page, so I took those verses from Early Christian Hymns, written in 1908 (I believe)  by one D.J. Donohoe:
1. Aurea luce et decore roseo,
Lux lucis, omne perfudisti saeculum:
decorans caelos inclito martyrio.
Hac sacra die, quae dat reis veniam.

2. Janitor caeli, doctor orbis pariter,
Judices saecli, vera mundi lumina:
Per crucem alter, alter ense triumphans,
Vitae senatum laureati possident.

3. O felix Roma, quae tantorum principum
es purpurata pretioso sanguine,
non laude tua, sed ipsorum meritis
excellis omnem mundi pulchritudinem.

4. Jam, bone Pastor Petre, clemens accipe
Vota precantum, et peccati vincula
Resolve, tibi potestate tradita,
Qua cunctis cœlum verbo claudis, aperis.

5. Doctor egregie, Paule, mores instrue,
Et mente polum nos transferre satage:
Donec perfectum largiatur plenus,
Evacuato quod ex parte gerimus.

6. Olivae binae pietatis unicae,
fide devotos, spe robustos maxime,
fonte repletos caritatis geminae
post mortem carnis impetrate vivere.

7. Sit Trinitati sempiterna gloria,
honor, potestas atque iubilatio,
in unitate, cui manet imperium
ex tunc et modo per aeterna saecula


1. O light of dawn, O rosy glow,
O Light from Light, all ages show
Your beauty, and the martyrs fame,
That gain us pardon from our blame.

2. The heavens' porter, and earth’s sage,
The world’s bright lights who judge the age.
One wins by cross, and one by sword,
And life on high is their reward.

3. These are your princes, happy Rome!
Their precious blood clothes you, their home.
We praise not you, but praise their worth,
Beyond all beauty of the earth.

4. Kind Shepherd, Peter, unto thee was given
The keys to close and ope the gates of heaven;
Strike from our souls the galling chain of crime,
And gain the grace for which our hearts have striven.

5. O learned Paul, inspire us from above
With all the graces of the Heavenly Dove;
Bring us the faith to see the truth of God,
And brighten earth with the sweet reign of love.

6. One love, one faith, twin olive trees,
One great strong hope filled both of these.
Full fonts, in your matched charity,
Pray that we may in heaven be.

7. Give glory to the Trinity
And honor to the Unity,
And joy and pow’r, for their reign stays
Today and through all endless days.

It's a wonderful hymn, isn't it?   It's "been attributed" to Elpis, the wife of Boethius; I'm gathering, though, as I Google, that there may be some question as to whether a) she was actually his wife, and b) she ever existed and wrote this hymn (and a couple of others)!   However, I'll give you what I've found about her in Early Christian Hymns:
Wife of the illustrious Roman writer and statesman, Boetius, Elpis was born, perhaps not later than 475, of a noble Sicilian family. In 500, when King Theodoric came to Rome he made Boetius master of the palace. He was chosen consul three times, and his two sons, by Elpis, were made consuls in their nonage, in 523.

Her husband was cruelly put to death by the barbarian king in 525, and his estates confiscated; but these were restored to Elpis, who survived Boetius, by the king's daughter Amalasunta, on the death of Theodoric, which took place soon after the martyrdom of Boetius. It is not known when the death of Elpis occurred.

Elpis was noted as a lady of great learning, wit and beauty.

The following hymn is divided, and adapted for three several hymns in the Roman Breviary, one for January 25, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, the other two for June 29, the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

"Elpis," I find it interesting to note, is the mythological Greek personifcation of "hope" -the single thing left inside Pandora's Box after all the evils of the world had escaped.

Unfortunately, I still haven't found an audio file of melody #47; still working on it.  Here's the chant score, though:

Meanwhile, here are all kinds of chant propers for today at MMDB.

According to this Catholic News Agency article, the celebration of Peter and Paul together is ancient:
As early as the year 258, there is evidence of an already lengthy tradition of celebrating the solemnities of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul on the same day. Together, the two saints are the founders of the See of Rome, through their preaching, ministry and martyrdom there.
The article also notes that:
In a sermon in the year 395, St. Augustine of Hippo said of Sts. Peter and Paul: “Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.”

The Orthodox call them "The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul"; here are Troparions and Kontakions for their joint feast:
Troparion — Tone 4

First-enthroned of the apostles, / teachers of the universe: / Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy!

This video is in Georgian, I believe, and says it's "Troparion to the Saints, Tone 4," and uses the same words as above:

Kontakion — Tone 2

O Lord, You have taken up to eternal rest / and to the enjoyment of Your blessings / the two divinely-inspired preachers, the leaders of the Apostles, / for You have accepted their labors and deaths as a sweet-smelling sacrifice, / for You alone know what lies in the hearts of men.

Kontakion — Tone 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / Together with Paul and the company of the twelve, / Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!

Below are couple of icons and a painting that put Peter and Paul together; they had quite a few dust-ups, by all Biblical accounts, so it's interesting to think how they'd feel about being celebrated on the same day, together!

This one says:  "English: SS. APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL 13th Century From the Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, Belozersk":

This one's even older:  "Icon of Sts. Peter and Paul from Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, circa 1050":

In comparison, this one is almost brand new - from the 17th Century and Guido Reni:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Laudate dominum: O Praise Ye the Lord! (Parry)

Charles Hubert H. Parry: O Praise ye the Lord!

The YouTube page says this is from "the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate The Diamond Jubilee Of Her Majesty The Queen, St Paul's Cathedral, Tuesday 5th June 2012."  It's interesting to me that so many in that congregration know this hymn!

They had this one at St. Thomas yesterday, too.  It's a splendid tune - one of the first hymns I fell in love with - and these are the splendid words that go with it, from Psalm 149:
O praise ye the Lord! praise Him in the height;
Rejoice in His Word, ye angels of light;
Ye heavens, adore Him by Whom ye were made,
And worship before Him in brightness arrayed.

O praise ye the Lord! Praise Him upon earth,
In tuneful accord, ye sons of new birth;
Praise Him Who hath brought you His grace from above,
Praise Him Who hath taught you to sing of His love.

O praise ye the Lord! All things that give sound;
Each jubilant chord re-echo around;
Loud organs, His glory forth tell in deep tone,
And sweet harp, the story of what He hath done.

O praise ye the Lord! Thanksgiving and song
To Him be outpoured all ages along!
For love in creation, for Heaven restored,
For grace of salvation, O praise ye the Lord!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"King of glory, King of peace"

We sang this hymn today - and they had it at St. Thomas, too, for some reason; perhaps it's one of those recommended for this day.  Here's a video of it sung at Washington National Cathedral, on October 31, 2010.

A beautiful hymn (tune "General Seminary"), with beautiful words from George Herbert:
King of glory, King of peace,
I will love thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast,
thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll thee;
e'en eternity's too short
to extol thee.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Feast of the Nativity of S. John the Baptist (June 24)

Here are the hymns for the upcoming feast day of one of my favorite of all Christian saints, from Hymn Melodies for the Whole Year from the Sarum Service-Books: :
On the Feast of the Nativity of S. John the Baptist (June 24) & during the 8ve (when the Service is of the Feast) :-
Evensong:   Ut queant laxis
On the day at both Evensongs ... ... ... 56
During the 8ve & on the 8ve day ... ... ... 60
Mattins:   Antra deserti
On the day ... .56
During the 8ve & on the 8ve day... ... ... 60
Lauds:   O nimis felix ... ... ... ... 44
I've written about these hymns in several other posts before, but wanted to get my Office Hymns listing totally up-to-date and complete (including all chant scores).

(Follow along with the Offices for this feast 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 this post, too.)

The famous Ut queant laxis is the star of the show today; that's a link to the 4th most-hit post on this blog.  UQL is the Evensong hymn, sung as prescribed above to these two melodies:

The first melody above is the same one Hymn melodies often gives for Iste Confessor (as here for the Feast Day of Martin of Tours); the tune is the one on this mp3, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood. (The words sung on that sound file are those of Iste Confessor, not Ut queant laxis.)

The second tune is unknown to me at the moment; I'll try to find audio of it and will post it if I can.

Authorship of the hymn is generally credited to Paulus Diaconus, a Benedictine monk who lived in Lombardy during the 8th Cenutry. This is another example of a long hymn broken up into shorter ones for use at the various Office hours of a particular feast or season; the Ut queant laxis section (about the first third of the hymn) is used at Vespers; the Antra deserti teneris sub annis section is used at Matins; and the O nimis felix, meritique celsi section is used at Lauds.

Hymn melodies for the whole year's melody prescriptions, though, are different than the one that makes this hymn so famous.  That's this tune (the video provides only the first two stanzas, plus a doxology):

This mp3 is the same recording, as far as I can tell.   Below are all the words to the entire hymn, in Latin on the left, with English translation from the Hymner on the right:

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes!

Nuntius celso veniens Olympo
te patri magnum fore nasciturum,
nomen et vitae seriem gerendae
ordine promit.

Ille promissi dubius superni
perdidit promptae modulos loquelae;
sed reformasti genitus peremptae
organa vocis.

Ventris abstruso positus cubili
senseras regem thalamo manentem,
hinc parens nati meritis uterque
abdita pandit.

Antra deserti teneris sub annis
civium turmas fugiens, petisti,
ne levi saltim maculare vitam
famine posses.

Praebuit hirtum tegimen camelus,
artubus sacris strofium bidentis,
cui latex haustum, sociata pastum
mella locustis.

Caeteri tantum cecinere vatum
corde praesago iubar adfuturum;
tu quidem mundi scelus auferentem
indice prodis.

Non fuit vasti spatium per orbis
sanctior quisquam genitus Iohanne,
qui nefas saecli meruit lavantem
tingere limphis.

O nimis felix meritique celsi
nesciens labem nivei pudoris,
prepotens martyr heremique cultor,
maxime vatum!

Serta ter denis alios coronant
aucta crementis, duplicata quosdam;
trina centeno cumulata fructu
te, sacer, ornant.

Nunc potens nostri meritis opimis
pectoris duros lapides repelle
asperum planans iter, et reflexos
dirige calles,

ut pius mundi sator et redemptor
mentibus pulsa luvione puris
rite dignetur veniens sacratos
ponere gressus.

Laudibus cives celebrant superni
te, deus simplex pariterque trine,
supplices ac nos veniam precamur:
parce redemptis!
O for thy Spirit, Holy John, to chasten,
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen,
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder
Meetly be chaunted

Lo ! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to thy father promise of thy greatness ;
How he shall name thee, what thy future story,
Duly revealing.

Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for a season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at thy wondrous birth, again returneth
Voice to the voiceless.

Thou, in thy mother's womb all darkly cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, biding in his chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their children's merits,
Mysteries utter'd.

Thou, in thy childhood, to the desert caverns
Fleddest for refuge from the cities' turmoil,
Where the world's slander might not dim thy lustre,
Lonely abiding.

Camel's hair raiment clothed thy saintly members ;
Leathern the girdle which thy loins encircled ;
Locusts and honey, with the fountain-water,
Daily sustain'd thee.

Oft in past ages, seers with hearts expectant,
Sang the far-distant advent of the Day-Star,
Thine was the glory, as the world's Redeemer,
First to proclaim him.

Far as the wide world reacheth, born of women,
Holier was there none than John the Baptist;
Meetly in water laving him who cleanseth
Man from pollution.

O More than blessed, merit high attaining,
Pure as the snow-drift, innocent of evil,
Child of the desert, mightiest of martyrs,
Greatest of prophets.

Thirty-fold increase some with glory crowneth ;
Sixty-fold fruitage prize for others winneth;
Hundred-fold measure, thrice repeated, decks thee,
Blest one, for guerdon.

O may the virtue of thine intercession,
All stony hardness from our hearts expelling,
Smooth the rough places, and the crooked straighten
Here in the desert.

Thus may our gracious Maker and Redeemer,
Seeking a station for his hallow'd footsteps,
Find, when he cometh, temples undefiled,
Meet to receive him.

Now as the Angels celebrate thy praises,
Godhead essential, Trinity co-equal ;
Spare thy redeem'd ones, as they bow before thee,
Pardon imploring. Amen.

As you can see, this hymn is in my favorite meter: 11 11 11 5, called the "Sapphic and Adonic meter."  You can follow along with the square notes at this PDF offered on the St. Cecilia Schola Cantorum website, or using the image of that file below:

The interesting thing about this hymn - and what makes it famous - is that it's where the  musical scale syllables "Do-Re-Mi," etc., originated.   Per New Advent :
The hymn is written in Sapphic stanzas, of which the first is famous in the history of music for the reason that the notes of the melody corresponding with the initial syllables of the six hemistichs are the first six notes of the diatonic scale of C. This fact led to the syllabic naming of the notes as Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, as may be shown by capitalizing the initial syllables of the hemistichs:
UT queant laxis REsonare fibris
MIra gestorum
FAmuli tuorum,
SOLve polluti LAbii reatum, Sancte Ioannes.

Guido of Arezzo showed his pupils an easier method of determining the sounds of the scale than by the use of the monochord. His method was that of comparison of a known melody with an unknown one which was to be learned, and for this purpose he frequently chose the well-known melody of the "Ut queant laxis" . Against a common view of musical writers, Dom Pothier contends that Guido did not actually give these syllabic names to the notes, did not invent the hexachordal system, etc., but that insensibly the comparison of the melodies led to the syllabic naming.

Here's a score that clearly shows this ascending scale, using only the first verse of the hymn:

And here's what Wikipedia says about "Do-Re-Mi" at its solfège entry:
The use of a seven-note diatonic musical scale is ancient, though originally it was played in descending order.

In the eleventh century, the music theorist Guido of Arezzo developed a six-note ascending scale that went as follows: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la. A seventh note, "si" was added shortly after.[6] The names were taken from the first verse of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis, where the syllables fall on their corresponding scale degree.

Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.

The words of the hymn (The Hymn of St. John) were written by Paulus Diaconus in the 8th century. It translates[7] as:
So that these your servants can, with all their voice, sing your wonderful feats, clean the blemish of our spotted lips, O Saint John!
"Ut" was changed in 1600 in Italy to the open syllable Do,[8] at the suggestion of the musicologue Giovanni Battista Doni, and Si (from the initials for "Sancte Iohannes"[dubiousdiscuss]) was added to complete the diatonic scale. In Anglo-Saxon countries, "si" was changed to "ti" by Sarah Glover in the nineteenth century so that every syllable might begin with a different letter.[9] "Ti" is used in tonic sol-fa and in the song "Do-Re-Mi".

In England during the Elizabethan era a simplified version of this system (using only the syllables "fa", "sol", "la" and "mi") was used (see below #Solmization in Elizabethan England).

Sing Antra deserti at Mattins using the same two melodies as above; take the words from the second of the the three parts of the poem above.

O nimis felix is the Lauds hymn; the words come from the third of three parts of the poem.  The melody prescribed for O nimis felix is #44, the same tune used on this mp3 of the hymn O Pater sancte, sung at the Lauds Trinity Office (again the audio file is courtesy of the LLPB). 

John the Baptist seems to be a sort of empty slate for artists to write upon using their own conceptions; there are many very different takes on him.  Here are a couple I haven't posted on this blog yet.

Here's the peek-in to the Offices at the SSM Breviary:

This is Joachim Patinir's "Baptism of Christ," from 1515:

And this is Alexander Ivanov's "Sermon of St. John the Baptist," from sometime in the 19th Century:



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...