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:

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