Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Communion Song for the Solemnity of All Saints: Beati Mundo Corde ("Blessed are the pure in heart")

Here it's sung by the Schola of the Vienna Hofburgkapelle:

The text for this proper comes from Matthew 5 and his version of the Beatitudes:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Gospel reading for this year - Year C - is from Luke's version of the Beatitudes:
Luke 6:20-31

Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:

"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
"Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
"Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
"Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
"Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
"Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets
"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."

William Byrd set Beati Mundo Corde, but his composition does not seem to be online.  Here's one, though, from Polish composer Zielenski Mikolaj, composed in around 1611.

Not much is known about Zielanski, but he's an interesting case; here's his entry at Wikipedia.
Mikołaj Zieleński (Zelenscius, birth and death dates unknown) was a Polish composer, organist and Kapellmeister to the primate Baranowski, Archbishop of Gniezno.

Zieleński's only known surviving works are two 1611 liturgical cycles of polychoral works, the Offertoria/Communes totius anni. These were dedicated to the Archbishop of Gniezno, Wojciech Baranowski. The whole comprises eight part-books and a ninth book, the Partitura pro organo, which constitutes the organ accompaniment. This publication contains in all 131 pieces written for various vocal and also vocal and instrumental ensembles, all with organ accompaniment.

The Venetian publication does not only comprise the offertories and communions; we find there also over a dozen other pieces, such as hymns, antiphons, a magnificat, and even three instrumental fantasias. In his compositions Zieleński relies on his own creative invention and does not, in general, make use of the cantus firmi. The few pieces which a pre-existent melody may be traced out are based not on a plainsong melody but on the melodies of Polish songs. The sets consist of large-scale double- and triple-choir antiphons, as well as some monodic works typical of the Seconda pratica style of early Monteverdi. Zieleński's music is the first known Polish music set in the style of the Baroque.

You can also get Free scores by Mikołaj Zieleński in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki).

Here's something called Beati Mundo Corde that to me is musically interesting;  I believe it comes from Howard Goodall's "Enchanted Voices" CD.  Apparently there are 8 different settings - perhaps one for each Beati?   That's a great idea, actually!  (Listen to samples of the other pieces here at the UK site.)  I always say we don't do nearly enough with the Beatitudes in the West, although there are many, many musical settings for them in the East.  So I'm glad to see this.

Personally I could do without the shaking statue thing, and I advise listening rather than watching.

All of the Beatitudes are at this YouTube page:
Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Matthew 5:3-11 KJB

There's another one of these at YouTube; this one is titled "Beati Qui Lugent - Blessed are they that mourn":

Here's the All Saints' Day Collect:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

And this is the New Advent entry for All Saints':
Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year.

In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a "Commemoratio Confessorum" for the Friday after Easter. In the West Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV(827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil seems to have been held as early as the feast itself. The octave was added by Sixtus IV (1471-84).

The photo below is labeled "All Saints Day 2010 at Skogskyrkogården in Stockholm" - a photo by Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0):

Blessed All Saints' Day (one of my favorite feasts of the year) to all.   And let me just add here the reading I love so much for this day (one of the first readings I remember hearing), from the BCP Lectionary:
Ecclesiasticus 44:1-10,13-14

1 Let us now sing the praises of famous men,    
          our ancestors in their generations.
2 The Lord apportioned to them great glory,
          his majesty from the beginning.
3 There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,
          and made a name for themselves by their valour;
          those who gave counsel because they were intelligent;
          those who spoke in prophetic oracles;
4 those who led the people by their counsels
          and by their knowledge of the people’s lore;
          they were wise in their words of instruction;
5 those who composed musical tunes,
          or put verses in writing;
6 rich men endowed with resources,
          living peacefully in their homes—
7 all these were honoured in their generations,
          and were the pride of their times.
8 Some of them have left behind a name,
          so that others declare their praise.
9 But of others there is no memory;
          they have perished as though they had never existed;
          they have become as though they had never been born,
          they and their children after them.
10 But these also were godly men,
          whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
13 Their offspring will continue for ever,
          and their glory will never be blotted out.
14 Their bodies are buried in peace,
          but their name lives on generation after generation.

Here are mp3 files for all the propers on the day, from
Die 1 novembris
Omnium Sanctorum
Introitus: Ps. 32 Gaudeamus... Sanctorum omnium (3m09.8s - 2969 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 33, 10. V. 11b Timete Dominum (2m33.1s - 2395 kb) score
Alleluia: Mt. 11, 28 Venite ad me (3m34.5s - 3355 kb) score
Offertorium: Sap. 3, 1.2.3 Iustorum animæ (2m25.8s - 2281 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 5, 8.9.10 Beati mundo corde (1m29.8s - 1408 kb) score

And here are posts about these on Chantblog:

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