Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Hymns at the Lesser Hours: Compline III

This is the third of three posts about the Compline hymns; see Part I here and Part II here.

The following are the hymns listed for Compline, in Hymn melodies for the whole year, from the Sarum service-books:
Daily throughout the year, except on Double Feasts & from the 1st Sunday in Lent until Trinity Sunday inclusive :-
Te lucis ante terminum

(1) On Sundays & when the Choir has Rulers ... ... 14
(2) On Ferias & Simple Feasts of the lowest class ...11

On Double Feasts during Advent & daily from Xmas Eve to the 8ve of Epiphany, & on all Double Feasts from thence until the 1st Sunday in Lent, on the Vigil of Pentecost, on the Thursday, Friday, & Saturday in the 8ve of the same, & on all Double Feasts from Trinity Sunday until Advent, except on the Feast of the Holy Name :

Salvator mundi Domine ... ... 8

[At Christmas-tide (York): Corde natus ex Parentis ... 73]

On the First Sunday in Lent & daily until Passion Sunday :

Christe, qui Lux es et Dies ... ... 12

On Passion Sunday & daily until Wednesday in Holy-Week inclusive:

Cultor Dei, memento ... ... 13

From Maundy Thursday to Low Sunday no Hymns are sung.

On Low Sunday & daily until Ascension Day :

Jesu, Salvator seculi, Verbum ... 14

On Ascension Day & daily until Whitsun Day :

Jesu, nostra Redempcio ... ... 34

On Whitsun Day, (but not on the Vigil, see above) & on the three days following, & on the Feast of the Holy Name :

Alma chorus Domini ... Sequence p. (xxiij)

[On Monday & Wednesday in Whitsun Week (York):

Laudes Deo devotas ... Sequence p. (x)]

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.

The last two hymns are Sequences, and as usual, I haven't found any audio or video files for these; it's always just about impossible to find any recordings anywhere of most of the old sequence hymns.  If I should come across anything, I'll create a new post to discuss these hymns.  Or, at some point I'll make recordings myself, but until that happens, you'll need to work out the tunes yourself!

I would, though, like to point to the texts for these; there are some interesting features here - a remarkable text for Alma chorus Domini, for instance.

Alma chorus Domini ... (Sequence p. (xxiij)) is sung "On Whitsun Day, (but not on the Vigil, see above) & on the three days following, & on the Feast of the Holy Name":

The (quite amazing!) words above are in English, obviously - but I have found the Latin ones, here in a footnote to this 1993 book Christ the 'name' of God: Thomas Aquinas on Naming ChristI've typed out the English words from the score above as well:
Alma chorus Domini nunc pangat nomina summi.
Messias, Soter, Emmanuel, Sabaoth Adonai,
Est Unigenitus, Via, Vita, Manus, Homoousion,
Principium, Primogenitus, Sapientia, Virtus,
Alpha, Caput, Finisque simul vocitatur et est Omega ;
Fons et Origo boni, Paraclitus, et Mediator ;
Agnus, Ovis, Vitulus, Serpens, Aries, Leo, Vermis ;
Os, Verbum, Splendor, Sol, Gloria, Lux, et Imago,
Panis, Flos, Vitis, Mons, Janua, Petra, Lapisque ;
Angelus, et Sponsus, Pastorque, Propheta, Sacerdos ;
Athanatos, Kyrios, Theos, Pantocraton et Iesus,
Salvificet nos, sit tui saecla per omnia doxa.

Now let our voices rehearse our Lord's dear titles in order:
King, Messais, Emmanuel, Savior, and Lord of Sabbaoth;
Consubstantial, the Way and the Life, the Hand, Only-begotten,
Wisdom and might, Beginning, the First-born of every creature,
Alpha and O we name him; at once both the Head, and the Ending,
Fountain and Source of all Good, our Advocate and Mediator,
He is the Heifer, the Lamb, Sheep, Ram, the Worm, Serpent, and Lion;
Mouth and Word of God, Light, Sun, Glory, Splendor, and Image ;
Blossom, Bread, Vine, Door, Rock, Mountain, and Stone of the Corner ;
Angel and Spouse of His Church, the Shepherd, the Priest, and the  Prophet;
Mighty, Immortal, Supreme, the Lord God, Omnipotent, Jesus ;
These be Thy titles, Jesu, to Thee be all honor and glory
O may he save us, [to Whom] be the glory through ages of ages.  Amen.

I have no idea where this text comes from; still working on this at the moment.  I do have a note from my wanderings around the web that somehow it's related to Acts 2 - but cannot figure out anymore what I was referring to by this note. Back later if I ever re-connect with this thread.

In addition to its use at Compline during the octave of Pentecost and on The Feast of the Holy Name (for obvious reasons!), apparently this Sequence was used for the Nuptial Mass, too.  This book, Music in Early English Religious Drama: Minstrels playing, notes, in a discussion of the "N-town cycle" plays, that:
Alma chorus domini is the sequence for a Nuptial Mass of the Sarum Use (MS, 52; MPE 22*), and is given as such in a missal of Norwich Diocese, Cambridge University Library MS Ff.ii.31, which is dated 1397.

The nuptial mass is not included in British Library MS Egerton 3759 (a Crowland gradual), and it is unfortunately lost from the thirteenth-century Ely missal, Cambridge University MS Ii.iv.20.  In a fifteenth-century Norwich Diocese missal, British Library Add. MS 25588, however, Alma chorus domini is set for the Mass of the Trinity on the day of a marriage. 
I haven't been able to find out much more about the wedding angle yet; I do know that Nuptial masses were often masses dedicated to the Trinity.   (While Googling, though, I came upon this Sequence listed as part of the "Marriage of England and Spain" during the 16th Century - that is, the 1554 wedding of Philip of Spain and Mary Tudor;  John Taverner's (apparently rather famous) mass, Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, may - or may not; see the notes on this page - have been the ordinary on that day.  In any case it's mighty pretty - so I include this video of it.  (Note the use of a troped Kyrie, here: the Kyrie Deus creator omnium.)

Here are the words to the troped Kyrie:
Deus creator omnium tu theos ymon nostri pie eleyson.
Tibi laudes coniubilantes regum rex Christe oramus te eleyson.
Laus virtus pax et imperium cui est semper sine fine eleyson.
Christe rex unice Patris almi nate coeterne eleyson.
Qui perditum hominem salvasti de morte reddens vite eleyson.
Ne pereant pascue oves tue Jesu pastor bone eleyson.
Consolator Spiritus supplices ymas te exoramus eleyson.
Virtus nostra Domine atque salus nostra in eternum eleyson.
Summe Deus et une vite dona nobis tribue misertus nostrique tu digneris eleyson.
O God, creator of all things, most benevolent God: have mercy upon us.
To you, Christ, King of Kings, we pray and rejoice together: have mercy.
Praise, strength, peace and power are given to him always and without end: have mercy.
Christ, king coeternal and only-begotten of the father: have mercy.
Who saved lost man from death and restored him to life: have mercy.
Jesus, good shepherd, let not your sheep perish: have mercy.
Holy Spirit, the Comforter, we implore you to pray for us: have mercy.
Lord God our strength and salvation in eternity: have mercy.
Great and ever-living God, you have had pity on us. Grant your gifts to those whom you deem worthy: have mercy.

The famous part of  Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, I should note, is that later dozens of other composers riffed off of Taverner's orchestration in the Benedictus; such derivative works are referred to in composer circles, apparently, as In nomine compositions.  More, I guess, about that later.)

Here's the sequence in a manuscript, from the Bréviaire de Paris, noté. Calendriers. Première partie 1201-1300:

York sang Laudes Deo devotas ... Sequence p. (x) - "On Monday & Wednesday in Whitsun Week":

From the 1852 book, The Psalter, or, Seven ordinary hours of prayer according to the use of the illustrious and excellent Church of Sarume Psalter:
[In the York Breviary the Sequence Alma Chorus is only said on the Day of Pentecost and on the Tuesday, but on Monday and Thursday the following
Laudes Deo devotas
Dulci voce ac sonora,

Plebs resultet Catholica;

Spiritus Sancti gratia
Apostolis die hodierna,

In igneis linguis est infusa.

Paraded præsentia,
Emundet nos a peccati macula,
Pura Sibi aptans habitacula;

Charismatum et munera
Pectoribus nostris pius infundat,
Vita nostra ut £i complaceat.

Per scculorum secula,
Conclamemus Alleluya,
Sit Deo Laus, Potestas,
Honor, Virtus, et Gloria!

All laud and worship o'er the Earth,
Let the Church Catholic pour forth,
With sweet and solemn voice to God ;

This day to the Apostles given,
The Holy Spirit's grace from Heaven,
In tongues of fire was flied abroad.

Now present be the Paraclete, 
To cleanse our souls from every stain of fin, 
And fit us for his mansion pure within,
And gifts and graces ever meet,
May He unto our bosoms kindly pour,
That so our lives may please Him evermore.

Now for eternal ages long,
Alleluya be our song,
To God all Praise and Majesty,
Honour, and Might, and Glory be.]

It's very interesting, really, that the Sarum breviary celebrated Pentecost using such elaborate and striking texts.  That says to me that the Holy Spirit was very important at this time and in this place. More research to do then!

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


Unknown said...

This is an incredible initiave, a very very good blog. Thank you very much!

bls said...

Thanks! Very nice of you to say so....


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