Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Thursday Office hymns, "from the Оctave of the Epiphany until the 1st Sunday in Lent"

From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum Service books, for Thursdays in Epiphanytide the hymns are as follows:
From the Оctave of the Epiphany until the 1st Sunday in Lent - On Thursdays:
Mattins: Nox atra rerum contegit... ... ... 15
Lauds: Lux ecce surgit áurea... ... ... 17
Evensong: Magne Deus potencie... ... ... 20

There are in total 21 hymns for this season:  3 different hymns per day, for each day of the week.  Each day's hymns for this period, including texts and audio files, are available at the following links:

The Thursday hymn for Mattins during this period is Nox atra rerum contegit; Hymn melodies prescribes it to be sung to melody #15:

The Liber Hymnarius has a version of this in Latin, sung to melody #15; click the arrow to listen to the mp3:
Nox atra rerum contegit (saec. VI-VII)
Melody: d e f g eg f e f
 Download H.IV, p. 201

TPL says this about the hymn:
This hymn is attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). The hymn is traditionally used at Thursday Matins. In the Liturgia Horarum it is the hymn for the Office of the Readings for Thursdays of the first and third weeks of the Psalter during Ordinary Time. Likewise it is found as the hymn for Thursday Matins in the Roman Breviary. 
Here are the words in Latin and English; the translation is by  Joseph William Chadwick (1841-1882).
NOX atra rerum contegit
terrae colores omnium:
nos confitentes poscimus
te, iuste iudex cordium,
THE DUSKY veil of night hath laid
the varied hues of earth in shade;
before Thee, righteous Judge of all,
we contrite in confession fall.
Ut auferas piacula
sordesque mentis abluas,
donesque, Christe, gratiam
ut arceantur crimina.
Take far away our load of sin,
our soiled minds make clean within:
Thy sovereign grace, O Christ impart,
from all offense to guard our heart.
Mens, ecce, torpet impia,
quam culpa mordet noxia;
obscura gestit tollere
et te, Redemptor, quaerere.
For lo! our mind is dull and cold,
envenomed by sin's baneful hold:
fain would it now the darkness flee,
and seek, Redeemer, unto Thee.
Repelle tu caliginem
intrinsecus quam maxime,
ut in beato gaudeat
se collocari lumine.
Far from it drive the shades of night,
its inmost darkness put to flight;
till in the daylight of the Blest
it joys to find itself at rest.
Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Sancto Paraclito,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.
Almighty Father, hear our cry,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord most High,
who with the Holy Ghost and Thee
doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

At Thursday Lauds during this period, the prescribed hymn is  Lux ecce surgit áurea, sung, according to Hymn melodies,  to melody #17:

LLPB offers this mp3 (in English) of Lux ecce surgit áurea sung to melody #17; they call it "Lo!  Golden Light Rekindles Day."

Here's TPL on this hymn:
Written by Prudentius (348-413). This hymn is taken from his Morning Hymn from his Cathemerinon. This hymn is a traditional morning hymn for Thursday Lauds and can be found there in the Roman Breviary. The Liturgia Horarum uses the same basic hymn, but cast in different form for Thursday Lauds for the first and third weeks of the Psalter. In the Liturgia Horarum, the title is Sol ecce surgit igneus. 

Here are the words in Latin and English; the translation - this is the set of words on the audio file, not the ones at TPL - is by Robert Martin Pope, 1906:
LUX ecce surgit aurea,
pallens facessat caecitas,
quae nosmet in praeceps diu
errore traxit devio.
LO! golden light rekindles day:
let paling darkness steal away,
which all too long o'erwhelmed our gaze
and led our steps by winding ways.
Haec lux serenum conferat,
purosque nos praestet sibi:
nihil loquamur subdolum:
Volvamus obscurum nihil.
We pray thee, rising Light serene,
e'en as thyself our hearts make clean;
let no deceit our lips defile,
nor let our souls be vexed by guile.
Sic tota decurrat dies,
ne lingua mendax, ne manus
oculive peccent lubrici,
Ne noxa corpus inquinet.
O keep us, as the hours proceed,
from lying word and evil deed;
our roving eyes from sin set free,
our body from impurity.
Speculator astat desuper,
Qui nos diebus omnibus,
actusque nostros prospicit
a luce prima in vesperum.
For thou dost from above survey
the converse of each fleeting day;
thou dost foresee from morning light
our every deed, until the night.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
eiusque soli Filio,
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
nunc et per omne saeculum.
All laud to God the Father be,
all praise, eternal Son, to thee;
all glory, as is ever meet,
to God the holy Paraclete.

At Thursday Vespers, the hymn prescribed by Hymn melodies during this period is Magne Deus potencie, sung to melody #20:

LLPB offers this mp3 (in English) of Magne Deus potencie; they call it  "Almighty God, Who From the Flood."   The melody on the mp3 is actually a different one than prescribed by Hymn Melodies - and I have no chant score of it.  If you wanted to use the prescribed melody, just use the chant score above; it's sung to the same tune as the Vespers hymns have been all week (for example, on this mp3 of Celi Deus sanctissime ("Most Holy Lord and God of Heaven"), the Wednesday Vespers hymn).

I may make up a chant score myself for this new tune, though; I like it.

One really interesting thing about the daily Vespers hymns is that they recapitulate the 7 days of Creation!  For instance,  TPL says this about Magne Deus potencie:
Attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). This hymn continues with the theme of Creation present in the Vespers Hymns for the week. Here the work of the fifth day of creation (Thursday) chronicles the creation of the birds and fishes from the waters (Gen 1, 20-23). This hymn is traditionally sung at Thursday Vespers and is used in the Liturgia Horarum at Vespers for Thursday of the first and third weeks of the Psalter during Ordinary Time. Likewise the hymn is also found in the Roman Breviary for Thursday Vespers. 
Here are the words in Latin and English; the translation - again, this is the set of words on the audio file, not the ones at TPL - is by J.M. Neale.

MAGNAE Deus potentiae,
qui ex aquis ortum genus1
partim remittis2 gurgiti,
partim levas in aera.
ALMIGHTY GOD, who from the flood
Didst bring to light a twofold brood;
Part in the firmament to fly,
And part in ocean’s depths to lie;
Demersa lymphis imprimens,
subvecta caelis irrogans,3
ut, stirpe una prodita,4
diversa repleant loca:
Appointing fishes in the sea,
And fowls in open air to be,
That each, by origin the same,
Its separate dwelling place might claim:
Largire cunctis servulis,
quos mundat unda sanguinis,
nescire lapsus criminum,
nec ferre mortis taedium.
Grant that Thy servants, by the tide
Of blood and water purified,
No guilty fall from Thee may know,
Nor death eternal undergo.
Ut culpa nullum deprimat,
nullum levet5 iactantia,
elisa mens ne concidat,
elata mens ne corruat.
Be none submerged in sin’s distress,
None lifted up in boastfulness;
That contrite hearts be not dismayed,
Nor naughty souls in ruin laid.
Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum. Amen.
O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ Thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

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