Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Breviary Offices: The Night Hours, Volumes 1-2"

From Google Books, this is the companion volume to Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston).    The book says "Catholic Church" on the cover, but that's wrong; the SSM is an Anglican religious order for women.  Publish date for this volume was 1899.

As noted, the book contains the "Night Hours" - AKA Mattins, or the Office of Readings.  St. Margaret's very likely doesn't pray Mattins today - few modern orders do - but this is certainly of historical interest.   John Mason Neale founded this order during the revitalization of Anglican Orders in the 19th Century.  Perhaps more on that interesting topic later.

I thought I'd include the whole Preface to this volume here; I have a great deal of respect for monastics and religious - and I find it fascinating to take a look back into the history of these orders and see things from the point of view of earlier generations.
The third instalment of Night Hours, now at last completed, must be prefaced by a few words in explanation of its variations from the two former volumes.

So difficult and so tentative is the whole work of preparing ancient offices for English use at the present day, that mistakes and imperfections could hardly be avoided, especially on the part of editors so inexperienced as those to whom the task, since Dr. Neale's death, has been committed; although much valuable help has most kindly been afforded them. But the history of the book is as follows.

On first founding his Sisterhood at East Grinsted, Dr. Neale felt it of the first importance to supply its members with offices of prayer. He considered the use of S. Osmund to be that alone, which, as English, it was our duty to adopt, but the Sarum Breviary was not within his reach, except in the partial reprint, by Mr. Leslie, which included the Psalter and ferial office, but not much more. He seems, therefore, to have translated the ferial day office from Mr. Leslie's book; but he took the Night Hours from the reformed Roman, inserting a Gallican office here and there when it pleased him better than the Roman. As long as the work was manuscript, and intended only for the use of one House, this eclecticism was, of course, perfectly allowable.

Not long before his death, he planned the publication of a translated Sarum Breviary, in which, however, the Lectionary was to be exchanged for that of the reformed Roman, on account of the revision undergone by the latter, to which the former, from the circumstances of the sixteenth century, never was subjected.

This plan, however, was not carried into effect. After our Founder was taken to rest, we were urged to publish the Matin offices he had given us; and we did so, filling up the blanks left by him with insertions from the same (Roman) book from which he had translated (as, for instance, the lessons of the third nocturns, which he had been wont to turn into English extempore, when saying the office). And thus we prepared the first and second volumes, and proposed, in a third, to print the offices for black-letter days.

After a time the Sarum Breviary was placed in our hands, and we were requested, on behalf of other Beligious Houses, to render its Day Offices into English, as exactly as might be practicable. Dr. Neale had laid the foundation for this by his abridged translation of the ferial and Sunday office over twenty years ago. Propers of Seasons and Saints were now added, and an office book was produced, essentially Sarum, though containing, as noted in its Preface, certain modifications which appeared desirable.

This being done, a considerable discrepancy became visible between our Night and Day Offices, and chiefly in the Services for Saints' Days. The Night Office for the Common of Seasons may be considered as nearly identical in the Roman and Sarum books, except that the responsories do not follow in the same order, that every Sarum office of nine lessons has nine responses, and that no office throughout Easter-tide has more than one nocturn of three psalms, three lessons and three responses: and as far as the Common of Seasons is concerned, the Roman Night Office can, quite practicably, be used together with the Sarum Day Office. But this cannot be done in the case of Saints' Days without producing a sense of dislocation. The present offices, therefore, are so arranged as to fit those for the day hours in our Breviary Offices, and have the same identity with Sarum and the same divergencies from it; the Lectionary being taken, in great measure, from the Boman Breviary, but supplemented from other sources and containing some of the old Sarum lessons, especially in the Octave of the Holy Name.

It will be a satisfaction to those who use this book if we set down in order the sources of the various offices.

From the Sarum, except usually the lessons, are: S. Andrew, Conversion of S. Paul, Annunciation, S. John Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, Commemoration of S. Paul, S. Peter's Chains (except Invitatory), Transfiguration, Holy Name, S. Laurence, Repose of the Blessed Virgin, (abridged), Beheading of S. John Baptist, SS. Matthew and Luke, S. Michael and All Angels and All Saints. In the Conception of the Blessed Virgin, Invitatory, Antiphon, and Responses are Gallican. S. Thomas of Canterbury has the Common of a Martyr, instead of his Proper: S. Agnes, the Common of a Virgin Martyr, instead of Proper: (lessons of the second nocturn, from the Roman office for her feast). Purification; Inv. and Ants., Gallican: Responses; Sarum, (last Response abridged). Invention of the Cross. first Nocturn, Sarum. This festival falling in Easter-tide, has but one nocturn according to Sarum; but ae this practice is not carried out in the Easter-tide offices of vols. 1 and 2, other two nocturns are added: the third from the office of the Exaltation of the Cross, on which feast the second nocturn is devoted to the commemoration of a martyr: the second nocturn is therefore here drawn from a Carmelite breviary assimilating strongly with the Sarum. Visitation: Ants. and some Responses and lessons, Sarum: the rest Roman and Gallican. S. Mary Magdalene: Hymn and Ants., Sarum: Responses, Gallican, except Response 9, which is Sarum. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin: Gallican: except Response 9, which is Sarum. Guardian Angels: Roman. The rest are of the Common.

The Rev. Gerard Moultrie has been good enough to translate several hymns for this book, in their original metre.

A suggestion respecting the Kalendar was made and carried out by our learned friend, the Rev. F. LI. Bagshawe. It was his idea that, without presuming beyond our province, a Kalendar might be introduced into these office books which should present to the mind some view of Church history, and more especially of the history of the British Church: containing the names of Saints of primitive times and universal celebrity, of those who most notably taught and upheld the faith in our own country; and of the founders and reformers of religious orders. These added names are commemorated, by memorial only, at Vespers and Lauds in the forthcoming edition of the Breviary Day Offices; in which also the black-letter days of the Prayer Book Kalendar are similarly commemorated, when their full office does not occur in this present volume. It has seemed desirable to prefix the Kalendar, as thus arranged, to this book as well as to the Breviary Offices, in order to assimilate them for the convenience of persons in the habit of using the latter. Matin offices are given in this volume for those festivals alone which are commemorated with full day office in the other.

When a second edition of the first and second volumes of Night Hours appears, a body of Sarum rubrics will, it is hoped, be inserted : meanwhile, those in the Breviary Offices may suffice for the use of persons desirous of following Sarum practice; while others will without difficulty continue to use the Roman rubrics as already set down in volumes 1 and 2.

A few points should be mentioned.

The Sarum hymn for Common of Apostles is Annue Christe. This is inserted here for optional use : the Roman hymn, Eterna Christi munera, is to be found in the Common Office, vols. 1 and 2.

A ninth Response is supplied throughout, also for optional use, and a note at end of Appendix points out that which belongs to the Common of Apostles.

Te Deum, said on festivals in Advent according to the Roman use, was wholly omitted in the Sarum book during that season.

S. Margaret's, East Grinsted.
Feast of S. Osmund, 1877.

Here's a link to the SSM's website.  Here's an image from their home page:

Friday, February 07, 2014

J.M. Neale: The Hymnal Noted: Parts I & II

Here's a nice find at Google Books.     It's J.M. Neale's 1851 book of hymns from the Salisbury hymnal.  Included are chant scores and English translations - presumably Neale's own, which are always terrific - for all the hymns.

This is all there is by way of introduction to the book:
N.B.—In connection with the Hymnal Noted, are published :—

1. The ACCOMPANYING HARMONIES; for the use of Organists and Choirs.


The first part of the Hymnal Noted is complete in itself, and embraces the whole course of the Church's year.

The second part contains additional Hymns, for the sake of greater fulness and variety.

These two parts are combined in the complete edition, in the proper sequence for the whole course of the Church's year.

Published under the sanction of the Ecclesiologioal (late Cambridge Camden) Society.

The Evening Hymns on Festivals are put before the Morning Hymns, because, like the Collects, they are said at the Evensong of the day before, as well as on the day itself (except when otherwise marked)

Unfortunately, the links in the Table of Contents don't always go to the right place in the book.   A small inconvenience for the privilege of having access to such a great thing.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Common of Saints: On Feasts of Several Martyrs (or Confessors)

From Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books (and in honor of the Martyrs of Japan, whose feast day is today):
    On Feasts of Several Martyrs (or Confessors):

        1st Ev. & Matt.  Sanctorum meritis  
            At 1st Ev.. ........51
            At Matt.. ........52
            At First Ev. & M. ad libitum. ........53
            On Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year (1st Ev. & M.) ...54

            [Matt. (York) Eterna Christi munera, Et (Martyrs only) ......61]

        L. & 2nd Ev.  Rex gloriose martyrum
            At L. (except in Xmas and Paschal-tides) ....25
            At 2nd Ev. (& L. when no 2nd Ev.) ......49
            During Xmas-tide (L. & 2nd Ev.)  ....27
            On Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year (L.) ...6 or 55

Follow along with the Offices for"Feasts of Many Martyrs Throughout the Year" at Breviary Offices, from Lauds to Compline Inclusive (Society of St. Margaret, Boston) (published in 1885). You'll find  all the Psalms, the collect, Chapter, antiphons, etc., for each of the offices of the day at that link, although no music is provided; also check the iFrame look-in at the bottom of this post.

So, at first Evensong (the Vespers on the eve of the feast), sing Sanctorum meritis to melody #51:

LLPB sings this hymn as "The Noble Deeds of Saints" (mp3) to melody #51.   This hymn is called "The Triumph of the Saints" at Cyberhymnal; the words at that link are credited to J.M. Neale.

Yet says J.M. Neale wrote the following words, too, which are (with a few small variations) what you'll hear on the audio file:
The merits of the saints,
Blessèd for evermore,
Their love that never faints,
The toils they bravely bore—
For these the Church today
Pours forth her joyous lay—
These victors win the noblest bay.

They, whom the world of ill,
While it yet held, abhorred;
Its withering flowers that still
They spurned with one accord—
They knew them short lived all,
And followed at Thy call,
King Jesu, to Thy heavenly hall.

Like sheep their blood they poured,
And without groan or tear,
They bent before the sword,
For that their King most dear:
Their souls, serenely blest,
In patience they possessed,
And looked in hope towards their rest.

What tongue may here declare,
Fancy or thought descry,
The joys Thou dost prepare
For these Thy saints on high!
Empurpled in the flood
Of their victorious blood,
They won the laurel from their God.

To Thee, O Lord most high,
One in three Persons still,
To pardon us we cry,
And to preserve from ill:
Here give Thy servants peace,
Hereafter glad release,
And pleasures that shall never cease.

Not sure what the deal is there; perhaps Neale wrote several variations, or perhaps one of the sources is simply wrong.  Cyberhymnal says that the above text comes from The Hymnal Noted, 1854 - written by Neale, and available at Google Books for free. I will see what I can find out about the multiple hymn text versions, though; now I'm curious.

Sanctorum meritis is to be sung at Mattins to melody #52

I haven't found a recording of this tune anywhere so far.

Or, ad libitum, sing Sanctum Meritis at 1st Evensong and Matins to melody #53 instead:

No audio file for this one, either.

Finally, "on Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year," use melody #54 to sing this hymn at at 1st Evensong and Matins:

That is this hymn tune, more or less, sung here by Giovanni Vianini:

The chant score definitely has the general shape of the tune, but there are some differences between the two versions.

I did find another melody used for this hymn; only the first couple of verses here, though.  Perhaps this is the melody used in the Roman  Breviary?

This, from CPDL, is the Latin text of Sanctorum Meritis.  That entry's referring to another sacred song of unknown origin (for "SSTT" voices), probably based on the Gregorian chant and its text:
Sanctorum meritis inclita gaudia
pangamus socii gestaque fortia
nam gliscit animus promere cantibus
victorum genus optimum.

Hi sunt quo retines mundis inhorruit

Ipsum nam sterile flore per aridum
Sprevere penitus teque secuti sunt,
Rex, Christe, bone cælitum.

Hi pro te furias sævaque sustinent;

non murmur resonat, non querimonia,
sed corde tacito mens bene conscia
conservat patientiam.

Quæ vox, quæ poterit lingua retexere

Quæ tu martyribus munera præparas?
Rubri nam fluido sanguine laureis
Ditantur bene fulgidis.

Te, Trina Deitas unaque, poscimus,

ut culpas abluas, noxia quoque gloriam
per cuncta tibi sæcula.
A note at the CPDL page says that this is "A Martyrs' hymn transcribed from the Trent manuscript tr89."  Various sources give the author as "unknown" - or else Rabanus Maurus, the 8th-Century monk and archbishop of Mainz. says this:
Sanctorum meritis inclita gaudia. [Common of Martyrs.] This hymn is frequently referred to by Hinemar in his "De una et non trina Deitate," 857; but he distinctly says he could not discover its author. It is found in four manuscripts of the 11th century in the British Museum; and in the Latin Hymns of the Anglo Saxon Church, 1851, is printed from an 11th century manuscript at Durham. Also in a manuscript of the 10th century at Bern, No. 455; in a manuscript of the 11th century at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (No. 391, p. 272); in the St. Gall manuscript 413 and 414, of the 11th century. It is in the Roman, Sarum, York, Aberdeen, Paris of 1643, and other Breviaries—-the Sarum use being at 1st Vespers and at Matins in the common of many martyrs… [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

Here's the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 on Sanctorum Meritis:
The hymn at First and Second Vespers in the Common of the Martyrs in the Roman Breviary. Its authorship is often attributed to Rabanus Maurus (d. 856), Archbishop of Mainz — e.g. by Blume (cf. HYMNODY, V, 2), who thinks his hymns show originality and "no small poetic power". Dreves also (Analecta hymnica, XL, 204) favours the ascription. The stanza, in classical prosody, comprises three Asclepiadic lines and one Glyconic. In Horace such a stanza indicates a grave and thoughtful frame of mind; but the breviary hymns using the stanza are usually suggestive of triumphant joy — e.g. the "Festivis resonent compita vocibus" (Most Precious Blood), the "Te Joseph celebrent agmina coelitum", and the "Sacris solemniis" in rhythmic imitation. Dom Johner ("A New School of Gregorian Chant", New York, 1906, p. 89) places hymns in this measure among those "in which the verbal accent preponderates and the metrical accent only makes itself noticeable in certain places (particularly in the fourth line and when a line closes with a word accentuated on the penultimate)". He illustrates the rhythmical stress by italics. Applying his scheme to the Asclepiadic lines we should have: Sa-ncto-rum me-ri-tis in-cly-ta gau-di-a. His illustration of the fourth line (Glyconic) is: Vi-cto-rum ge-nus o-pti-mum. The "Grammar of Plainsong" by the Benedictines of Stanbrook (London, 1905, p. 61) remarks that the long verses have the accents on the third, seventh, and tenth syllables; and the short verse, on the third and sixth syllables; and illustrates this scheme by the last two lines of the stanza (the acute accent marking the rhythmical stress):
Gliscens fért animus prómere cántibus
Victorúm genus óptimum.
In the following illustration (Holly, "Elementary Grammar of Gregorian Chant", New York, 1904, p. 44) the acute accent indicates the tonic accent of the word; the grave accent, the place where the rhythmical or metrical accent falls; the circumflex, the concurrence on a syllable of both metrical and tonic accents:
Sanctôrum mêritìs ínclyta gâudiâ
Pangâmus sôciì, gestâque fôrtiâ;
Glíscens fert ânimus prómere cântibus
Victôrum gênus ôptimùm.
Obviously, the metre is refractory for singing or public recitation. Dreves (loc. cit., pp. 180-1) notes that several references are made to the hymn by Hincmar of Reims, one of the most interesting being his objection to the theology of the last stanza ("Te trina Deitas", subsequently changed into the present form: "Te summa O Deitas"). Hincmar admits that he knew not the author of the hymn which "some people end with the chant or rather blasphemy [a quibusdam cantatur vel potius blasphematur] 'Te trina deitas'." The phrase objected to was nevertheless sung in the doxology of the hymn down to the revision of Urban VIII, and the Church still sings it in the doxology of the "Sacris solemniis" of the Angelic Doctor. The Paris Breviary kept the metre but entirely recast the hymn, writing the first stanza thus:
Christi martyribus debita nos decet,
Virtutis memores, promere cantica;
Quos nec blanditiis, nec potuit minis
Fallax vincere sæculum.
To the list of translators given by Julian ("Dict. of Hymnol.", 2nd ed., London, 1907, pp. 993, 1698) should be added Bagshawe ("Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences", London, 1900, p. 164: "Let us sing, dear companions, the joys of the saints"). The (Baltimore) "Manual of Prayers" gives the translation of the Anglican hymnologist, Dr. Neale. There are twelve translations in English. The text is found in many manuscripts of the tenth century (cf. Dreves, "Analecta hymnica", L, 204-5); Hincmar, "De una et non trina Deitate" in P.L., CXXV, 478, 498, 500). For Latin text (omitting second and third stanzas) and English translation, plainsong, and modern musical setting, see "Hymns Ancient and Modern, Historical Edition" (London, 1909, pp. 289-90), which notes that Dreves assigns the hymn to Rabanus Maurus in his "Hymnologische Studien zu Venantius Fortunatus und Rabanus Maurus" (Munich, 1908, p. 135), "in spite of the fact that Raban wrote to Hincmar disapproving of the phrase 'Te trina Deitas'." The approved plainsong will appear in the forthcoming Vatican Antiphonary. Pothier ("Mélodies Grégoriennes" Tournai, 1880) illustrates the Asclepiadic metre by the "Sanctorum meritis", places the accents on the third, seventh, and tenth syllables of the Asclepiads and on the third and sixth of the Glyconic, and remarks that "in singing the Asclepiad and the Glyconic, the first three syllables should be gone over slowly, and the accents should be well marked, especially the last" (p.199). Egerton ("A Handbook of Church Music", New York, 1909, p. 180) places the principal accent on the tenth syllable, and secondary accents on the third and seventh, with a "mora vocis" after the sixth. Delaporte (Les Hymnes du bréviaire romain" in the "Rassegna Gregoriana", Nov.-Dec., 1907, col. 501) remarks that, when the edition of 1602 of the Roman Breviary was in preparation, Cardinal Gesualdo in 1588 wrote to various nuncios to get suggestions for emendations. The nuncio at Paris consulted "alcuni principali della Sorbona", with some curious results, one of which was the criticism demanding a change in the doxology of the "Sacris solemniis" from "Te trina Deitas" to "Te summa Deitas", for the reason that "it is impious to call the Deity, or the essence of God, threefold". As noted above, the Church still sings "Te Deitas" in the "Sacris solemniis" of the "Angel of the Schools", although it has changed the phrase in the doxology of the "Sanctorum meritis".

If, though, we were singing 1st Evensong or Matins at York on feasts of Martyrs, we'd go with Aeterna Christi Munera - in English, "The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King" (mp3).  That's LLPB's recording; here's the chant score of that melody:

Here's a set of words from Oremus, translation J.M. Neale; this translation, though, does not match up with the words used on the audio file:
The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
the apostles' glory, let us sing,
and all, with hearts of gladness, raise
due hymns of thankful love and praise.

For they the Church's princes are,
triumphant leaders in the war,
in heavenly courts a warrior band,
true lights to lighten every land.

Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
and hope that never yields nor faints;
and love of Christ in perfect glow
that lays the prince of this world low.

In them the Father's glory shone,
in them the will of God the Son,
in them exults the Holy Ghost,
through them rejoice the heavenly host.

To thee, Redeemer, now we cry,
that thou wouldst join to them on high
thy servants, who this grace implore,
for ever and for evermore.

There doesn't seem to be much online about Aeterna Christi munera - which is actually interesting; it may mean this is a local, Sarum hymn.  I'll keep searching for information, though, and will return to post what I find.

The other hymn on the day is Rex gloriose martyrum; we'd sing it at both Lauds (Morning Prayer) and 2nd Evensong (the Vespers of the feast day itself), to several different melodies, depending on time of year.

At 2nd Evensong (and at Lauds when there's no 2nd Evensong), we'd use  melody #49:

LLPB sings this 6th Century hymn as "O Glorious King of Martyr Hosts (MP3)," and uses melody #49, as given.   Here are the English words, from Oremus:
O glorious King of martyr hosts,
thou crown that each confessor boasts,
who leadest to celestial day
the saints who cast earth's joys away.

Thine ear in mercy, Savior, lend,
while unto thee our prayers ascend;
and as we count their triumphs won,
forgive the sins that we have done.

Martyrs in thee their triumphs gain,
confessors grace from thee obtain;
we sinners humbly seek to thee,
from sins offense to set us free.

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 Lauds, except during Christmastide and Paschaltide, we'd sing Rex gloriose martyrum to melody #25:

Strangely (given that we're NOT singing this hymn at Christmastide), it's sung to the same tune as Veni, Redemptor Gentium, - "The first hymn for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord"!  Here's LLPB's version of that one (mp3), just so you can have the tune.

During Christmastide, we sing Rex gloriose martyrum at Lauds and 2nd Vespers using melody #27; here's the chant score:

This is the same tune as the one used for A solis ortus cardine, the Lauds & 2nd Vespers hymn from the Christmas Office;  here's an mp3 of that hymn this hymn, so you can hear the melody.  Obviously use the words for Rex gloriose martyrum instead of what's on the recording.

Finally, at Lauds "On Simple Feasts of the lowest class throughout the year," melodies 6 or 55 are the choices:

I have no sound files for either of these tunes - but melody #55 was used at Christmastide at York, for all the Little Hours, to sing the hymns carved out of Agnoscat omne saeculum, the long Fortunatus poem.   Melody #6 seems only to be used for the office hymns at Terce and None, sung to this melody "On the Vigil of Epiphany & on all Sundays &  Simple Feasts throughout the year."

Again I find it interesting that the melodies used at the Christmas office show up so often on other occasions; I wonder if this is that famous Anglican emphasis on the Incarnation?

This may be the Latin text for Rex gloriose martyrum; it comes from a CPDL page about a Victoria motet of the same name:
Rex gloriose Martyrum
corona confitentium,
qui respuentes terrea
perducis ad coelestia.

Tu vincis in martyribus

parcisque Confessoribus:
Tu vince nostra crimina,
largitor indulgentiae.

Aurem benignam protinus

appone nostris vocibus
trophea sacra pangimus
ignosce quod deliquimus.

Gloria tibi Domine

qui surrexisti a mortuis
cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu
in sempiterna saecula.
Amen. offers these manuscript notes:
Rex gloriose martyrum. [Common of Martyrs.] Probably of the 6th century. Included in the Bern manuscript 455 of the 10th century; in a manuscript of the 11th century, at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (391, p. 273); and in four manuscripts of the 11th century, in the British Museum (Vesp. D. xii. f. 106; Jul. A. vi. f. 64 b; Harl. 2961 f. 248; Add. 30851 f. 152 b); and in the Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, 1851, is printed from an 11th century manuscript at Durham (B. iii. 32 f. 38 h). Also in an 11th century manuscript at St. Gall, No. 414; and in the Roman, Sarum, York, Aberdeen, and other Breviaries. The printed text is also in Mone, No. 732 ; Daniel, i., No. 237, and iv. p. 139; Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865; G. M. Dreves's Hymnarius Moissiacensis, 1888, from a 10th century manuscript, &c. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
And the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia says that:
The hymn is of uncertain date and unknown authorship, Mone (Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters, III, 143, no. 732) ascribing it to the sixth century and Daniel (Thesaurus Hymnologicus, IV, 139) to the ninth or tenth century. The Roman Breviary text is a revision, in the interest of Classical prosody, of an older form (given by Daniel, I, 248). The corrections are: terrea instead of terrena in the line "Qui respuentes terrena"; parcisque for parcendo in the line "Parcendo confessoribus"; inter Martyres for in Martyribus in the line "Tu vincis in Martyribus"; "Largitor indulgentiæ" for the line "Donando indulgentiam". A non-prosodic correction is intende for appone in the line "Appone nostris vocibus". Daniel (IV, 139) gives the Roman Breviary text, but mistakenly includes the uncorrected line "Parcendo confessoribus". lie places after the hymn an elaboration of it in thirty-two lines, found written on leaves added to a Nuremberg book and intended to accommodate the hymn to Protestant doctrine. This elaborated form uses only lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 of the original. Two of the added strophes may be quoted here to illustrate the possible reason (but also a curious misconception of Catholic doctrine in the apparent assumption of the lines) for the modification of the original hymn:
Velut infirma vascula Ictus inter lapideos Videntur sancti martyres, Sed fide durant fortiter. Non fidunt suis meritis, Sed sola tua gratia Agnoscunt se persistere In tantis cruciatibus.

Here's the peek-in to the SSM Breviary for Feasts of Several Martyrs:

Monday, February 03, 2014

"O clarissima mater (Symphonia 9)"

I wanted to call attention to this fantastic post for Candlemas at Fides Quaerens Intellectum.  I'm just reblogging here the portion with the video, the text, and a bit of the post itself; I'd very much encourage you, though, to click over and read the whole thing.
For the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, a Responsory for the Virgin by St. Hildegard of Bingen

V. O clarissima
mater sancte medicine,
tu ungenta
per sanctum Filium tuum
in plangentia vulnera mortis,
que Eva edificavit
in tormenta animarum.
Tu destruxisti mortem,
edificando vitam.

R. Ora pro nobis
ad tuum natum,
stella maris, Maria.
V. O radiant bright,
O mother of a holy medicine,
your ointments
through your holy Son
you’ve poured
upon the plangent wounds of death,
by Eve constructed
as torture chambers of the soul.
This death you have destroyed
by building life.

R. Pray for us
to your child,
O sea star Mary.

V. O vivificum instrumentum
et letum ornamentum
et dulcedo omnium deliciarum,
que in te non deficient.

R. Ora pro nobis
ad tuum natum,
stella maris, Maria.

Gloria Patri et Filio
et Spiritui sancto.

R. Ora pro nobis
ad tuum natum,
stella maris, Maria.
V. O instrument of life
and joyful ornament,
and sweetener of all delights,
that in you will not fail.

R. Pray for us
to your child,
O sea star Mary.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.

R. Pray for us
to your child,
O sea star Mary.

As the Feast of the Presentation and Purification (Candlemas) places the final cap on the lengthy season of celebrating the Incarnation in its first small steps, it seems appropriate to look today at this responsory, which is closely linked with the responsory with which we began Advent more than two months ago, Ave Maria, o auctrix vita (Symphonia 8). Their most consonant shared theme is Hildegard’s treatment of the paired relationship between Mary and Eve, which in both of these pieces uses the peculiar imagery of architecture—Eve constructing one set of buildings, e.g. the “torture chambers of the soul;” and Mary tearing down those mortal halls and building life in their place.

Despite the arresting image of “the wounds of death” themselves lamenting their pain as Eve built them into our torments and tortures, however, this piece devotes more thematic space to the opening image of Mary’s role as healer of those wounds. The lengthy melismas of the opening five lines confirm the piece’s focus, especially as tu ungenta both reaches to the piece’s next-to-highest note and introduces a key motif repeated once on sanctum Filium and twice on infudisti. Indeed, the lengthy melisma on that verb draws particular attention to this other even more arresting image that invests the Virgin Mother with significant salvific agency: Mary herself pours out the ointment through her Son upon the wounds of death.[2] We see here Hildegard’s symbolist theological mind in action as she identifies Mary’s mediation of the Incarnation as mother with the doctor’s mediation of the healing powers of medicinal balm.

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