Sunday, April 27, 2014

Seen and heard today (4/27/14) at Divine Service: O Filii et Filiae (a hymn for Eastertide)

"O filii et filiae" ("Ye sons and daughters of the Lord") is a beautiful Easteride hymn; the second half of the hymn is the story of St. Thomas and the risen Jesus.   For this reason, this hymn is often sung in the parish church on the second Sunday of Easter, when that Gospel story is always read.

Here's a very nice recording of the hymn, sung in Latin by The Daughters of Mary ( ):

 Here's TPL on the hymn:
This hymn was written by Jean Tisserand, O.F.M. (d. 1494) and originally had only nine stanzas. Stanzas "Discipulis adstantibus", "Ut intellexit Didymus", "Beati qui non viderunt" are early additions to the hymn. There are several different versions of the hymn. The one below is one of the more common versions.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
O filii et filiae,
Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae
morte surrexit hodie.

R. Alleluia
Ye sons and daughters of the Lord,
the King of glory, King adored,
this day Himself from death restored.

R. Alleluia
Ex mane prima Sabbati
ad ostium monumenti
accesserunt discipuli.

R. Alleluia
All in the early morning gray
went holy women on their way,
to see the tomb where Jesus lay.

R. Alleluia
Et Maria Magdalene,
et Iacobi, et Salome
Venerunt corpus ungere

R. Alleluia
Of spices pure a precious store
in their pure hands these women bore,
to anoint the sacred Body o'er.

R. Alleluia
In albis sedens angelus
praedixit mulieribus:
In Galilaea est Dominus.

R. Alleluia
The straightaway one in white they see,
who saith, "seek the Lord: but He
is risen and gone to Galilee."

R. Alleluia
Et Ioannes apostolus
cucurrit Petro citius,
monumento venit prius.

R. Alleluia
This told they Peter, told John;
who forthwith to the tomb are gone,
but Peter is by John outrun.

R. Alleluia
Discipulis astantibus,
in medio stetit Christus,
dicens: Pax vobis omnibus.

R. Alleluia
That self-same night, while out of fear
the doors where shut, their Lord most dear
to His Apostles did appear.

R. Alleluia
Ut intellexit Didymus
quia surrexerat Iesus,
remansit fere dubius.

R. Alleluia
But Thomas, when of this he heard,
was doubtful of his brethren's word;
wherefore again there comes the Lord.

R. Alleluia
Vide Thoma, vide latus,
vide pedes, vide manus,
noli esse incredulus.

R. Alleluia
"Thomas, behold my side," saith He;
"My hands, My feet, My body see,
and doubt not, but believe in Me."

R. Alleluia
Quando Thomas vidit Christum,
pedes, manus, latus suum,
dixit: Tu es Deus meus.

R. Alleluia
When Thomas saw that wounded side,
the truth no longer he denied;
"Thou art my Lord and God!" he cried.

R. Alleluia
Beati qui non viderunt
et firmiter crediderunt;
vitam aeternam habebunt.

R. Alleluia
Oh, blest are they who have not seen
their Lord and yet believe in Him!
eternal life awaitheth them.

R. Alleluia
In hoc festo sanctissimo
sit laus et iubilatio:
benedicamus Domino.

R. Alleluia
Now let us praise the Lord most high,
and strive His name to magnify
on this great day, through earth and sky:

R. Alleluia
Ex quibus nos humillimas
devotas atque debitas
Deo dicamus gratias.

R. Alleluia
Whose mercy ever runneth o'er;
Whom men and Angel hosts adore;
to Him be glory evermore.

R. Alleluia

Latin from March, Latin Hymns. Translation by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878).

St. David's Compline Choir (Austin, Tx) offers an mp3 of this hymn in English.  And here's a video of it in English, sung by the Christendom College Choir and Schola Gregoriana:

Here's a very pretty version of the hymn sung at St. Clement's in Ottawa, during the Easter Vigil 2010:

This is Marc-Antoine Charpentier's (1643 – 1704) ) gorgeous setting of this hymn, apparently;  I believe the composition is called "Chant joyeux du temps de Pâques" ("Joyous song  for Eastertide") (H.339).   The musicians are "Le Concert Spirituel sous la direction d'Hervé Niquet," and the music comes from the CD 'Charpentier : Motets - Litanies a la Vierge' (Naxos, 2006)."

This piece, says the YouTube page, is for 6 soloists, a 5-voice choir,  strings, and continuo; it comes from the 7th volume of  Charpentier's Meslanges, and is dated to 1685 by  Catherine Cessac.

About the Meslanges:
The collection of manuscripts known today as Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Meslanges autographes” is a wonderfully rich and rare corpus of material―virtually all the composer’s music in one manuscript collection, and written almost entirely in the composer’s own hand. 

There is also a note that says the melody for the original hymn O Filii et Filiae comes from a popular 13th Century tune.

Friday, April 25, 2014

In die resurrectionis meae ("On the day of my resurrection"), the first Alleluia for the Sunday after Easter

Here's a video of the beautiful Alleluia In die resurrectionis meae, the first Alleluia for the Sunday after Easter. It's sung, apparently, by the monastic choir at Solesmes:

The text is from Matthew 28: 7:
Alleluia, Alleluia.

Vs. In die resurrectiónis meæ, dicit Dóminus, præcédam vos in Galilaéam. Alleluia, alleluia.

Vs. On the day of my resurrection, says the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee.
(These words, in Matthew, though, are spoken by an angel about Jesus.)

There are two Alleluia chants each Sunday in Easter; the first (as this one is) replaces the Gradual during this period.

The Collect for the day is this one:
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Sunday was at one time called Dominica in albis (i.e., "White Sunday"). Says New Advent, at the article "Low Sunday" (another name for this day):
Its liturgical name is Dominica in albis depositis, derived from the fact that on it the neophytes, who had been baptized on Easter Eve, then for the first time laid aside their white baptismal robes. St. Augustine mentions this custom in a sermon for the day [apparently in "260A" - which I couldn't find on the web, but will post if I ever do], and it is also alluded to in the Eastertide Vesper hymn, "Ad regias Agni dapes" (or, in its older form, "Ad cœnam Agni providi" [here]), written by an ancient imitator of St. Ambrose. Low Sunday is also called by some liturgical writers Pascha clausum, signifying the close of the Easter Octave, and "Quasimodo Sunday", from the Introit at Mass — "Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite", — which words are used by the Church with special reference to the newly baptized neophytes, as well as in general allusion to man's renovation through the Resurrection. The latter name is still common in parts of France and Germany.
(And on a literary note, according to Wikipedia:
Quasimodo, protagonist of the 1831 French novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, was found abandoned on the doorsteps of Notre Dame on the Sunday after Easter and was named after this day.)

Not really related to this chant, but interesting nonetheless:  here's some historical perspective on the readings for Easter Eve and Easter Day, from Fr. Steven Gerth of St. Mary the Virgin in this week's Angelus newsletter.   I had noticed this when writing up my post about the Offertory for Easter Day: Terra Tremuit ("The Earth Trembled"):
As I worked on my sermons for the Easter Vigil and Easter Day last week I discovered that until the lectionary reforms of the 1970s the gospel lessons for the Sunday of the Resurrection (Vigil—Matthew 28:1-7; Sunday—John 20:1-10; Mark 16:1-8) never included the appearances of the Risen Jesus. There was only an empty tomb, confusion and sadness. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

This is what one misses in John when the whole passage is not read: When Peter and the unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved go home, Mary Magdalene remains. The Risen Jesus reveals his presence to her. She recognizes him when he speaks her name. Jesus sends her to tell her “sisters and brothers” that, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). Then, Mary Magdalene does what Jesus has told her to do. She goes to the disciples and tells them, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18).

Unlike Lazarus whom Jesus raised, the Risen Jesus was not a corpse bound by linen. There was no corpse; but his raised body was present. That morning he did not reveal his risen presence to Peter and the disciple he loved, but did so only to Mary Magdalene. She becomes Jesus’ messenger of the resurrection —one might say, “apostle,” though John pointedly never uses that term of anyone. This passage is also crucial because the Risen Jesus proclaims that all his disciples are his “sisters and brothers,” that is, children of God (cf. John 1:12).

Even with the 1979 Prayer Book, when the Easter Day gospel is from John, as it was this year, the passage that includes the Risen Jesus is optional. To give credit where credit is due, the new Prayer Book lectionary adopted in 2006 includes the Risen Jesus on Easter Day. It’s worth noting that since 1969 Roman Catholics always hear John on Easter morning but the passage does not include the appearance of the Risen Jesus.

Although I wasn’t aware of this issue, it turns out that it’s been around for a while. Beginning in 1950, the Standing Liturgical Commission of the church published the first in a remarkable series of booklets called Prayer Book Studies. The initial two studies were published together, one on initiation and one on the lectionary. The section on Easter Day begins, “Perhaps the most crucial of all the defects of the present Liturgical Lectionary lies in the provisions for Easter Day. Both of the Gospels now provided convey nothing beyond the purely negative message of the Empty tomb . . . ‘In any future revision of the Prayer Book this defect is entitled to primary attention’” (Prayer Book Studies I: Baptism and Confirmation, II The Liturgical Lectionary [1950] 78). 

More at the link.

Here's the full list of chant propers for the Second Sunday in Easter, from; the modern propers are identical to the historical (Tridentine) ones:

Hebdomada secunda paschæ
Introitus: Quasi modo (3m38.5s - 3416 kb) score
Alleluia: In die resurrectionis (2m18.2s - 2162 kb) score
Alleluia: Post dies octo (2m11.9s - 2064 kb) score
Sequentia: Victimæ paschali (1m36.6s - 1510 kb) score
Offertorium: Angelus Domini (2m00.0s - 1876 kb) score
Communio: Mitte manum tuam, et cognosce (45.1s - 708 kb) score
Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb) score

Here are Chantblog posts on some of these:

The Eastertide Office hymns are here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Offertory for Easter Day: Terra Tremuit ("The Earth Trembled")

Here's an interesting and beautiful chant for Easter Day:

The text comes from Psalm (75/)76, vv (9-10/)8-9:
The earth trembled and was still, when God arose in judgment, Alleluia.

Here's the chant score for Terra Tremuit:

Interestingly, only the Douay-Rheims and the NIV translate this verse as "the earth trembled and was still." Just about every other translation says it's "the earth feared and was still."  But, clearly, we need "trembled" to evoke Matthew's earthquake (which we had as the Gospel tonight at the Vigil!):
Matthew 28

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”  So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

This is the "Simple English Propers" version of this chant:

Matthew alone gives us earthquakes during the periods of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ; one happens at the Crucifixion and this other one as above, as the stone is rolled aside.

Interestingly, though:  the historic-lectionary Gospel for Easter Day was apparently Mark's account of the empty tomb, in Chapter 16, v. 1-10.  The Easter Dawn reading was from John 20, the meeting of Mary Magdalene with the "gardener" (which passage is another option for our current Year A Easter Day reading).

The 1928 BCP (and the 1662, for that matter) prescribes the passage from John on Easter Day, too - except that it's just John 20:1-10, which doesn't include the meeting of Jesus and Mary.  (In those books, the reading for "Easter Even" was the story from Matthew about Joseph of Arimatheia taking the body of Jesus down from the cross and moving it to his burial site.  Clearly the Easter Vigil was not celebrated in those days).

And Terra Tremuit is the Offertory in the Extraordinary (i.e., "historic") Form, too - which is very interesting, since Matthew's Gospel seems never to have been read at Easter!   (Matthew's Gospel does get some play at Morning Prayer, though; Et ecce terræmótus  - "And behold there was a great earthquake" - is the second Psalm antiphon at Lauds on Easter Day.   See Easter Lauds: Et ecce terræmótus  for more on that, and on Brumel's stunning mass of the same name.)

In fact, all of the mass propers today are identical to the historic (EF) ones.  Here's the full list of the current propers for Easter Day at

Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini

Ad Missam in Die
Introitus: Ps. 138, 18.5.6 et 1-2 Resurrexi (cum Gloria Patri)(5m29.3s - 5148 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 117, 24 et 1 Hæc dies... V. Confitemini (2m58.6s - 2794 kb) score
Alleluia: 1 Cor. 5, 7 Pascha nostrum (1m59.3s - 1866 kb) score
Sequentia: Victimæ paschali laudes (1m36.6s - 1510 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 75, 9.10 Terra tremuit (1m21.9s - 1282 kb) score
Communio: 1 Cor. 5, 7.8 Pascha nostrum (1m25.2s - 1334 kb) score
ad dimitendum populum: Ite, Missa est (28.7s - 451 kb) score

And here are posts for most of these on Chantblog:

Here's a fantastic Old Roman Chant version:

This is William Byrd's setting; the artists, it says at YouTube, are "Amici Cantores, Giovanni Barzaghi, Amici Cantores, Giovanni Barzaghi":

Here's a bit of earthquake-like Easter action, from the Chora Church/Kariye Camii, Istanbul.  Blessed Easter to all!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Tract for Good Friday: Domine exaudi orationem meam ("Hear my prayer, O Lord")

Domine exaudi orationem meam is the tract for Good Friday.  Here it is sung at the Vatican last year:

This is not the same as the Tridentine tract; there were formerly two tracts sung on Good Friday:  Domine audivi, and Eripe me, domine.

CPDL calls this the "Offertory for Wednesday in Holy Week" (which is probably what it was in the Tridentine), and notes that the source of the text is Psalm 101:2-3 (Vulgate):
101: 2  Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad te [per]veniat.

101: 3 Ne avertas faciem tuam a me: in quacumque die tribulor, inclina ad me aurem tuam; in quacumque die invocavero te, velociter exaudi me.

102:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord: and let my crying come unto thee.

102:2 Hide not thy face from me in the time of my trouble: incline thine ear unto me
when I call; O hear me, and that right soon.

There is more to this tract than just that, though; see the image below, which includes other portions of Psalm 101 (one of the "Seven Penetential Psalms"):

I am on the way out to my own Good Friday observance, so I will complete this post later.  Meanwhile, provides a listing, including audio files and chant scores, of all the propers on this day:

Feria sexta in Passione Domini

Ad liturgiam verbi

Tractus: Domine exaudi (2m23.6s - 2246 kb)  score
Graduale: Christus factus est (2m15.2s - 2114 kb)  score

Adoratio Santæ Crucis

Invitationem: Ecce lignum Crucis (prima 42.6s - 668 kb, secunda altius quam prima 43.9s - 688 kb, tertia altius quam secunda 43.4s - 682 kb)  score
Antiphona: Crucem tuam (1m39.1s - 1550 kb)  score
Improperia: Popule meus (in four parts because of size: 1 - Popule meus - 2m18.7s - 2170 kb  score; 2 - Quia eduxi te - 4m34.7s - 4294 kb  score; 3 - Ego propter te flagellavi Ægyptum - 4m17.8s - 4030 kb  score; 4 - Ego te potavi - 3m22.1s - 3160 kb, 1+2+3+4=14m31s)  score
Hymnus: Crux fidelis (7m01.9s - 6594 kb)  score
Communio: Hoc corpus (2m51.7s - 2684 kb)  score, Vexilla Regis (3m22.7s - 3168 kb)  score

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Tract for Maundy Thursday: Ab ortu solis ("From the rising of the sun")

Here's a video of a very interesting Mozarabic-ish take on this amazing tract, sung by Countertenor Eric de Fontenay.

As you can see, he's labeled the video "XIème siècle" -  i.e., "11th Century"; I'm assuming this means he's found a date for the chant's origin, although I can't confirm this myself.  In point of fact, there apparently was no tract in the Tridentine Maundy Thursday mass, according to

It's important to remember that there are many possible styles in which chants can be sung; this video is a great demonstration of this.   

CCWatershed provides the Latin and English texts (along with its own recording; see below), which are taken from, they say, Malachi 1: 11 and Proverbs 9: 5.
Ab ortu solis usque ad occásum, magnum est nomen meum in géntibus.
Vs. Et in omni loco sacrificátur, et offértur nómini meo oblátio munda: quia magnum est nomen meum in géntibus.
Vs. Veníte, comédite panem meum: et bíbite vinum, quod míscui vobis.

From the place where the sun rises to the place of its setting, my name is great among the nations.
Vs. And in every place, a sacrifice is offered to my name, a pure offering, for my name is truly great among the nations.
Vs. Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine I have prepared for you.

I suspect that Malachi is citing Psalm (112/)113 here.  Here's Malachi 11 in its entirety:
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 

And here's Psalm 113, verse 3:
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised!

Isaiah used this terminology, too, in Chapter 45 v. 6; (and lo and behold, there in verse 8 we have the Advent antiphon, the Rorate Coeli!)
1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
    and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
    that gates may not be closed:
2 “I will go before you
    and level the exalted places,[a]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
    I name you, though you do not know me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I equip you, though you do not know me,
6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.

7 I form light and create darkness,
    I make well-being and create calamity,
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.

8 “Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
    let the earth cause them both to sprout;
    I the Lord have created it.

And the citation from Proverbs is also fascinating!  It comes from this section of Proverbs 9:
1 Wisdom has built her house;
    she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her young women to call
    from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    To him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread
    and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”

Remember that in John's Gospel, Christ is the logos - the divine reason of creation.  And that Wisdom in Scripture - particularly in the Apocrypha - is also "the divine reason of creation," fashioned into a  kind of persona, a (feminine) aspect of God. 

Clearly, this citation refers to the Eucharist - but it does so from a really fascinating perspective.

William Byrd set this text as a motet;  CPDL calls it a "Tract for Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament."  Clearly, the chant itself existed in his time - the motet was written in 1607 - but it was not used at Maundy Thursday, evidently; there was no tract at all for the day.   But neither was there an alleluia in the old form, it seems.   Maundy Thursday is an unusual day; there's no other quite like it on the Calendar.   Here, Derek writes about that.

The Liber Usualis 1961 (big file!  115.5MB!) does list this chant, as - yes - the tract for a Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament to be sung "After Septuagesima" in place of the Alleluia; see p. 1282 in that document.

Here's the full chant score for this Tract:

CCWatershed offers a more straightforward rendition of the tract:

Tract Ab ortu solis usque ad occásum from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.

All the chants for today are listed at, as follows:

Missa Vespertina in Cena Domini
Ad liturgiam verbi
Introitus: Cf. Gal. 6,14; Ps. 66 Nos autem gloriari (4m37.3s - 4337 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 144,15. V. 16 Oculi omnium (2m58.5s - 2793 kb) score
Tractus: Mal. 1,11 et Prov. 9,5 Ab ortu solis (2m33.8s - 2409 kb) score

Ad lotionem pedum

Antiphona: Cf. Io. 13, 4.5.15 Postquam surrexit Dominus (43.3s - 681 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 2.13.15 Dominus Iesus (1m02.4s - 979 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 6.7.8 Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes (1m16.0s - 1191 kb) score
Antiphona: Cf. Io. 13, 14 Si ego Dominus (37.2s - 583 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 35 In hoc cognoscent omnes (45.5s - 713 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 34 Mandatum novum (15.8s - 248 kb) score
Antiphona: I Cor. 13, 13 Maneant in vobis (56.2s - 876 kb) score

Ad liturgiam eucharisticam

Offertorium: Ubi caritas (2m16.3s - 2132 kb) score
Communio: I Cor. 11, 24.25  Hoc corpus (2m51.7s - 2684 kb) score

Ad translationem SS.mi Sacramenti

O salutaris Hostia I (52.2s - 818 kb) score, Panis angelicus I (1m15.5s - 1182 kb) score, Adoro te devote (2m26.0s - 2282 kb) score, Ecce panis (1m33.2s - 1458 kb) score, Pange lingua, Tantum ergo (3m06.5s - 2916 kb) score

Here are other posts on Chantblog for some of the propers:

This is part of an altarpiece, the "Passionsaltar, linker Flügel außen: Fußwaschung" (i.e. "Passion, left wing outside: Washing of the Feet"), by the "Master of the Housebook (fl. between  and ):

This is "The Last Supper," by Jacopo Bassano (1510–1592):

This is "Christ washing the feet of the Apostles," an "Icon of Pskov school."  It comes from the 16th Century also:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Compline at St. Mark's: "Old time, new age"

At The Economist (April 4, 2014):

RELIGION in America is clearly changing, but it can be difficult to fathom where it is going. While Evangelical Protestantism is declining and Liberal Protestantism is in freefall, some groups which demand a deep commitment—from the Mormons to the Pentecostalists—are still gaining members. Yet the fastest-growing category seems to be that of the "spiritual but not religious"–people who have a sense of connection with a higher power and want to share it with others, without signing up to formal rules or beliefs. Generally, religion seems to do best at the extremes: either rigorously conservative or free and easy.

In Seattle, one of America's least "churched" cities, academics are impressed by the success of a religious phenomenon that appeals to both extremes at once. Compline, as old-fashioned Christians know, is the last service in the daily cycle of monastic prayer. Every Sunday evening, an 18-strong male choir performs that service at Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral (pictured above). They attract an enormous crowd. Some 600 people, mostly young and bohemian, pack the building and thousands more listen on the radio or a podcast.  The atmosphere is come-as-you-are. The pews and concrete floors are packed with worshippers who sit or lie down; some bring blankets and close their eyes, while others meditate or cuddle up with partners.

The sound is mesmerising. And the very fact that the service consists of music rather than a sermon seems to be a selling point, allowing everyone to interpret the message in his or her own way. “Whatever they’re saying, you hear but you don’t necessarily recognise it as part of the Bible or something that’s religious,” says Becky Doubles, a teacher who calls herself “spiritual” not “religious” and travels for an hour to attend. “It’s very much a spiritual experience, a beautiful way to centre yourself and find that inner peace,” said Mary Weston, another devotee.

Jodi O'Brien, a professor of sociology at Seattle University, thinks the key to Compline's success is that it "offers connection with no obligation”. Susan Pitchford, a lecturer at the University of Washington, reckons that young people may be drawn to this unchanging rite because everything else in their lives is shifting. “A liturgy that's changed only modestly in 2,000 years, and music that goes so far back as to be unconnected to any musical movements in their or their parents' lifetimes, gives them a sense of being anchored in something lasting.”

Maybe so. But for some of the bohemians and hipsters who crowd into Compline, even that statement might go too far in pinning down something which they prefer to leave vague. What people take away from Compline seems at least as varied as the styles and age groups that throng the cathedral every Sunday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Responsory for Palm Sunday: Ingrediente Domino ("As the Lord entered the holy city")

I've never heard it used, but this Responsory is prescribed for use upon the (re-)entrance into the church after the Palm Sunday procession, just before the mass itself begins.

Here's an English translation from Cantica Nova; it's easy to see why it is used at this particular moment in the liturgy.  The chant score is below.
R. As the Lord entered the holy city, the children of the Hebrews proclaimed the resurrection of life. Waving their branches of palm, they cried: Hosanna in the highest.

V, When the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went out to meet him. Waving their branches of palm, they cried: Hosanna in the highest.

The chapter titled "The Palm Sunday Procession in Medieval Chartres" in the book The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages mentions Ingrediente domino, describing it as "a Matins responsory of Palm Sunday at Chartres and elsewhere."  Here's a description of the Palm Sunday Procession as it moves to the cathedral for the mass:
[The assembly] followed the Rue Saint-Pierre, which led from the Benedictine house of Saint-Père up the hill and into the upper town (haute ville).  Along the route the succentor intoned and the multitude sang after him a succession of antiphons and responsories, the texts of which were mainly reworkings of the four evangelists' accounts of Christ's entry into Jerusalem:  A. Ceperunt omnes, A. Cum audiesset populus, A. Ante sex dies, R. Cum audisset turbe, R. Dominus Jhesus ante sex dies, and R. Ingrediente domino.  At the Porte Cendreuse, one of the half-dozen gates leading through the old walls into the upper town of Chartres, the clergy sang this last responsory, Ingredient domino.  This chant, a Matins responsory of Palm Sunday at Chartres and elsewhere, was reserved for this special moment of "entry into Jerusalem" here in Chartres and in most of the other dioceses in northern France.  Finally, as the procession passed through the west door of the cathedral of Notre-Dame, the spiritual theme, as communicated in the text of the plainsong, switched from on extolling Christ's triumph to one honoring the Virgin Mary (A. Letare virgo v. Post partum virgo).

Ingrediente domino has definitely been used in this way at the Palm Sunday mass since at least the Tridentine (1570) era (see this page; change the date to 4-13-2014); however, I have not been able to find Ingrediente domino listed as a Palm Sunday Matins Responsory at Divinum Officium (or anywhere else), as described in the above paragraph.  

"The Palm Sunday Procession in Medieval Chartres" continues this way, with more about the entrance into the Cathedral:
Although this was a standard liturgical practice - to change to chants honoring the patron of the church at the moment of entry - the transition from chants for Palm Sunday to one for the Virgin is of interest here, for it occurred beneath a similar thematic transition represented in sculpture and glass.  The typmpanum of the west side of the famous royal portal, as is well known, is constructed around an imposing sculpture of Christ in Majesty surrounded by four apocalyptic animals symbolizing the four evangelists.  Those in the procession celebrating the First Coming of Christ looked up to vision of the ultimate prophecy, the majestic Second Coming of Christ, when He would judge the quick and the dead.

Passing through the portal and into the church, the sudden darkness brought to light, then as now, three of the finest examples of stained glass ever created, the dazzling twelfth-century lancet windows immediately below the great west rose.  The largest and most central of these lancet windows, the one directly above the royal portal, is the Incarnation Window, which recounts the story of the principal events in the life of Christ up to, but not including, His passion and resurrection.  At the top of the central Incarnation Window are three panels depicting Christ's entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  The telling in glass of the story of Palm Sunday concludes the history of His earthly life.  Accordingly, these panels are then immediately surmounted by a great crowned Virgin and Child in Glory, a fitting capstone to the theme of the Word made flesh.  Thus, just as the processional chants proceed from a theme commemorating Christ's final triumphant arrival to one honoring the Virgin, so the sculpture and stained glass directly above the heads of the clergy and laity of Chartres depict the same subjects.  At this moment musical and visual arts stood in perfect harmony.

As the faithful reentered the cathedral the bells of the church rang again.  Inside a candelabrum holding seven candles was illuminated, and the crosses and relics were left uncovered for the remainder of the day.  Having entered the chancel and mounted to their choir stalls, the canons and chaplains of the cathedral again celebrated the office of Terce, just as they had earlier that morning at Saint-Cheron.  High Mass then immediately followed.

Here's that "Christ in Majesty," photo courtesy of Vassil:

And here are the three "Entry into Jerusalem" stained glass panels from the Incarnation Window: (all window images © Dr Stuart Whatling, 2011):

The Disciples

Christ riding a donkey

The City's Welcome

Finally, this is the "great crowned Virgin and Child in Glory" at the top of the window, described above:

Here's some general introductory stuff about the Palm Sunday procession, from the beginning of the same chapter:
The origin of the Palm Sunday procession in the Latin West can be traced back to Jerusalem and the scriptural account of Christ's triumphant entry into the Holy City as a prelude to His final great work of Redemption.  The joyful scene, described in varying degrees of detail in the four Gospels, naturally lent itself to vivid re-creation.  As early as the late fourth century the nun Egeria, a pilgrim to the Holy Land from Spain or southern France, observed the people of Jerusalem reenacting the entry of the conquering Christ.  From the top of the Mount of Olives they led their bishop back to the celestial City, the children running before him shouting "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."  From Jerusalem the Palm Sunday ceremony moved westward, to th elands of the Gallican rite, undoubtedly carried by pilgrims such as Egeria and by later monastic refugees fleeing the Holy Lands.  The Bobbio Missal, a Gallican source of the early eighth century, contains a blessing of the palms ("Benedictio palme et olivae super altario"), which implies that  a procession followed thereafter (Hermann Graef 1959, II; and Tyrer 1932, 50).  And although there are suggestions that a procession was known in Spain by this time, documents of the ninth century originating in northern France are the first to prove incontrovertibly its existence.  Most important among these is the statement by Amalarius of Metz indicating that the tradition of a Palm Sunday procession was already widespread.  Later, the custom was carried into Italy, though apparently not until the twelfth century was it officially adopted in Rome.

Thus, invoking Amalarius as the witness, we can say with confidence that the clergy of the principal monasteries and cathedrals of the Carolingian Empire were accustomed to celebrate Palm Sunday with an appropriate procession by the ninth century.

You can read Egeria's descriptions of The Liturgy of Jerusalem during the 4th Century; the liturgies of Holy Week are among the most detailed.    Here's the section titled "Procession with Palms on the Mount of Olives":
Accordingly at the seventh hour all the people go up to the Mount of Olives, that is, to Eleona, and the bishop with them, to the church, where hymns and antiphons suitable to the day and to the place are said, and lessons in like manner. And when the ninth hour approaches they go up with hymns to the Imbomon, that is, to the place whence the Lord ascended into heaven, and there they sit down, for all the people are always bidden to sit when the bishop is present; the deacons alone always stand. Hymns and antiphons suitable to the day and to the place are said, interspersed with lections and prayers.

And as the eleventh hour approaches, the passage from the Gospel is read, where the children, carrying branches and palms, met the Lord, saying; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, and the bishop immediately rises, and all the people with him, and they all go on foot from the top of the Mount of Olives, all the people going before him with hymns and antiphons, answering one to another: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

And all the children in the neighbourhood, even those who are too young to walk, are carried by their parents on their shoulders, all of them bearing branches, some of palms and some of olives, and thus the bishop is escorted in the same manner as the Lord was of old.

For all, even those of rank, both matrons and men, accompany the bishop all the way on foot in this manner, making these responses, from the top of the mount to the city, and thence through the whole city to the Anastasis, going very slowly lest the people should be wearied; and thus they arrive at the Anastasis at a late hour. And on arriving, although it is late, lucernare takes place, with prayer at the Cross; after which the people are dismissed.

As you can see, the procession in Jerusalem was stational; it moved from place to place on the way to the Church of the Resurrection (called "the Anastasis" by Egeria) many hours later.  This was also the case in the Chartres procession; in fact, the route of the procession was laid out to recall the geography of Jerusalem itself.  Again according to "The Palm Sunday Procession in Medieval Chartres," and moving back to the beginning of the procession as it leaves the cathedral:
To the sounds of now a great general pealing, they exited [the cathedral] through the royal west door, preceded by crosses, Gospel books for the clergy of each church, and feretories bearing the relics of saints.  The succentor soon sang forth the incipit of the first of the responsoria de historia, the succession of nine great responsories that tell the story of Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  This cycle had already been sung at the cathedral that morning at Matins and now was chanted again as the procession made its way through the streets of Chartres.  Moving towards the east, the assembly passed beyond the walls of the city and to the first station, a cemetery outside the priory of Saint-Barthélemy, where it was joined by processions coming from other churches.  The route of the procession had obviously been chosen so as to traverse a topography reminiscent of that of ancient Jerusalem.  The cemetery at Saint-Barthélemy corresponds to Golgotha, the site of Christ's crucifixion to the east and beyond the walls of Jerusalem.  From there the procession of Chartres ascended a hill to the abbey church of Saint-Cheron.  Again, the topography was perfectly chosen.  Saint-Cheron, then as now, sits atop a hill, a substitute Mount of Olives, whence one can see the celestial Jerusalem of Chartres some four kilometers distant to the west.


At the great cross in the cemetery the clergy and populace stopped in station and divided themselves into two distinct performing groups.  The bishop, cantor, priests, and deacons, and the multitude of townsfolk (populus multus) remained on the est side of the cross looking west.  The succentor, subdeacons, and choir-boys, all in a prearranged order, moved to their customary place (consuetus locus) on the west side and faced the other group to the east.  With the choirboys singing the verses and the bishop's group and succentor's group alternating with the refrain, the chanted the ninth-century processional hymn Gloria laus et honor [Palm Sunday: Gloria, laus et honor tibi ("All Glory, Laud, and Honor")].  This antiphonal singing of the Gloria laus was a musical and dramatic high point of the ceremony.

Sounds great!  And this was followed by an "Adoration of the Cross," including prostrations, to the singing of antiphons.

Here's another chant version of the responsory, sung by Giovanni Viannini:

And here's a polyphonic setting by Pandolfo Zallamella (1551 - 1591), sung by the Czech group Dyškanti: "Sacred Music from the Rosenberg Library," 14 May 2011 at the Church of the Virgin Mary in Ceské Budejovice: has all the chant propers for today, sung by the Sao Paolo Benedictines:

Hebdomada SanctaDominica in Palmis de Passione Domini

Antiphona: Hosanna filio David (34.9s - 548 kb) score

Ad processionem
Procedamus (8.3s - 133 kb) score
Antiphona: Pueri... portantes (2m24.9s - 2266 kb) score
Antiphona: Pueri... vestimenta (1m18.4s - 1228 kb) score
Hymnus ad Christum Regem: Gloria, laus (2m43.7s - 2558 kb) score
Responsorium: Ingrediente Domino (3m34.2s - 3350 kb) score

Ad Missam

Tractus: Ps. 21, 2- Deus, Deus meus (1m54.7s - 1794 kb) score
Graduale: Phil. 2, 8. V. 9 Christus factus est (2m19.3s - 2178 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 68, 21.22 Improperium... et dederunt (2m40.2s - 2504 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 26, 42 Pater, si non potest (3m28.0s - 3252 kb) score

And here are Chantblog posts on some of these:

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

J.S. Bach - St. John Passion, BWV 245

From the YouTube page:
Masaaki Suzuki conducts the Bach Collegium Japan in a performance of Bach's St. John Passion BWV 245 at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo on July 28, 2000.

Midori Suzuki, soprano; Robin Blaze, countertenor; Gerd Türk, tenor; Chiyuki Urano, bass baritone, Stephan MacLeod, bass; Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, conductor; Shokichi Amano, director; Akira Sugiura, producer for NHK; Paul Smaczny, producer for EuroArts Music International

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Lent 5 Communion Song: Videns Dominus ("When the Lord saw")

In year A, the song at Communion for the Fifth Sunday in Lent is Videns Dominus.  Here's a nice, briskly-paced version of it (only 52 seconds long!):

This text is from the portion of John's Gospel read on the day:  the raising of Lazarus.  Here's a translation from CCWatershed, and their chant score is below:
When the Lord saw the sisters of Lazarus in tears near the tomb, he wept in the presence of the Jews and cried:  "Lazarus, come forth."  And out he came, hands and feet bound, the man who had been dead for four days.

Here's the Simple English Propers Communion chant, which includes a verse from Psalm 130:

This is another of those cases when the Communion song varies by year (see below), but all the other chants are the same between the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms.

This adjustment to the Communio could be because in the old form, today was called "Passion Sunday," and the Communion Song was Hoc Corpus.  Here's a video of that one, from the Institute of Christ The King Sovereign Priest:

CCWatershed's translation is this:
This is my body which shall be delivered for you:  this is the chalice of the new Testament in my blood, saith the Lord:  do this as often as you receive it, in commemoration of me.

More about the old "Passion Sunday" designation for Lent 5:
Until 1959, the fifth Sunday of Lent was known as Passion Sunday.[7] It marked the beginning of a two-week-long period known as Passiontide, which is still observed by various denominations in Protestantism and by some traditionalist Catholics. In 1960, Pope John XXIII's Code of Rubrics changed the name for that Sunday to "First Sunday of the Passion"[8] bringing the name into harmony with the name that Pope Pius XII gave, five years earlier, to the sixth Sunday of Lent, "Second Sunday of the Passion or Palm Sunday".

Pope Paul VI's revision in 1969 removed a distinction that existed (although with overlap) between Lent and Passiontide, which began with the fifth Sunday of Lent. The distinction, explicit in the 1960 Code of Rubrics,[9] predates it.[10] He removed from the fifth Sunday of Lent the reference to the Passion.

Although Passiontide as a distinct liturgical season was thus abolished, the Roman Rite liturgy continues to bring the Passion of Christ to mind, from Monday of the fifth week of Lent onward, through the choice of hymns, the use on the weekdays of the fifth week of Lent of Preface I of the Passion of the Lord, with Preface II of the Passion of the Lord being used on the first three weekdays of Holy Week, and the authorization of the practice of covering crosses and images from the fifth Sunday of Lent onward, if the Conference of Bishops so decides. Where this practice is followed, crucifixes remain covered until the end of the Good Friday celebration of the Lord's Passion; statues remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.[11]

It seems that with that change, Hoc corpus was, perhaps, felt to be not as relevant to the day, and was dropped in favor of the three varying Communio chants.  And Hoc corpus is now the Communion Song for the Maundy Thursday mass, and is also sung on Good Friday. provides the full complement of propers for today, here sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines;  note that the Communio again depends on the Gospel for the day.
Hebdomada quinta quadragesimæ  Dominica
Introitus: Ps. 42, 1.2.3 Iudica me, Deus (3m09.1s - 1293 kb) chant score
Graduale: Ps. 142, 9.10. V. Ps. 17, 48.49 Eripe me, Domine (3m49.9s - 1572 kb) chant score
Tractus: Ps. 128, 1-4 Sæpe expugnaverunt (1m50.9s - 759 kb) chant score
Offertorium: Ps. 118, Confitebor tibi, Domine (1m41.8s - 697 kb) chant score
                 quando legitur Evangelium de Lazaro:
                 Io. 11, Videns Dominus (3m43.2s - 1526 kb)

                 quando legitur Evangelium de muliere adultera:
                 Io. 8, 10.11 Nemo te condemnavit (2m35.9s - 1213 kb)

                 quando legitur aliud Evangelium:
                 Io. 12, 26 Qui mihi ministrat(49.0s - 382 kb)

Here are posts on Chantblog about the other propers:

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

"Listen to services | King's College, Cambridge"

King's College, Cambridge has begun webcasting their sung services.
From October 2013 King's College is providing regular recordings of
choral services in the Chapel. For the first time in 500 years, these
services are available on demand thanks to a new recording system. For
information about forthcoming services, see the Chapel services page.

They also released this video, "King's College Choir announces major change," today:


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