Wednesday, December 18, 2019

An Advent Responsory: Ecce Dies Veniunt ("Behold, the days come")

Ecce Dies Veniunt is the ninth responsory at Mattins on the First Sunday of Advent in the Roman Breivary.   But it's sung at First Vespers on the First Sunday of Advent in the Sarum Breviary.  Either way, it was clearly an important chant.

Here it's sung by Gregoriana.

Here are the words, in Latin and English, from Divinum Officium:
R. Ecce dies véniunt, dicit Dóminus, et suscitábo David germen justum: et regnábit rex, et sápiens erit, et fáciet judícium et justítiam in terra:
* Et hoc est nomen quod vocábunt eum: * Dóminus justus noster.
V. In diébus illis salvábitur Juda, et Israël habitábit confidénter.
R. Et hoc est nomen quod vocábunt eum:
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Dóminus justus noster.

R. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; and a King shall reign in wisdom and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth:
* And this is His name whereby He shall be called: * The Lord our Righteous one.
V. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely.
R. And this is His name whereby He shall be called.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. The Lord our Righteous one.

Here is the chant score, from The Sarum Rite, at McMaster University, Toronto.  There are some melodic differences between this score and what's sung on the video above.

This Responsory is also listed in Cantus Database as a Responsory for other Advent Sundays.  So it appears it was used in various ways and at various times in different locations and at  different times.

Here's an image of the chant as used as an Advent 1 Vespers Responsory, from the Antiphonarium Benedictinum (1400)  used at the Abbey of Sankt Lambrecht (Steiermark, Austria).

Here's another one from Austria (Klosterneuburg), and about the same period; it's another Vespers Responsory for Advent 1:

This is from a "Late-thirteenth century Cistercian antiphoner (dated c. 1295) from Lubiąż in modern-day south-western Poland (German: Leubus). 272 folios. Green five-line staff with a red F-line and a yellow C-line."  It was used as a Matins Reponsory on Advent 3.

And this earlier one comes from a "Cistercian antiphoner from the Abbey of St. Mary of Morimondo in the diocese of Milan. Second half of the twelfth century (up to 1174)."  It's written in staffless musical notation, as you can see; it was also used as a Matins Reponsory on Advent 3.

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