Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Anglican Chant XXXIV: Psalm 43, Give Sentence with me (Turle)

A nice Anglican Chant tune from Turle:

Here's the Psalm text from the Coverdale Psalter:
1  Give sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the ungodly people *
 O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
2  For thou art the God of my strength, why hast thou put me from thee *
 and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
3  O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me *
 and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling.
4  And that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness *
 and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
5  Why art thou so heavy, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
6  O put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet give him thanks, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.

"Give sentence with me" is translated as "Vindicate me" in the ESL translation; the Latin incipit is "Judica me, Deus."  I am not certain about  the derivation of the "give sentence with me" idiom; it's cetainly unusual in our context.  Will try to find out more about it.

James Turle "was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey from 1831-1882."  The Abbey has a full biography of Turle, here.

While writing this post, I found an interesting Dutch Anglican Chant site as well!   There are pages for each composer, listing their compositions by key and other classifications.   Here is Turle's individual page.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

An All Saints' Day Matins Responsory: Audivi vocem de caelo ("I heard a voice coming from heaven")

While searching for something recently (I don't remember what!), I came across this beautiful Taverner composition. CPDL describes it as the "8th responsory at Matins on All Saints. Source of text is Jeremiah 40:10 and Matthew 25:6."

It's a beautiful piece of alternatim:  composed melody alternating with plainchant.

Here's the full text; the translation is via CPDL at the link above.
Audivi vocem de caelo venientem: venite omnes virgines sapientissime;
oleum recondite in vasis vestris dum sponsus advenerit.
Media nocte clamor factus est: ecce sponsus venit.
I heard a voice coming from heaven: come all wisest virgins;
fill your vessels with oil, for the bridegroom is coming.
In the middle of the night there was a cry: behold the bridegroom comes.

Whenever I come across a new work sourced from the Breviary, I check Divinum Officium to see where the original chant came from, and learn more about its context - and also sometimes to get a translation.

This time, the responsory wasn't there - at least, not in this form.  The "Trident 1570" version of the Breviary at Divinum Officium has this for the 8th Responsory:
R. Media nocte clamor factus est:
* Ecce sponsus venit, exíte obviam ei.
V. Prudéntes vírgines, aptate vestras lámpades.
R. Ecce sponsus venit, exíte obviam ei.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Ecce sponsus venit, exíte óbviam ei. 
Translated there as:
R. At midnight there was a cry made:
* Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.
V. Trim your lamps, O ye wise virgins.
R. Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.

None of the other versions of the Breviary (Pre-Trident Monastic, Trident 1910, etc.) had the Audivi vocem incipit, either.  

But, several other composers - Tallis, Duarte Lobo, Shepherd - had also set the Audivi vocem version of the responsory, so I knew it existed somewhere at that time.   Checking the Sarum Breviary at (PDF) solved the problem; there it was, as the 8th Responsory at Matins of All Saints.

Here's the score from that PDF; you can follow along with the chant sections of the Taverner piece and see how it sounded.

Here is Thomas Tallis' setting, sung by the wonderful New York Polyphony:

Not quite sure about Jeremiah as a source, though!  That's this:
As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken.
Seems a bit tenuous, to me.  But, I will look further at this; I'm interested in its Advent-ish them anyway, and why that shows up here.  Also quite interesting is that so many composers set this rather obscure - although very beautiful - responsory; would like to find out more about that, too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The All Saints' Alleluia: Venite ad me, omnes ("Come to me, all ye who labor")

Here is this Alleluia, sung by the Koninklijk Sint Ceciliakoor Turnhout - The Royal St. Cecilia Choir of Turnhout. Turnhout is a city in the Flemish province of Antwerp, in Belgium.

The text is the famous one from Matthew 11:28:  
Venite ad me, omnes, qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos.

Come to me, all ye who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

The use of this text on All Saints Day lends it powerful and beautiful resonances; both "ye who labor and are heavy-laden" and "rest" take on new significance from the meaning of the day.

Here is the score; as you can see, this is a very melismatic chant:

Dom Dominic Johner's discussion of this chant is quite beautiful, and I'll simply quote it in full.  The reference "C.O.," which Johner cites twice, refers, according to his introduction, to "Caecilienvereinsorgan, from 1856 (Regensburg, Pustet); from 1924 (M.-Gladbach, Volksvereinsverlag)."
This Alleluia again is a prelude to the subsequent Gospel and its beatitudes. Its splendor, its solemnity, and its triumphant joy is spread over the melody like the light of a glorious dawn. It is one of the most valued chants in the Graduale, one which grips the singer spontaneously.

Indeed, there is mention of those who are afflicted and heavily burdened. But the Saviour invites them to Himself; and according to the interpretation of the composer of the plainsong melody, He has  placed in this invitation a fullness of consolation and refreshment, of liberty and bliss. Although we must admit that the melisma over laboratis is considerably drawn out, yet there is nothing oppressive about it, nothing that suggests pain or sore distress. It is a thorough Alleluia-song, giving one the impression that all difficulties have been overcome, just as the saints in heaven with joy and fervent thanksgiving to God now cast a glance backward at their earthly existence.

The jubilus has the form a + a1, b, c, c1. We find that the melody of Alleluia likewise begins the verse Venite. The b-member of the jubilus has exerted an influence on the melody over omnes. "If in the beginning with Venite ad me the melody was tender and mild, almost ingratiating, with omnes it rises wide and high, as if Christ were opening His arms to embrace the many thousands" (C. O., 50, 150).

The melisma over laboratis with its fifty-two notes clearly reveals the structure: a b b a; a is repeated immediately after the third pause, contracting the individual notes over qui laboratis into a torculus. Here the motives ascend forcefully upward. Contrasting with this, we find between these motives the descending motives c and c1 of the jubilus. "Scarcely has the word reficiam been uttered, than the entire choir joins in. The melody of alleluia rises to the lips. For they have experienced a hundred and a thousand times the meaning of this reficiam. They can only thank, praise, and rejoice, and in their hearts and on their lips the grateful response to the promise of Christ finds expression in the melody of the jubilus, until it once more brings this gripping, highly dramatic picture to a close" (C. O., 50, 150).

In the subsequent Gospel we are shown how God comforts His people. He will console and give them their fill, will show them mercy, and will lead them to the contemplation of Himself; they will be called and truly be children of God: He will give them His heaven. Would that we might think of this oftener in this our earthly exile!

Today the Saviour has again invited to Himself all who have come to the house of God. In the sacred Mysteries He will be our strength, and through them He will prepare us for that eternal Alleluia with which the streets of the heavenly Jerusalem forever resound.

The collect for today is a beautiful one, too:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Here are mp3 files and scores for all the propers on the day, from

Die 1 novembris
Omnium Sanctorum
Introitus: Ps. 32 Gaudeamus... Sanctorum omnium (3m09.8s - 2969 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 33, 10. V. 11b Timete Dominum (2m33.1s - 2395 kb) score
Alleluia: Mt. 11, 28 Venite ad me (3m34.5s - 3355 kb) score
Offertorium: Sap. 3, 1.2.3 Iustorum animæ (2m25.8s - 2281 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 5, 8.9.10 Beati mundo corde (1m29.8s - 1408 kb) score

And here are posts about these on Chantblog:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Beth Gazo: Bo'utho of Mor Yakub; Eight Modes

From the Youtube page:
In this video you can listen to 7 out of the Eight Modes of chanting the Boutho of Mor Yakub as per the Beth Gazo (Ekkara Canon). In addition to these eight modes there is also a mode for the Hasho.. the tune being that of "Mashiha Skeeppa Mruthi Kashtathakal".

The hymn used in this video is the Malayalam translation of the Boutho of Mar Yakub from the Safro (Prabhatha Prarthana) of Wednesday from the sh'himo. In Malankara the sh'himo of Wednesday is known as Sleeba Namaskaram. Only alternate stanzas of this hymn is available in Malayalam translations. The translation found in this video was done in 1942 , by Mathews Mar Athanasios (later Catholicse Baselious MarThoma Mathew Ist). This is the translation that you will find in MOC publications and used in MOC churches.

The very first translation of the Sleeba Namaskaram as hymns happened in 1927 and was done by the late Arch Chor-Episcopa Kurian Kaniamparambil when he was just 15 years old. This is the Malayalam version that you find in the Qurbana Kramam published by MOST Seminary Publications Udayagiri and used in the Jacobite Churches.

The sh'himo is the Book of Common Prayer (not the Anglican one) of Syriac Christianity, and contains the Daily Office.   The hymn sung here is from Wednesday Prabhata Prarthana, Morning Prayer.

A Bo'utho is a Litany or Petition; so the Bo'utho of Mar Yakub is the "Litany (or Petition) of St. James"; I am not 100% sure which James this is, although Western Syriac Christianity uses The Liturgy of St. James  (James the Just, the Brother of Jesus) for its Eucharistic liturgy, so it could be that James.  But, there is the Syriac St. James the Persian - a 5th-century saint also known as St. James Intercisus - and it could well be named for him; I need to do more research on this.  But this is the Malankara Church, evidently, and the language is Malayalam (spoken in India), so this is almost certainly an Eastern Syriac Christian hymn.

Here is the Bo'utho of Mar Yakub from the Safro (Prabhatha Prarthana) of Wednesday from the sh'himo, according to this Sh'himo app (Mac version here):
Make us share, Lord, in the memory of your mother and your saints; by their prayers have pity on us, Lord and on or departed.

Blessed are you, Mary, for you were represented in a mystery by that ark which Moses made as a symbol; in it were the tables of the Law written by God, but in you, Mary, was the bread of life in truth.

Blessed are the dead who have slept and rested in peace; the flesh of the Son is buried with them as a pledge; he will cast down the walls of Sheol for them with violence and they will hear his voice and will go forth to meet him with speed.

Son, who were born of the daughter of David in the flesh, pour fourth your mercy on your flock in abundance.

This is evidently one English translation of the Bo'utho of Mar Yakub for Easter, taken from a draft Service of Vespers of Qyomto (PDF); it's on the website of the Diocese of South-West America of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.  Qyomto is Easter, and as you can see, there are various versions of these petitions:
1. Son, who raised and delivered your church from error
Grant her your peace by your blessed resurrection
2. The legions of light rose in honor of the King;
Gabriel’s company exulted before Him

3. The assembly on high came to see the Watcher
Who slept, awoke, and rose up at his own pleasure

4. Glory to the hidden one who revealed himself
who suffered and died in the flesh and rose from death

5. The living and the departed shall confess you,
And your Father above and your Holy Spirit

6. May the peace which granted peace in heav’n and on earth
Preserve your church, O Lord, by your resurrection

As another example of a bo'utho, here is the Bo'utho of Mar Balai (a 5th-century saint), sung at the 6th hour:
Moriyo rahem melain oo aa darein...
Absolve us O Lord and our departed
By the pray'rs of Saint Mary,- and the saints

Mary's memory is a great blessing
Her prayer is a fortress- for our souls.

Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and the saints
Please pray for us, now and for- evermore

Lord pour upon the faithful departed
Fragrance of both peace and joy- eternal

Thanks to you O Lord who extols Mary
Exalt the saints, and bless the- departed

Absolve us O Lord and our departed
By the pray'rs of Saint Mary,- and the saints

Here's more, from this Syriac Orthodox site:
Beth Gazo d-ne`motho, "The Treasury of Chants," is the key reference to Syriac Orthodox church music. Without mastering it, the cleric (priest, deacon or singer) cannot perform his/her liturgical duties.

Consisting of a huge volume, the original Beth Gazo contained thousands of tunes, out of which about 700 or so survive. Today, the Syriac Orthodox Church employs an abridged version of the original Beth Gazo, containing the hundreds of tunes which survive. Alas, even some of the melodies in the abridged version are lost and hence are not part of this electronic version of the Beth Gazo.

Music of the Syriac Orthodox church employs a modal system consisting of eight ecclesiastical modes, analogous to the eight-mode Gregorian chant system. Each qolo (plural qole), or hymn, comes in eight different modes. To add to the richness of this system, some modes have variants of their own called in Syriac shuhlophe - only the skilled can master such variants.

The abridged version of the Beth Gazo consists of the following types of hymns:
  • Qole Shahroye "Vigils". These where either originally sung during vigil hours, or sung by a group of people belonging to the order of vigilants (the same term is used in Latin, vigiles). The first two modes are dedicated to the Virgin, the 3rd and 4th to the saints, the 5th and 6th to penitence, and the 7th and 8th to the departed.
  • Goshmo (plural goshme) "Body". Also has eight modes each. The goshme are used in the daily offices known in Syriac as shhimo.
  • Sebeltho (plural seblotho) "ladder". Two of these follow the eight-mode system. The rest have one melody each.
  • Phardo (plural Pharde) "piece". These are short hymns divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes. Within each collection, each hymn has its own invariant melody.
  • Qonuno Yawnoyo (plural Qonune Yawnoye) "Greek Canon". These are divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes.
  • Mawerbo (plural Mawerbe) "Magnificat". These are divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes.
  • Qole Ghnize "Mystic Hymns". They exist in the printed edition in eight modes, the melodies of some are apparently lost.
  • Takheshphotho Rabuloyotho "Litanies of Rabula". These are divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes.
  • Tborto (plural Tborotho) "Broken Hymns". There are three kinds of Tborotho: of St. Jacob, of St. Ephrem and of St. Balay. Each of them follows the eight-modal system.
  • Quqlyon (plural Quqalya) "Cycles". These are cycles from the Psalms and follow the eight-modal system.
  • Qadishat Aloho. "The Trisagion". There are eight melodies for the evening service and eight for the morning service for Sundays and feast days.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Office Antiphons for the Feast of St. Mary, August 15

This year, while investigating First Vespers of The Feast of St. Mary (August 15), I made an interesting discovery:  the Office Propers for this Feast are quite different between the Roman Breviary (published in 1908 and dating from the Council of Trent, 1545-1563), and the Breviary of the Society of St. Margaret (published in 1874).  The Society of St. Margaret is an Anglican order, founded in 1855 by J.M. Neale.

You'll notice, first of all, that the Feast is called "Assumption" in the Roman Breviary, but was called  "The Repose Of The  Blessed Virgin Mary" in the SSM Breviary.  (This feast is now called, simply, "The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary" in the Episcopal Church (USA) and in other Anglican national churches.)

As far as I can tell, J.M. Neale was doing four things when revising these antiphons from the Sarum Breviary (which follows the Roman exactly in the Lauds Psalm antiphons, for instance, and which is the basic source for the SSM Breviary) for the new breviary for this Anglican order. 
  • First, he wanted Scriptural citations to replace the non-Scriptural sources for the Roman Breviary/Sarum antiphons, in keeping with the  Book of Common Prayer's basic ethos.  Many of these new antiphons were taken from Song of Songs, which the Roman Breviary also uses, but less frequently.  
  • Second, as is pointed out in the intro to the SSM breviary, "the Gallican breviaries present us with rich and varied treasures of Scriptural applications, and mystical interpretations."   (The SSM Breviary's full title, BTW, is:  "Breviary offices from lauds to compline inclusive, tr. from the Sarum book, and supplemented from Gallican and monastic uses."  A mouthful!)    Neale and the Sisters of the SSM particularly found the Offices of the Blessed Virgin Mary wanting in both the Sarum and Roman breviaries; the intro points out that in those prayer-books "almost the whole mass of Old Testament type and prophecy is neglected or ignored."  It could very well be that some of the sources discussed in that intro - "the Breviaries of Paris, Rouen, Coutances, Beauvais, Noyon [and] the Benedictine, (whose authority in England ranks next to that of Sarum)" - are responsible for the inclusion of these antiphons.  I am hoping that some of these sources are now or will eventually be brought online and I can investigate further.
  • Third,  the emphasis is clearly on "Repose" rather than "Assumption."   The single Psalm antiphon at First Vespers, for instance, sets the tone in a beautiful way:  "I sleep. Alleluia : but my heart waketh. Alleluia."   That's Song of Songs 5:2, exactly.   
  • And that brings me to Neale's fourth motivation:  beauty.   The intro, written as far as I can tell by a member of the SSM (and well worth reading for the information, as well as for its pointed  criticisms!), points out that "....the [Sarum] Offices are disfigured by jingling and alliterative Antiphons, which indeed bear their testimony to the English love of the grotesque, but possess neither dignity nor beauty."   Neale was a wonderful lyricist, and I'm sure his love of beauty influenced his choices for this feast;  I think he was highly successful in creating a beautiful Office here.

As to that 3rd point above:  "Repose of the Blessed Virgin Mary" is, to my ears, a strong lean in the direction of "Dormition of the Theotokos," the name of the feast in the Orthodox churches.   J.M. Neale had a strong affinity for the Orthodox churches, was a prime mover at that time in ecumenical circles between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy, and himself published a book about Orthodox hymnody.  I'm wondering if this was the reason for his naming the Feast this way here - although again, it could also have been done that way in one of the other breviaries.  More on this later, I hope - and more on Neale's book, after I've read it.

(I've been attempting to gather the parallel Office propers for Dormition of the Theotokos, without much success so far; there is a Horologion (Orthodox Book of Hours) online, but it seems to be keyed to the date it's accessed.  I haven't yet found a way to get the propers for a specific feast.  Still working on this, too; would like to make comparisons here, too, and with some of the other breviaries mentioned above)

Meantime, below are some of the differences between the two breviaries linked above, enumerated.  I've also added the propers from the Sarum Breviary, in Latin.  

Amazingly, this entire post - which has taken me several hours already to prepare and to write, came about because I happened across the single Psalm antiphon at First Vespers of this Feast -  "I sleep. Alleluia : but my heart waketh. Alleluia." - and found it lovely!   Beauty really does make a difference.

Just for the sake of adding some music to this page: here's Cristobal de Morales' setting of the Responsory at Second Vespers, Candida virginitas, sung by the ensemble Tenet:

Here's the English translation from the YouTube page; the Latin is below in the Sarum section of office propers:
O radiant maidenhood, bright pillar of paradise, a garden enclosed, a springtime flowering plot of earth: for whose sake the whole world celebrates with song. Who was worthy to bear her Lord, may this same flowering virgin give us her son again: for whose sake the whole world celebrates with song.

Roman Breviary

First Vespers of Assumption

Sir 24:11-12:  In all these I sought rest, and I will abide in the inheritance of the Lord. So the Creator of all things gave me a commandment and said, (and He That made me rested in my tabernacle).

Ave maris stella

Antiphon on Magnificat.  Maiden most wise, whither goest thou up, like the dawn gloriously rising ?  O daughter of Zion, thou art all beautiful and pleasant, fair as the moon, clear as the sun.  [Song of Solomon 6:10]


Antiphon on Nunc Dimittis.   Protect us, * Lord, while we are awake and safeguard us while we sleep; that we may keep watch with Christ, and rest in peace.

Lauds of Assumption

First Psalm Antiphon. Mary hath been taken to heaven ;  the Angels rejoice ; they praise and bless the Lord.
Second Psalm Antiphon. The Virgin Mary hath been taken into the chamber on high,  where the King of kings sitteth on a throne amid the stars.
Psalm Antiphon. We run after thee, on the scent of thy perfumes —  the virgins love thee heartily. [Song of Solomon 1:3-4]
Fourth Psalm Antiphon. Blessed of the Lord art thou, O daughter, for by thee we have been given to eat of the fruit [of the tree] of Life.
Fifth Psalm Antiphon. Fair and comely art thou, O daughter of Jerusalem,  terrible as a fenced camp set in battle array. [Song of Solomon 6:4]

Sir 24:11-12:  In all these I sought rest, and I will abide in the inheritance of the Lord. So the Creator of all things gave me a commandment and said, (and He That made me rested in my tabernacle).

O gloriósa vírginum,

Antiphon on Benedictus. Who is she * that cometh up like the rising dawn, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible as a fenced camp set in battle array?  [Song of Solomon 6:10, Song of Solomon 6:4]

Second Vespers.

Sir 24:11-12:  In all these I sought rest, and I will abide in the inheritance of the Lord. So the Creator of all things gave me a commandment and said, (and He That made me rested in my tabernacle)

Ave maris stella,

Antiphon on Magnificat.  Today the Blessed Virgin Mary * ascended to heaven, rejoice, she reigns with Christ forever.

Breviary of St. Margaret

First Vespers of The Repose Of The  Blessed Virgin Mary.

Antiphon to Psalms. I sleep. Alleluia : but my heart waketh. Alleluia. [Song of Songs 5:2]

Chapter. S. Luke i.
BLESSED art thou among women; for thou hast found favour with God.

Quem terra, pontus, sidera,

Antiphon on Magnificat.  At our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old which I have laid up for Thee, my Beloved.  [Song of Solomon 7:13]

WE beseech Thee, Almighty God, grant that we, who commemorate the holy Repose of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may attain to participation in her eternal joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Antiphon on Nunc Dimittis.    I sat down under His shadow with great delight: and His fruit was sweet to my taste. [Song of Solomon 2:3]


First Psalm Antiphon. O that I had wings like a dove : for then would I flee away, and be at rest. [Psalm 55:6]
Second Psalm Antiphon.  My beloved spake unto me, Rise up, My love, My fair one : and come away.  [Song of Solomon 2:10]
Third Psalm Antiphon.  My soul thirsteth for Thee: my flesh also longeth after Thee. [Psalm 63:1]
Fourth Psalm Antiphon.  I am come into My garden, My sister, My spouse : I have gathered My myrrh with My spice. [Song of Solomon 5:1]
Fifth Psalm Antiphon.  The king's daughter is all glorious within : her clothing is of wrought gold. [Psalm 45:13]

Chapter. Is.lxii.
THOU shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. For the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy God rejoiceth over thee.

O gloriosa Virginum,

Antiphon on Benedictus.  They blessed her, and said unto her, Thou art the exaltation of Jerusalem : thou art the great glory of Israel, thou art the great rejoicing of our nation.  [Judith 15:9]

Second Vespers.

Antiphon on Magnificat. He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden : for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath magnified me.] [Luke 1:48]

Sarum Breviary

First Vespers of Assumption

First Psalm Antiphon. Tota pulchra es * amíca mea, et mácula non est in te : favus distíllans lábia tua, mel et lac sub lingua tua, odor unguentórum tuórum super ómnia arómata : jam enim hyems tránsiit, ymber ábiit et recéssit, flores apparuérunt, vínee floréntes odórem dedérunt, et vox turtúris audíta est in terra nostra, surge própera  amíca mea, veni de Líbano, veni coronáberis.  
Second Psalm Antiphon. Anima mea * liquefácta est ut diléctus locútus est, quesívi et non invéni illum, vocávi et non respóndet michi : invenérunt me custódes civitátis percussérunt me et vulneravérunt me, tulérunt pállium meum custódes murórum : fílie Hierúsalem nunciáte dilécto quia amóre lángueo. 
Third Psalm Antiphon. Qualis est diléctus * tuus ex diléctis o pulchérrima muliérum : amícus meus cándidus et rubicúndus eQ léctus ex mílibus leva ejus sub cápite meo : et déxtera illíus amplexábitur me.  
Fourth Psalm Antiphon. Talis est * diléctus meus, et ipse est amícus meus, fílie Hierúsalem. 
Fifth Psalm Antiphon. Descéndi * in ortum meum ut vidérem po-ma convállium et inspícerem si floruíssent vínee : et germinássent mala púnica. Revértere, revértere Suná- quóniam bonus. mitis : revértere, revértere ut intueámur te. 

Antiphon on Magnificat.  Ascéndit Christus * super celos : et preparávit sue castíssime matri immortalitátis locum : et hec est illa preclára festívitas ómnium sanctórum festivitátibus incomparábilis in qua gloriósa et felix mirántibus celéstis cúrie ordínibus ad ethérium pervénit thálamum, quo pia sui mémorum ímmemor nequáquam exístat.


First Antiphon.  Sancta * María virgo intercéde pro toto mundo, quia genuísti Regem orbis.

Antiphon on Nunc Dimittis.    Glorificámus * te Dei génitrix : quia ex te natus est Christus : salva omnes qui te gloríficant.


First Psalm Antiphon. Assúmpta est * María in celum, gaudent ángeli laudántes benedícunt Dómi-num.  
Second Psalm Antiphon. María virgo assúmpta est * ad ethéreum thálamum : in quo Rex regum stelláto sedet sólio. 
Third Psalm Antiphon.   In odórem * unguentórum tuórum cúrrimus adolescéntule dilexérunt te nimis.  

Fourth Psalm Antiphon.  Benedícta * a fílio tuo dómi-na : quia per te frúctui vite communicávimus. Fifth Psalm Antiphon.  Pulchra es et decóra * fília Hierúsalem : terríbilis ut castrórum ácies ordináta.

Benedictus antiphon:  Que est ista * que ascéndit sicut auróra consúrgens, pulchra ut luna, elécta ut sol : terríbilis ut castrórum ácies ordináta.

Second Vespers.

Single Psalm Antiphon. Assúmpta est * María in celum, gaudent ángeli laudántes benedícunt Dómi-num.


Candida * virgínitas paradýsi cara colónis, ortus conclúsus florénti céspite vernans.
†Cui mérito mundus célebrat.
‡Precónia to-tus.
V. Que méruit Dóminum progeneráre suum.
V. Glória Patri et Fílio : et Spirítui Sancto.

Antiphon on Magnificat.  Hodie * María virgo celos ascéndit gaudéte : quia cum Christo regnat in etérnum.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

St. John the Baptist, June 24: De Ventre Matris Meae ("From my mother’s womb")

De Ventre Matris Meae is the Introit for the Feast of St. John Baptist, June 24. It's sung here by Schola Sanctae Sunnivae & Hartkeriana.

The text comes from Isaiah 49; here's the Latin, along with an English translation from Divinum Officium:
De ventre matris meæ vocávit me Dóminus in nómine meo: et pósuit os meum ut gládium acútum: sub teguménto manus suæ protéxit me, et pósuit me quasi sagíttam eléctam

From my mother’s womb the Lord called me by me name, and made of me a sharp-edged sword; He concealed me in the shadow of His arm, and made me a polished arrow.

Here's the chant score:

Here are the actual verses from Isaiah 49:
1 Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, ye people from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother he hath been mindful of my name.

2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of his hand he hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow: in his quiver he hath hidden me.

In the Cantus database this chant is only listed as a Matins Responsory; not sure why that would be.  Here's an image of that Responsory from the Antiphonarium Massiliense; the large red "D" is where the chant begins:

Interesting, though:  I don't find this listed as a Matins Responsory in Divinum Officium.   So, not quite sure what's going on there.

Here's the famous Deesis Mosaic from Hagia Sophia; that's John the Baptist on the right:

This is from Wikipedia's Deesis entry:

In Byzantine art, and later Eastern Orthodox art generally, the Deësis or Deisis (Greek: δέησις, "prayer" or "supplication"), is a traditional iconic representation of Christ in Majesty or Christ Pantocrator: enthroned, carrying a book, and flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, and sometimes other saints and angels. Mary and John, and any other figures, are shown facing towards Christ with their hands raised in supplication on behalf of humanity.
In early examples, it was often placed on the templon beam in Orthodox churches or above doors, though it also appears on icons and devotional ivories.

Friday, June 02, 2017

The Pentecost Offertory: Confirma Hoc Deus ("Stablish the thing, O God")

This version is sung by Cantarte Regensburg:

The text is taken from Psalm 67:29b-30 (Vulgate):
Confirma hoc Deus, quod operatus es in nobis;
A templo tuo quod est in Jerusalem, tibi offerent Reges munera.

Stablish the thing, O God, that thou hast wrought in us,
For thy temple's sake at Jerusalem: so shall kings bring presents unto thee.

Here's the chant score:

William Byrd, among others, set this text. Here's his setting, sung by the Gloriana Ensemble:

The same text (although without the final clause) is used for the Antiphon sung at Confirmation:
"When all are confirmed, the Bishop washes his hands while the following is sung:" - Liber Usualis, 1961; Administration of Confirmation.

Here's a page from the De la Salle Hymnal; this looks to me like a congregational setting of the same antiphon:

And don't forget to read Full Homely Divinity's Pentecost entry!

Here are links to all the propers on the day, from the Benedictines of Brazil:
Dominica Pentecostes ad Missam in die
Introitus:  Spiritus Domini (cum Gloria Patri)(5m07.0s - 4798 kb)  view score
Alleluia: Emitte Spiritum tuum (1m55.4s - 1806 kb)  view score
Alleluia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (2m02.9s - 1922 kb)  view score
Sequentia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (2m29.7s - 2341 kb)  view score
Offertorium: Confirma hoc, Deus (1m35.3s - 1491 kb)  view score
Communio: Factus est repente (1m16.3s - 1195 kb)  view score
Ad dimittendum populum: Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb)  view score

And here are Chantblog posts on the Pentecost propers:

Here's a piece of Pentecost art, from the well-known Book of Hours Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 79r - Pentecost the Musée Condé, Chantilly.  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday: Recessit Pastor Noster ("Our Shepherd is Departed")

From the YouTube link: "Paweł Łukaszewski's haunting Recessit Pastor Noster is sung in Ely Cathedral's medieval Lady Chapel to great effect."

Recessit Pastor Noster is the fourth Tenebrae Responsory for Holy Saturday.  CPDL gives us the text:
Recessit pastor noster fons aquae vivae
ad cuius transitum sol obscuratus est:
Nam et ille captus est, qui captivum tenebat primum hominem:
hodie portas mortis et seras pariter Salvator noster disrupit.
Verse: Destruxit quidem claustra inferni
et subvertit potentias diaboli.
{Nam et ille…]

Alternative verse
Ante cuius conspectum mors fugit,
Ad cuius vocem mortui resurgent:
Videntes autem eum portae mortis confractae sunt.

Our Shepherd is departed, the fount of living water,
At whose passing the sun was darkened,
For even he was made captive who was holding captive the first man.
Today the gates of death and their bars as well our Savior has destroyed.
Verse: Indeed He has destroyed the strongholds of the underworld
And he has overthrown the powers of the devil.
[For even he…]

Alternative verse
Before whose presence death flees
At whose voice the dead will be raised;
And seeing him the gates of death are broken.

Translation by Paul Pascal

From the Wikipedia entry on Paweł Łukaszewski:
Paweł Łukaszewski is a Polish composer of choral music. He has won seven prestigious Fryderyk Awards. According to David Wordsworth, Łukaszewski is the best-known Polish composer of his generation in and out of Poland "by far" (Wordsworth 2013, p. 50).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Extollens vocem ("A woman called out")

This  is the Antiphon upon Magnificat at Vespers for the Third Sunday of Lent.  The singers are the "Grup de Cant gregorià de l'Ateneu de Sant Just Desvern, Director Ramon Moragas."

The text is taken from Luke 11:27b-28.
Extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit; Beatus venter qui te portavit et ubera quae suxisti. At Jesus ait illi; Quinimo beati qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.

A certain woman in the crowd raising her voice said; Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts that gave thee suck. But Jesus said to her: Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Here's the chant score:

FYI, according to Wikipedia:
Sant Just Desvern (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsaɲ ˈʒust dəzˈβɛrn]) (Old Catalan for Saint Justin of-the-Buckthorn) is a town near Barcelona, in the comarca of the Baix Llobregat,[1] Catalonia, Spain. Baix Llobregat has an area of 486.5km2, population of 643,419 inhabitants (1996), density of 1322.5 inhabitants/km2 and Sant Feliu de Llobregat is the capital.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi (The Lent 1 Tract)

Here are two videos of this Old Roman Chant version of the Lent 1 Tract, Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi ("He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High"). The Tract replaces the Alleluia during Lent, and is always an unbroken section of a Psalm; on Lent 1, the Tract is the whole of Psalm (90/)91.

This Tract is so long that it requires two YouTube videos!  (Palm Sunday and Good Friday are the only other days assigned long tracts like this one.)   Psalm 91 is the basis for all of the chant propers for Lent 1; I believe that's unique for the Great Church Year.   The historical Lent 1 Gospel reading is Christ's temptation in the desert, during which Satan quotes this Psalm - so it's easy to see why Psalm 91 has the status it does on this day.

Below I've posted the Gregorian version of the chant; the music is not the same, but the words are all there.  The singers on the video are Ensemble Organum, directed by Marcel Peres.

Part I:

Part II:

Here's the Psalm itself, from the link above:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Here are the propers for for Lent I, from the Brazilian Benedictines:

Hebdomada prima quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 90, 15.16 et 1 Invocabit me (cum Gloria Patri) (4m21.1s - 4083 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 90, 11-12 Angelis suis (4m03.3s - 3805 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 90, 1-7 et 11-16 Qui habitat (2m59.0s - 2801 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (1m04.4s - 1011 kb) score
Communio: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (4m32.5s - 4261 kb) score

Here are posts on Chantblog about the propers for the First Sunday in Lent:


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