Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Octave of Christmas: Mary, Most Holy Mother of God, Vespers

Here is the source of the beautiful hymn Of The Father's Love Begotten. I have no idea where they get the "evermore and evermore" which they stick in at the end of each verse, because it doesn't seem to be in the Latin.

I notice that most modern versions use the great J.M. Neale's translation of this hymn as the basis for Of The Father's Love Begotten. Neale seems to have left out the second verse "Corporis formam caduci" which is about Christ redeeming Adam's descendants from sin and death by taking on the form of a body with "limbs liable to death." Too bad, it was my favorite verse to translate. I hope I did it justice!

Corde natus ex Paréntis
Begotten from the heart of the Father
ante mundi exórdium,
before the beginning of the world,
Alpha et Omega vocátus,
Alpha and Omega named
ipse fons et cláusula
He Himself the source and conclusion
ómnium quæ sunt, fuérunt
of all things which exist, have existed
quæque post futúra sunt.
and whatever will exist afterwards.

Córporis formam cadúci,
In the form of fallen man's body,
membra morti obnóxia
with limbs liable to death
índuit, ne gens períret
He clothed Himself, lest His people perish
primoplásti ex gérmine,
which from the first-made's [Adam's] sprout did spring
mérserat quam lex profúndo
those whom the law of sin and death had drowned
noxiális tártaro.
held captive by deepest hell.

O beátus ortus ille,
O how blessed that birth
Virgo cum puérpera
when the Virgin delivered a child
édidit nostram salútem
she brought forth our salvation
feta Sancto Spíritu,
made fruitful by the Holy Spirit
et puer redémptor orbis
and the Child the Redeemer of the earth
os sacrátum prótulit.
presented His Holy face.

Ecce, quem vates vetústis
Behold, Him whom ancient sages
concinébant sæculis,
did chant about in olden times,
quem prophetárum fidéles
the One whom the faithful pages
páginæ spopónderant,
of the prophets had promised,
émicat promíssus olim:
He appears! the One promised once long ago:
cuncta colláudent eum!
Let all things praise Him!

Glóriam Patri melódis
Songs of the Father's glory
personémus vócibus;
let us ring out with our voices;
glóriam Christo canámus,
Let us sing as well the glory of Christ
matre nato vírgine,
born of the Virgin Mother,
inclitóque sempitérnam
and also renowned forever
glóriam Paráclito. Amen.
let us sing the glory of the Paraclete.

Prudentius, d.405.

Octave of Christmas: Vespers

Christe, redémptor ómnium,
Christ, redeemer of all men,
ex Patre, Patris Unice,
who from the Father, the Only-Begotten of the Father
solus ante princípium
alone, before the beginning of all things,
natus ineffabíliter,
is born in an ineffable way.

Tu lumen, tu splendor Patris,
Thou art Light, Thou art the brilliance of the Father,
tu spes perénnis ómnium,
you are the eternal hope of all men,
inténde quas fundunt preces
Hear Thou the prayers they pour out to Thee,
tui per orbem sérvuli.
those who serve Thee worldwide.

Salútis auctor, récole
Author of salvation, recall
quod nostri quondam córporis,
that at one moment in time Thou didst take unto Thyself,
ex illibáta Vírgine
being born of a spotless Virgin,
nascéndo, formam súmpseris.

the very form of our body.

Hic præsens testátur dies,
This present day testifies,
currens per anni círculum,
running through the course of the whole year,
quod solus a sede Patris
that you have arrived from the Father's throne
mundi salus advéneris;

as the sole salvation of the world.

Hunc cælum, terra, hunc mare,
In this heaven, on the earth and in this ocean,
hunc omne quod in eis est,
every being which is in them
auctórem advéntus tui
praise the Author of Thy coming,
laudat exsúltans cántico.

with exsultant song.

Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo
We also, who are redeemed
redémpti sumus sánguine,
by Thy holy blood,
ob diem natális tui
because of the day of Thy birth,
hymnum novum concínimus.
join in singing a new hymn to Thee.

Iesu, tibi sit glória,
Jesus, to Thee be glory,
qui natus es de Vírgine,
who art born of a virgin,
cum Patre et almo Spíritu,
with the Father and the nourishing Spirit,
in sempitérna sæcula. Amen.
for eternal ages.

The sixth century author of this hymn is unknown.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Octave of Christmas: Lauds

A solis ortus cárdine
From the pole of the risen sun [the East Pole?]
adúsque terræ límitem
all the way to the ends of the earth
Christum canámus príncipem,
let us sing to Christ our supreme Prince
natum María Vírgine.
born of Mary the Virgin.

Beátus auctor sæculi
Blessed Author of the universe
servíle corpus índuit,
takes on Himself the body of his slaves
ut carne carnem líberans
so that freeing flesh by means of flesh
non pérderet quod cóndidit.
He might not lose what He made.

Clausæ paréntis víscera
Into the closed [intact] womb of His mother
cæléstis intrat grátia;
heavenly grace enters
venter puéllæ báiulat
this young woman's belly carries
secréta quæ non nóverat.
the Secret which she had not known.

Domus pudíci péctoris
The humble abode of her chaste breast
templum repénte fit Dei;
has suddenly become the very temple of God;
intácta nésciens virum
untouched, known carnally by no man
verbo concépit Fílium.
by one word of assent she conceived the Son.

Eníxa est puérpera
Brought forth a Child, this woman in labor
quem Gábriel prædíxerat,
Whom Gabriel had foretold,
quem matris alvo géstiens
Who exulted in the womb of His mother
clausus Ioánnes sénserat.
when the enclosed John He had sensed.

Feno iacére pértulit,
To be laid in the straw He allowed Himself
præsépe non abhórruit,
the manger He did not shrink from
parvóque lacte pastus est
and a little bit of milk He was fed
per quem nec ales ésurit.
from Whom even the bird assuages hunger.

Gaudet chorus cæléstium
Rejoices the chorus of heaven
et ángeli canunt Deum,
and the angels sing to God,
palámque fit pastóribus
and in the open appears to the shepherds
pastor, creátor ómnium.
the Shepherd, the Creator of all things.

Iesu, tibi sit glória,
Jesus, to you be glory,
qui natus es de Vírgine,
for you are born of the Virgin,
cum Patre et almo Spíritu,
with the Father and the kind Spirit,
in sempitérna sæcula. Amen.
unto everlasting ages.

Sedulius, d. 450. Alphabetical hymn, the stanzas of which begin with successive letters of the alphabet, continued for four more stanzas in the Vespers hymn for Epiphany

Octave of Christmas Office of Readings

Merry Christmas! I have a little time over Christmas break and I thought I would post a few of the Christmas hymns from the Liturgy of the Hours.

The matins hymn for the Octave of the Nativity of Our Lord is a new hymn written by Benedictine Father Anselmo Lentini.

Candor ætérnæ Deitátis alme,
Nourishing purity of the eternal Godhead,

Christe, tu lumen, vénia atque vita
O Christ, as Light, Pardon and Life
ádvenis, morbis hóminum medéla,
Thou comest, for the vices of men, as the Cure
porta salútis.
the very Gate of Salvation.

Intonat terræ chorus angelórum
Thunders on the earth the chorus of angels,
cælicum carmen, nova sæcla dicens,
the heavenly song, declaring the new generation,
glóriam Patri, generíque nostro
the Father's glory, and to our race
gáudia pacis.

the joys of peace

Qui iaces parvus dóminans et orbi,
Thou liest sleeping, little Baby, and also ruling the world
Virginis fructus sine labe sanctæ,
fruit of the holy virgin without blemish Thou art,
Christe, iam mundo potiáris omni,
Messiah, now over all the earth Thou hast become the Master
semper amándus.
always to be loved.

Násceris cælos pátriam datúrus,
Born to be giving us the heavens as our Fatherland
unus e nobis, caro nostra factus;
Thou art one of us, from our flesh formed
ínnova mentes, trahe caritátis
renew our minds, draw our hearts to Thee
péctora vinclis.

with chains of love.

Cœtus exsúltans canit ecce noster,
Behold now our assembly sings with exaltation.
ángelis læto sociátus ore,
joined by the very mouths of rejoicing angels,
et Patri tecum parilíque Amóri
both to the Father and with Thee, equally Beloved
cántica laudis. Amen.

a song of praise.

Anselmo Lentini, 1982

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lauds Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sept 8

I'm back! It's been just over a year since my last post. I have included with this post the notes in the Liber Hymnarius, using my own notation. If you would like to learn how to sing it, see below.

6 6.5 32 5 68 87 67 7.

O sancta mundi dómina,

O holy lady ruling over the world
9 98 7 87 6 76 56 6.

regína cæ-li ín-cli-ta,
O queen of heaven renowned
9 9 7 9 9109 8 7 6765.

o stella maris fúlgida,
O star of the sea, bright & shining
7 89 7 87 6 76 56 6.

virgo mater mirí- fi-ca,

O virgin mother most wonderful

6 6.5 32 5 68 87 67 7.

Appáre, dulcis fí – li -a,
Appear to us, sweet daughter

9 98 7 87 6 76 56 6.

nitésce iam, virgúncula,
shine forth now, young maiden
9 9 7 9 9109 8 7 6765.

florem latúra nóbilem,
as the one carrying noble offspring
7 89 7 87 6 76 56 6.

Christum Deum et hóminem.

the Christ-child, God and man.

6 6.5 32 5 68 87 67 7.

Natá - lis tu - i án-nu-a
Your birthday each year
9 98 7 87 6 76 56 6.

en cólimus sollémnia,
we mark with solemnity
9 9 7 9 9109 8 7 6765.

quo stirpe delec-tíssima
when most highly favored of our race
7 89 7 87 6 76 56 6.

mundo fulsísti gé-ni-ta.

you shone forth to the world at your birth.

6 6.5 32 5 68 87 67 7.

Per te sumus, terrí-ge-næ
Through you we are, though born of earth
9 98 7 87 6 76 56 6.

simúlque iam cælígenæ,
now at the same time born of heaven
9 9 7 9 9109 8 7 6765.

pacáti pace nó-bi-li,
granted rest by that well-known peace
7 89 7 87 6 76 56 6.

more non æstimá-bi - li.

in a manner beyond all reckoning.

6 6.5 32 5 68 87 67 7.

Sit Trini - tá-ti gló - ri - a
All glory be to the Trinity
9 98 7 87 6 76 56 6.

per sæculórum sæcula,
throughout ages of ages

9 9 7 9 9109 8 7 6765.

cuius vocáris múnere
by whose gift you are called
7 89 7 87 6 76 56 6. 676 5.6.

mater beáta Ecclésiæ. Amen.

the blessed Mother of the Church. Amen.

The tenth century author is unknown.

OK, the real reason for this blog is that I wanted to place these hymns in my handy little digital device because I find it difficult to pray sitting in front of the computer screen. For whatever reason, I don't have the same problem holding an iPod or Palm, (perhaps because holding a PDA-type-thing is sort of like holding a small book.). SO I wanted to start putting in the hymns of the Latin Liturgia Horarum in an easy convenient form so I don't have to haul a Liber Hymnarius everywhere I want to be praying. But I also wanted my mind to be more aware of what words I was actually praying, hence the need for these (pretty so-so) translations. The method of notation the melodies is something I came up with years ago; here's how it works:

If you are not familiar with Gregorian chant already, this might be difficult. Those who are familiar know that there is always a clef which indicates "do" or the tonic. I call that note "8" and then just sign down the major scale: "8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1", then since this hymn starts on "6" I sing the downward scale once again, but this time I stop at 6. The hymn then can be sung "by the numbers" by singing the pitch corresponding to the number in the downward scale I sang before.

Just a few other rules of the notation:

When numbers are NOT seperated by a space, they indicate a single neume, that is one syllable is sung for more than one note.

When a number is followed by a "." (period or dot) that indicates a slight holding of that note longer than the others.

I have tried as much as possible to space the numbers so that they are over the VOWELS on which they are sung. In order to line up the numbers with the correct vowels I occasionally had to put dashes in the text. I composed this in MSWord and pasted it into Blogger, so if it doesn't come out right, it's Blogger's fault and the numbers are pretty useless.

One thing about hymns: most hymns (including this one) repeat the same melody for each verse, so once you have the simple melody in your head, the numbers become easier to follow. Sometimes when I am going to sing a hymn I haven't sung in a while, I will just sing the actual numbers through once to get the melody in my head, then sing verse one really slowly with the melody, and usually by verse 2 the singing is more fluent. Good luck to you if you are going to try it. Some day I may add a sound file so you can check to see if you are doing it correctly.