Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Marian Antiphons: Regina Caeli

Regina Caeli is the Marian antiphon sung at Compline from Easter Eve until Pentecost.

This is the antiphon sung to the Simple Tone, by the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos. (Chant score from the Liber Usualis (1961), p.278.)

Here's the chant score of the Simple Tone version, from the Liber Usualis:

Here it is sung the Solemn Tone, by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint Maurice et Saint Maur de Clervaux. (Chant score from the Liber Usualis (1961), p. 275.)

Here's the chant score of the Solemn Tone version, from the Liber Usualis:

This is from "Singing the Four Seasonal Marian Anthems," by Lucy Carroll, published in Adoremus:
Regina Caeli

Regina Caeli is perhaps the second-most familiar of the four texts, having been set to music by so many composers over the centuries, and frequently heard at Easter Vigil Mass. It is sung from Easter Vigil through Pentecost Sunday.

The text first appeared about the year 1200, and is often credited to Pope Gregory V (+998); the chant melody probably dates from the 14th century.
Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia; quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia; resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia; ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

(A note on the Latin: caeli is sometimes spelled coeli. The oe vowel format was integrated into Latin from the Greek, and the more accepted spelling today of this word for heaven is the fully Latinized ae version.)

This translation is by the Reverend Adrian Fortescue, 1913:
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia; for He whom thou was chosen to bear, alleluia; has risen as He said, alleluia; pray for us to God, alleluia.

It is certainly indicative of the Easter season, this hymn, filled with alleluias after a Lent where no alleluia is sung.

Another form of this text is in Regina Caeli Jubilo, dating from the 17th century. Its English form survives in the hymn “Be Joyful Mary” (melody by Johann Leisentritt (1527-1586).
Here's a terrific Regina Caeli by Czech composer P. J. Vejvanovský (~1633-1693), in that Grands Motets style I like so much:

This comes from Wikipedia:
The Regina Cæli or Regina Cœli ("Queen of Heaven", pronounced [reˈdʒiːna ˈtʃɛːli] in ecclesiastical Latin), is an ancient Latin Marian Hymn of the Christian Church.
It is one of the four seasonal Marian antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prescribed to be sung or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours at the conclusion of the last of the hours to be prayed in common that day, typically night prayer (Compline or Vespers). The Regina Caeli is sung or recited in place of the Angelus during the Easter season, from Holy Saturday through Pentecost Sunday.
And this is from TPL:
The author of Regina Caeli is unknown, but by virtue of its presence (or absence) in manuscripts, it had to have been composed sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries. One possible author in that time period is Pope Gregory V (+998). Its original use appears to have been in Rome where it was used as an Antiphon for Vespers at Easter. Today the Regina Caeli is used as hymn of joy during the Easter Season (Easter Sunday until Trinity Sunday) when it is used in place of the Angelus and prescribed to be recited at Compline. (see Angelus).

Perhaps the most interesting legend surrounding the prayer has it being composed, in part, by St. Gregory the Great. The legend has it that in the year 596, during Easter time, a pestilence was ravaging Rome. St. Gregory the Great requested a procession be held to pray that the pestilence be stopped. On the appointed day of the procession he assembled with his clergy at dawn at the church of Ara Coeli. Holding in his hand the icon of our Lady that was said to have been painted by St. Luke, he and his clergy started out in procession to St. Peter's. As he passed the Castle of Hadrian, as it was called in those days, voices were heard from above singing the Regina Caeli. The astonished Pope, enraptured with the angelic singing, replied in a loud voice: "Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia!" At that moment an angel appeared in a glorious light, sheathed the sword of pestilence in its scabbard, and from that day the pestilence ceased. In honor of this miraculous event, the name of the castle was then changed to Sant' Angelo and the words of the angelic hymn were inscribed upon the roof of the Church of Ara Coeli.

The traditional concluding versicle and collect, which are not part of the original antiphon, are also given below.
REGINA, caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
O QUEEN of heaven rejoice! alleluia:
For He whom thou didst merit to bear, alleluia,
Hath arisen as he said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut, per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Let us pray
O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; grant, we beseech Thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the Roman Breviary.

Here's Filippo Lippi's Madonna of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi:

This is from the Wikipedia link above:
The Madonna of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Filippo Lippi. It is housed in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi ofFlorence, central Italy.


Rear view.
The painting was found by art historian Giuseppe Poggi in 1907 in the psychiatric hospital of San Salvi in Florence. There are several theories about the provenance of the panel: Poggi assigned it to the Villa of Castelpulci, owned by the Riccardi family, who bought Palazzo Medici in 1655. According to another, the Madonna was instead part of the original decoration of the palace.
After having been acquired by the Italian state, it was moved to Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, where now is displayed in the Hall of the Triumphs and Arts in the first floor, near the gallery of Luca Giordano. It has been restored in 2001 by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.


The model of the painting had been used by Lippi since as early as 1436: it portrays the Madonna's half-bust in a niche with a shell-shaped dome, holding the Child; in this case, he stands on a marble parapet. The style is however typical of his late career, not far from the frescoes in the Cathedral of Spoleto, and is thus generally considered on the of the artists' last panels.
The rear of the panel has a drawing with St. Jerome's head.

"Easter: something as new as the creation of the world"

Here's catholicity and covenant's lovely post for Easter Day:

Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, before any one had done a stroke of work or acquired a jot of merit, he rose from the sepulchre, bringing new life to his disciples. What then began had nothing to do with last week's work or last week's sins; they all seemed centuries away. The old world for Christ's disciples had ended in calamity, had gone down into a gulf of darkness; the earth had crumbled under their feet, they had nothing to stand upon. But here was something as new as the creation of the world where no world was; new life straight from the hands of the only living God.

From Austin Farrer's sermon "Early in the Morning" in Said or Sung.

(The painting is Georges Rouault Christ on the Road to Emmaus.)

Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One

Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear upon the earth.
The time of singing of birds is come.
Arise my love, my fair one, and come away.
Music:  Healey Willan; Text:  Song of Songs 2:10-12

A blessed Easter to all.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Easter Vigil Offertory: Dextera Domini

Dextera Domini is now the Offertory for the Easter Vigil; it was previously the Offertory for Maundy Thursday (as labeled in the video); Ubi Caritas has taken that place in the current rite for Holy Thursday. The singers here are the Benedictine Nuns of Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, Le Barroux.

This chant is very suited to the Vigil, though!  The text comes from Psalm 118, vv. 16-17:
The right hand of the LORD has triumphed! *
the right hand of the LORD is exalted!
the right hand of the LORD has triumphed!"

I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the LORD.
Here's the full chant score:

I need to do a little research about the Easter Vigil, I see now; I know it was "recovered" in the 1960s/1970s liturgical reforms, but don't know much about this.  I have a feeling - just a feeling so far - that the Vigil may have been celebrated in at least some monastic houses all along, even when it wasn't in parish churches and Cathedrals.   I'll certainly post on this when I learn more.

Right now I'm looking at the Academy of Gregorian Chant's page on this text, and finding it used in a variety of liturgical situations; for instance, here it is listed as the Offertory for Epiphany III, in the Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek, Codex 121(1151):

The description of that manuscript, by the way, is pretty interesting:
This Codex comprises the oldest complete surviving neumed mass antiphonary; it includes assorted appendices (such as Alleluia verses, Antiphons and Psalm verses for the Communion Antiphons). Because the mass antiphonary is complete, the manuscript remains important to this day as a resource for Gregorian chant research. The second part of the codex contains the Libyer Ymnorum, the Sequences of Notker of St. Gall. Recent research has established that the codex was written in Einsiedeln itself (in about 960-970), most likely for the third abbot of the cloister, Gregor the Englishman. (lan)
Here's another example of its use for Epiphany III, from the "Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer Cod. Bodmer 74:

Here's a description of that manuscript:

This Gradual was produced in 1071 by the archpresbyter of the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere; it contains the musical scores for assorted liturgical songs. These melodies set down in written form make CB 74 the oldest record of Roman song.

I'm also seeing the text used in the "Graduale, Troparium et Prosarium ad usum Sancti Aredii. 1001-1400" (among quite a number of other places); I believe here, too, it is used for Epiphany III although this one's a bit harder to read. It's definitely in January, anyway.

There is more and more information these days about chant online; these chant manuscripts are really fascinating, and there seems to be a quite a lot of consistency of use in the chants - as well as a great deal of variety.  Interesting that both things can be true - but then, there are so many, many chants.  I'm having fun looking at all of this, I have to say - and very grateful for the publicly-available images and links.

And there is so much more music available now!  When I first started this blog, it was the Brazilian Benedictines, St. David's Compline Choir, the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood - and almost nothing else.  Thanks to them, for being there so long ago - and to everybody who's posting this stuff now, too.

Here is the Easter Vigil page on the Brazilians' website, and here are other Chantblog posts about the Easter Vigil propers:

Here, the Warsaw Boys' and Men's Choir, along with the AMFC Symphony Orchestra and the Pueri Cantores Plocenses Choir, sing Cesar Franck's beautiful setting of this text; nice job!

Josef Rheinberger set the text, too; here's his, sung by the Regensburger Domspatzen:

Wikipedia says that "The Regensburger Domspatzen is the official choir for the liturgical music at St Peter's Cathedral in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany. The choir consists of boys and young men only."

Here's a "fragment" of Duccio's "Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene," from about 1311; gorgeous!  He's fast becoming one of my favorite artists ever.

"In the Hell of Life, Holy Saturday"

Another beautiful post today from Interrupting the Silence:
The Harrowing of Hell,
14th century (source)
“When one door closes another opens,” goes an old and popular saying. But what about that time in between, after one door closes but before another opens? What do we do then? As a friend of mine once said, “It’s hell when you are waiting in the hallway.” That’s where we are today. The door on Good Friday has closed. Jesus is dead. The door on Easter has not yet opened. The tomb is sealed and guarded.

This is Holy Saturday, in-between time, tomb time.

Many, perhaps most, will not remember or celebrate this day, but, at some point, we all live this day. We all come to the Holy Saturday of our life, the hell of our life, and it always involves a death of some kind: the death of loved one, the death of a relationship, the death of a dream. Regardless of how it comes about someone or something has died and all the doors remain closed.

Our reading from Lamentations describes this well. We have been “brought into darkness without any light.” We are “besieged and enveloped with bitterness and tribulation.” We are walled in and cannot escape. We call and cry for help but our prayer is shut out.

We are homeless. There is nothing but the tomb.

This day seems like anything but holy. Where is Jesus on Holy Saturday? Reread the Apostles’ Creed. Remind yourself that on this day “He descended to the dead” or as another translation says, “He descended into hell.” Holy Saturday is when Christ descends into the hell of our life, breaking the bonds of death, and setting the captives free. Holy Saturday is the day death and Hades tremble in fear, and regret ever having tried to take captive the author and creator of life.

It is tempting in the Holy Saturday of our lives to run away, to leave the tomb and just get to Easter. But the tomb is the birthplace of Easter, “the workshop of resurrection.” Tragedy, sorrow, and death do not simply go away or get replaced. They are transformed. In that holy workshop Christ transforms tragedy into triumph, sorrow into joy, and death into life. We must, therefore, remain present to the tomb of Holy Saturday. That’s what Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are doing.

They are “sitting opposite the tomb.” They do not say anything; there is not much to say on this day. They do not do anything; there is not much to do on this day. Holy Saturday is a time of patience. This is about more than just waiting or passing time. It is the willingness to trust that there is more going on than we see or understand. It is reminding ourselves that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.” It is remaining present so that when another door opens, and it will, we will be there to walk through it.

Do you remember who were the first to see the open tomb of Christ? Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
“By death He conquered death, and to those in the graves He granted life!”
This sermon is for Holy Saturday and is based on Matthew 27:57-66 and Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24.

"Holy Saturday: this stretch, this nakedness"

From catholicity and covenant today:
When he died, he did not wake from a bad dream, and find he was God.  He went lower yet; descended into hell, says our creed.  That is, he died, and he was dead.  For hell, in this formula of words, means simply this: whatever is the condition of the dead, when they have died.

And what condition is that?  What is it to have died, and to be dead?  If resurrection is unimaginable, how much more unimaginably unimaginable is death?  Resurrection will refashion us in the stuff of glory.  We shall not be flesh and blood, but we shall be ourselves, we shall be.  But death, what is death?  What is the tenuous thread which spans the abyss of not-being, to join our being what we were with what we shall become?  This stretch, this nakedness, what is it?  I do not know, but Christ knows; for he descended into hell.

From Austin's Farrer's sermon "Gates to the City" in A Celebration of Faith.

(The painting is Georges Rouault De Profundis, 1948.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday: Stabat Mater

Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae moerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

Translation by Edward Caswall
Lyra Catholica (1849)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae (The Holy Week Office): Tomás Luis de Victoria

This is quite amazing; a complete - I think so, anyway; it's 3+ hours of music - recording of this work by Victoria. 

Victoria wrote this in 1585.  The YouTube page includes a link labeled as "source and information":

I'm not sure if the music here comes from that recording;  it would make sense that it's the same, though - otherwise why link to this page?  The musicians listed there are these:  La Colombina (Artist), Schola Antiqua (Artist), Josep Cabré (Performer), Juan Carlos Asensio (Performer).   The recording is, it looks like, out of print now; it sure is beautiful.

Below is the track list from the above page; the first 5 pieces are from Palm Sunday - and most of the rest come from Matins of Maundy Thurday (In Coena Domini), Good Friday (In Passione Domini), and Holy Saturday (Sabbato Sancto).

In other words, the greatest part of this music was written for the Office of Tenebrae - Matins and Lauds of the great Three Days.   The pieces include readings (including some from the Lamentations of Jeremiah), antiphons, responsories, hymns, and pieces from John's Passion and the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday.

To follow along with the Matins sections, use Divinum Officium; enter the date at the top of the page, then click "Matutinum" at the bottom.  You can listen to St. Thomas' Tenebrae sung in plainsong here.

Disc: 1

1. Dominica in Ramis Palmarum. Vexilla regis, more hispano
2. Dominica in Ramis Palmarum. Antiphona: Hosanna filio David
3. Dominica in Ramis Palmarum. Pueri Hebraeorum
4. Dominica in Ramis Palmarum. Passio secundum Mattheum
5. Dominica in Ramis Palmarum. Elevatio: O Domine Jesu Christe
6. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Antiphona: Zelus domus tuae (begins about 32:20)
7. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Versiculum: Avertantur retrorsum et erubescant
8. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio prima: Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae
9. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio secunda: Vau. Et egressus est
10. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio tertia: Jod. Manum suam
11. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Antiphona: Liberavit Dominus
12. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Versiculum: Deus meus eripe me
13. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Quartum responsorium: Amicus meus
14. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Quintum responsorium:  Judas mercator
15. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Sextum responsorium: Unus ex discipulis
16. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Antiphona: Dixi iniquis
17. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Versiculum:  Exsurge Domine
18. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Septimum responsorium:  Eram quasi agnus
19. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Octavum responsorium: Una hora
20. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Nonum responsorium: Seniores populi
21. Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Missam. In Missa. Tantum ergo (Pange Lingua; 5 v.)

Disc: 2

1. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Antiphona: Astiterunt reges terrae  (begins about 1:14:25)
2. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Versiculum: Diviserunt sibi vestimenti mea  
3. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio prima: Heth. Cogitavit Dominus  
4. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio secunda: Lamed. Matribus suis dixerunt
5. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio tertia: Aleph.  Ego vir videns
6. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Antiphona: Vim faciebant  
7. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Versiculum: Insurrexerunt in me testes iniqui  
8. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Quartum responsorium: Tamquam ad latronem  
9. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Quintum responsorium:  Tenebrae factae sunt  
10. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Sextum responsorium:  Animam meam dilectam  
11. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Antiphona: Ab insurgentibus in me  
12. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Versiculum: Locuti sunt adversaum me lingua dolosa  
13. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Septimum responsorium:  Tradiderunt me  
14. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Octavum responsorium:  Jesum tradidit impius  
15. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Nonum responsorium:  Caligaverunt oculi mei  
16. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Laudes. Antiphona: Posuerunt super caput eius - Benedictus Deus Dominus Israel  
17. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Solemni Actione Liturgica. Passio secundum Ioannem (begins about 2:03:00)
18. Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Solemni Actione Liturgica. In Adoratione Crucis.

Disc: 3

1. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Antiphona: In pace in idipsum
2. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Versiculum: In pace in idipsum
3. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio prima: Heth. Misericordiae Domini  
4. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio secunda: Aleph. Quomodo obscuratum  
5. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio tertia: Incipit oratio Jeremiae  
6. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Antiphona: Elevamini portae aeternalis
7. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Versiculum: Tu autem Domini Miserere mei
8. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Quartum responsorium: Recessit pastor noster
9. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Quintum responsorium: O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam  
10. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Secondo Nocturno. Sextum responsorium: Ecce quomodo moritur  
11. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Antiphona: Deus adiuvat me
12. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Versiculum: In pace factus est locus e
13. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Septimum responsorium: Astiterunt reges
14. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Octavum responsorium: Aestimatus sum
15. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum. In Tertio Nocturno. Nonum responsorium: Sepulto Domino
16. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Laudes. Antiphona: O mors, ero mors tua. Psalmus 50: Miserere mei Deus
17. Sabbato Sancto. Ad Laudes. Antiphona: Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem

Maundy Thursday: "Gregorian Chants from Assisi - Medieval Lauds"

Gregorianische Gesange aus Assisi, Gregorian Chants from Assisi - Laudes Antiquae Medieval Lauds, In Cena Domini de Missa Solemni Vespertina - Coro della Cappella Papale di San Francesco d 'Assisi, Padre Maestro Alfonso Del Ferraro. (1967)

In cena domini : de missa solemni vespertina = Plainsong melodies for the commemoration of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday.

De missa
1.Nos autem gloriari oportet
2. Christus factus est pro nobis obediens.

De lotione pedum:
3.Mandatum novum do vobis
4. Postquam surrexit Dominus
5. Dominus Jesus, postquam cenavit
6. Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes?
7. Si ego Dominus et Magister vester
8. In hoc cognoscent omnes
9. Maneant in vobis fides, spes, caritas
10. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est

De missa:
11. Dextera Domini fecit virtutem
12. Sanctus

De solemni translatione ac repositione sacramenti:
13.Pange lingua gloriosi Corporis mysterium

Cantus Poenitentiae:
14.Parce Domine, parce populo tuo

In festo Corpore Christi:
15.Verbun supernum prodiens
16.Lauda Sion Salvatorem.

Maundy Thursday: "Partaking of the sacrificial body"

Again from catholicity and covenant:

Do the disciples understand the nature of the bond? Jesus has blessed his food, to be the body he will offer in his sacrifice; do they know that they are committed to membership in such a body as that?  A body flogged, broken, crucified - see, he crumbles the loaf before their eyes.  Do they perceive the new meaning in the ancient custom, the breaking of the bread?  Are they willing to be parts of such a body, are they willing that his body, with its sacrificial destiny, should be theirs?  The disciples were not yet fully willing, but they came to be, and so we all must; for if we do not want to be given and surrendered to God, why touch religion at all?  By partaking of the sacrificial body, we are to be made capable of sacrifice, taken up, as we are, into the sacrificial being of Christ.

From Austin Farrer's address "This is my Body", given at the 1958 Eucharistic Congress, in Said and Sung.

(The painting is Georges Rouault Christ and the Apostles.)

Maundy Thursday: "We must return every day into his death"

In catholicity and covenant today:
Take the Passion of Christ in S. Matthew or S. Luke, and merely look with all your eyes on one scene at a time.  Begin at the upper room;  see Jesus give himself away with his own hands to his Father and to his friends, in bread and wine that are his body and blood.  Go on to the garden, see him give himself again, and confirm his gift in the agony of prayer; see him, by standing to the truth of his mission, call death on his own head in Caiaphas's court and in Pilate's.  See him, half  flogged to death, wear that crown and that robe which assert the kingdom of God's will on earth through mockery and annihilation.  See him receive the cross on which he is to die, and see him die on it.  Then see if the overflowing mercy which unites you to him will not make something more of your giving yourself to God, if only for a day.  We must live one day at a time, but we cannot do that if we do not return every day into the life of Jesus, and above all into his death.

From Austin Farrer's sermon "Dying to Live" in Said or Sung.

(The painting is Georges Rouault Head of Christ, 1937.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Messe des Rameaux

Palm Sunday mass, broadcast in French, from St. Peter's:

If you don't speak French, though, that voice-over narration might be kind of annoying.  Here's the straight-ahead stream, without narration; really beautiful:

Here's another one, from (perhaps?) Notre Dame:

The Gradual for Monday in Holy Week: Exsurge Domine

I found this video while looking for something else; after some searching, I learned that Exsurge Domine is the Gradual for Monday in Holy Week:

Here's a page from the St. Gall codex that contains this chant:

I found the chant text and a link to the codex above at the Académie de Chant grégorienThe text comes from Psalm 35:23:
Exsurge Domine,
et intende iudicium meum, Deus meus,
et Dominus meus, in causam meam.

Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and my Lord.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sarum Compline for Ferias in Passion Week has posted English Compline for several seasons:
We are pleased to host on this site beautifully prepared editions of the Sarum Office of Compline in contemporary English.  Thanks go to Emil Salim for assembling these booklets, which cover the following seasons:
   Compline 1: Advent.
   Compline 5: The Octave of Epiphany.
   Compline 6: Ordinary Time.
   Compline 7: The Third Sunday of Lent.
   Compline 9: Ferias in Passion Week.
   Compline 14: From Low Sunday to the Vigil of the Ascension.
Here's a PDF file of "Compline for Ferias in Passion Week."   (Linked from the "Annex" page.)   The image on the cover is certainly an El Greco, but I don't know which one.

"Palm Sunday Liturgy and Procession 03.24.13" from Trinity Wall Street

Here, including the sung Passion - not Gregorian, but their own composition - from Luke's Gospel.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

St Matthew Matthäus Passion, BWV 244

Christoph Prégardien, tenor
Tobias Berndt, baritone
Dorothee Mields, soprano
Hana Blažíková, soprano
Damien Guillon, countertenor
Robin Blaze, countertenor
Colin Balzer, tenor
Hans Jörg Mammel, tenor
Matthew Brook, bass
Stephan MacLeod, bass

Collegium Vocale Gent Conducted by Philippe Herreweghee

"Relationships are the new religion for many"

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, in USAToday.  Just for fun, I've bolded a single sentence below:
Emily Hilliard will cook a festive brunch with friends on Easter Sunday. But none in her Washington, D.C., social circle of foodies, folklorists and fiddlers will go to church that day.

In Denver, Ambra Vibran will enjoy an Italian feast with cousins that Sunday. But she says, "My spiritual life is in hiking, skiing, kayaking and enjoying God's creation." It's a stretch to recall when Vibran last went to church.

Eleanor Drey plans a Jewish traditional meal where family and friends will talk about freedom. But it won't be on Passover, Monday night this year. Folks are tied up with their kids' spring vacations. They'll gather at Drey's San Francisco home in April instead.

This week, most Americans will celebrate essential stories of Christianity and Judaism: God freeing the enslaved is a key Passover theme. Easter's core is Jesus' resurrection, offering a doorway to salvation.

But many will celebrate with a twist.

While 73% of Americans call themselves Christian, only 41% say they plan to attend Easter worship services, according to a March 13 survey of 1,060 U.S. adults by LifeWay Research, a Nashville-based Christian research agency. Passover is a home-centered celebration, but it's not known how many Jews plan to recite the prayers and serve symbolic foods at their

In the gap between faith and practice are millions of people who will delight in Easter and Passover as "holidays," not "holy days."

They're just as Christian, just as Jewish, in their own eyes as people who follow traditional scripts — church on Sunday before carving the ham or the Seder rituals before slurping the matzoh ball soup.

They've simply redefined their spirituality to center on the people at the table — shared time, shared values with their nearest-and-dearest.

"Relationships have replaced religion for many Millennials," says Esther Fleece, who spent three years specializing outreach to young adult Christians for the evangelical group Focus on the Family.

Fleece, now a literary agent in Orange, Calif., is a devoted churchgoer herself. This year, as always, she says, "I'll invite my Creaster (Christmas and Easter) friends to come with me Easter Sunday."

Still, Fleece says, many won't come. They don't think they need it.

"Religion gives people a basis for morality, for hope and a greater purpose.
Millennials form their friendship groups around similar interests. They reinforce and encourage each other," Fleece says.

Fleece's friend Vibran, 30, takes the view that "religion has evolved over the years. I feel like it's whatever you want it to be. I believe the Catholic moral values, but I don't feel I have to go to church to consider myself a believer in that."

Hilliard, 29, might find herself singing old-time hymns on Easter. However, the singing is not about theology. Hymns offer "a connection to tradition and history and to feeling part of something larger than yourself," says Hilliard, who plays the fiddle.

The meal that Hilliard's friends will cook together reflects their support for food from local growers and sustainable farm culture. At the table, "You are beholden to each other. You do talk about values and ways of living."

In 2009, LifeWay asked 1,200 people ages 18-29, to name those things that were "really important" to them in life. Over 60% mentioned family, 25% mentioned friends, but only 13% mentioned spirituality or religion.

Unlike earlier generations, "Millennials prioritize relationships, especially family, over religion," explained Jess Rainer who co-authored a book drawn from the survey, The Millennials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation.

This cultural religion view is not confined to the young. When Gallup tracked people's happiness every day for a year in 2008, the peak of the first five months was Easter Sunday, when people logged the most hours with those who make them happy.

Since tension is not conducive to happiness, many cut one flashpoint — God — out of the holiday conversation. Easter becomes less about resurrection and salvation from sin, more about a universal longing for rebirth and the joy of spring.

Passover shifts from liberation at God's hand to human responsibility toward each other.

The shift may also reflect that so many at the holiday table are from different religions or one of the 20% of Americans who claim no religion at all.

The numbers of unbelievers are nearly as high — if not higher — around the world. Even Pope Francis acknowledged — and blessed — the disconnected in his first public homilies last week. He spoke of "all men and women who, although not claiming to belong to any religious tradition, still feel themselves to be in search of truth, goodness and beauty, God's truth, goodness and beauty."

About 27% of Americans are in interfaith marriages or relationships, according to the 2007 Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the most recent data available.

InterfaithFamily, an organization that promotes Jewish choices for interfaith couples, found in a survey of 327 respondents that while 58% say they will participate in Easter celebrations, just 5% will tell the Easter story. And while 96% say they'll participate in Passover celebrations, only 66% expect to tell the Passover story — the central event of a traditional Passover Seder meal.

Edmund Case, CEO of InterfaithFamily, says the survey has reached similar numbers for nine consecutive years, confirming that families, particularly those raising their children as Jewish, "by large measure see their Easter celebrations as secular in nature and not confusing to their children's Jewish identity."

Those invited to Drey's gathering of 16, including many who are not Jewish, all have homework assignments before the belated Passover dinner. "The plan this year is to talk about our most important values and what we think are the driving forces in our lives," says Drey.

"It's important to be with people and to think in a structured way about how important it is to have freedom and food to eat and privileges others don't share and consider our responsibilities to them in our daily lives," says Drey.

Rob Bell, once a nationally known pastor on the evangelical megachurch scene, no longer holds a pulpit. Now, he's working on TV pilots with a spiritual side and touring to tout his new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God.

It's addressed, he says, "to all those people who feel reverence humming in them but they're afraid to call it God because of all the baggage attached."

Relationships may be replacing religion for some people because, says Bell, "It is our humanity that we have in common. Religion divided us and cut us off from each other. Lots of people have realized that if the religious machine has value, it has to talk about what it means to be human.

"That's what makes holiday meals together at a table so important and profound. It's a way of encountering God," Bell says, in "the holiness and sacred nature of all of life, from family to friends to neighbors to money and breath and sex and work and play and food and wine."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Palm Sunday: Gloria, laus et honor tibi ("All Glory, Laud, and Honor")

Gloria, laus is the Palm Sunday Hymnus ad Christum Regem ("Hymn to Christ the King") sung during the procession of the Liturgy of the Palms. It's a gorgeous chant:

Here's the chant score from the Brazilian Benedictines:

There is of course a more recent hymn that uses the same text - English translation by J.M. Neale - and is  sung on the same occasion: "All Glory, Laud, and Honor." The video below was recorded at St. Bart's in Manhattan, on Palm Sunday 2011. It begins with the blessing of the palms; the choir then sings Hosanna to the Son of David (I think this is Weelkes' setting) and the Gospel for this part of the liturgy is read.   The hymn itself begins after that, at around 8:45.

TPL says about this hymn that:
Composed by Theodulph of Orleans (d. 821), this hymn is often used as a processional hymn for Palm Sunday. According to a pretty little legend surrounding the composition of this hymn, Theodolf had been imprisoned for political reasons in a monastery in Angers. While he was imprisoned he wrote the hymn and sang it from the window of his cell just as Louis the Pious, King of France, was passing beneath the window in the procession on Palm Sunday in 821. The hymn so moved the king that he immediately ordered the holy bishop to be freed and restored to his see. The legend is now generally discredited on historical grounds. For a scriptural background of the hymn, see Matt. 21, 1-16 & Ps. 117, 26.

GLORIA, laus et honor
tibi sit, Rex Christe, Redemptor:
Cui puerile decus prompsit
Hosanna pium.

R. Gloria, laus, etc.
ALL glory, praise, and honor
to Thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet Hosannas ring.

R. All glory, etc.

Israel es tu Rex, Davidis et
inclyta proles:
Nomine qui in Domini,
Rex benedicte, venis.

R. Gloria, laus, etc.

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David's royal Son,
Who in the Lord's Name comest.
the King and blessed One.

R. All glory, etc.

Coetus in excelsis te laudat
caelicus omnis,
Et mortalis homo, et cuncta
creata simul.

R. Gloria, laus, etc.

The company of Angels
are praislng Thee on high,
and mortal men and all things
created make reply.

All glory, etc

Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis
obvia venit:
Cum prece, voto, hymnis,
adsumus ecce tibi.

R. Gloria, laus, etc.

The people of the Hebrews
with palms before Thee went;
our pralse and prayer and anthems
before Thee we present.

R. All glory, etc.

Hi tibi passuro solvebant
munia laudis:
Nos tibi regnanti pangimus
ecce melos

R. Gloria, laus, etc.

To Thee before Thy Passion
they sang their hymns of praise;
to Thee now high exalted
our melody we raise.

R. All glory, etc.

Hi placuere tibi, placeat
devotio nostra:
Rex bone, Rex clemens, cui
bona cuncta placent.

R. Gloria, laus, etc.

Thou didst accept their praises,
accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

R. All glory, etc.

From the Roman Missal. Translation by J. M. Neale (1818-1866).

New Advent adds a bit more information:
Gloria, Laus et honor

hymn composed by St. Theodulph of Orléans in 810, in Latin elegiacs, of which the Roman Missal takes the first six for the hymn following the procession on Palm Sunday (the use to which the hymn was always dedicated). The first couplet,
Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit Rex Christe, Redemptor,
Cui puerile decus prompsit hosanna pium,
is sung by chanters inside of the church (the door having been closed), and is repeated by the processional chorus outside of the church. The chanters then sing the second couplet, the chorus responding with the refrain of the first couplet, and so on for the remaining couplets until the subdeacon strikes the door with the staff of the cross, whereupon the door is opened, the hymn ceases, and the procession enters the church. The words of the refrain ("puerile decus") suggested the assignment of the hymn in the Middle Ages to boy chanters (thus at SalisburyYorkHerefordRouen, etc.). The hymn is founded on Psalm 23:7-10 (Vulgate); Psalm 117:26Matthew 21:1-16Luke 19:37-38.

Also from New Advent comes this bit of history, and a description of the Palm Sunday rite:
In the three oldest Roman Sacramentaries no mention is found of either the benediction of the palms or the procession. The earliest notice is in the "Gregorianum" used in France in the ninth and tenth centuries. In it is found among the prayers of the day one that pronounces a blessing on the bearers of the palms but not on the palms. The name Dominica in palmis, De passione Domini occurs in the "Gelasianum", but only as a superscription and Probst ("Sacramentarien und Ordines", Münster, 1892, 202) is probably correct in suspecting the first part to be an addition, and the De passione Domini the original inscription. It seems certain that the bearing of palms during services was the earlier practice, then came the procession, and later the benediction of the palms.

The principal ceremonies of the day are the benediction of the palms, the procession, the Mass, and during it the singing of the Passion. The blessing of the palms follows a ritual similar to that of Mass. On the altar branches of palms are placed between the candlesticks instead of flowers ordinarily used. The palms to be blessed are on a table at the Epistle side or in cathedral churches between the throne and the altar. The bishop performs the ceremony from the throne, the priest at the Epistle side of the altar. An antiphon "Hosanna to the Son of David" is followed by a prayer. The Epistle is read from Exodus 15:27-16:7, narrating the murmuring of the children of Israel in the desert of Sin, and sighing for the fleshpots of Egypt, and gives the promise of the manna to be sent as food from heaven. The Gradual contains the prophetic words uttered by the high-priest Caiphas, "That it was expedient that one man should die for the people"; and another the prayer of Christ in the Garden of Olives that the chalice might pass; also his admonition to the disciples to watch and pray. The Gospel, taken from St. Matthew, xvi, 1-9, describes the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem when the populace cut boughs from the trees and strewed them as He passed, crying, Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (In private Masses this Gospel is read at the end of Mass instead of that of St. John.) Then follow an oration, a preface, the Sanctus, and Benedictus.

In the five prayers which are then said the bishop or priest asks God to bless the branches of palm or olive, that they may be a protection to all places into which they may be brought, that the right hand of God may expel all adversity, bless and protect all who dwell in them, who have been redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ. The prayers make reference to the dove bringing back the olive branch to Noah's ark and to the multitude greeting Our Lord; they say that the branches of palms signify victory over the prince of death and the olive the advent of spiritual unction through Christ. The officiating clergyman sprinkles the palms with holy water, incenses them, and, after another prayer, distributes them. During the distribution the choir sings the "Pueri Hebræorum". The Hebrew children spread their garments in the way and cried out saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Then follows the procession, of the clergy and of the people, carrying the blessed palms, the choir in the mean time singing the antiphons "Cum appropinquaret", "Cum audisset", and others. All march out of the church. On the return of the procession two or four chanters enter the church, close the door and sing the hymn "Gloria, laus", which is repeated by those outside. At the end of the hymn the subdeacon knocks at the door with the staff of the cross, the door is opened, and all enter singing "Ingrediente Domino". Mass is celebrated, the principal feature of which is the singing of the Passion according to St. Matthew, during which all hold the palms in their hands.

And in case you were curious, the Wikipedia page for "Latin elegiacs" says:
Elegiac refers either generally to compositions that are like elegies or specifically to Greek and Latin poetry composed in elegiac couplets, in which a line of dactylic hexameter is followed by a line of dactylic pentameter. Because the hexameter line is in the same meter as epic poetry and because the elegiac form was always considered lower style than epic, elegists frequently wrote with epic in mind and positioned themselves in relation to epic.

Classical poets
The first examples of elegiac poetry in writing come from classical Greece. The form dates back nearly as early as epic, with such authors as Archilocus and Simonides of Ceos from early in the history of Greece. The first great elegiac poet of the Hellenistic period was Philitas of Cos: Augustan poets identified his name with great elegiac writing.[1] One of the most influential elegiac writers was Philitas' rival Callimachus, who had an enormous impact on Roman poets, both elegists and non-elegists alike. He promulgated the idea that elegy, shorter and more compact than epic, could be even more beautiful and worthy of appreciation. Propertius linked him to his rival with the following well-known couplet:
Callimachi Manes et Coi sacra Philetae,
in vestrum, quaeso, me sinite ire nemus.[2]
Callimachus' spirit, and shrine of Philitas of Cos,
 let me enter your sacred grove, I beseech you.
The 1st century AD rhetorician Quintilian ranked Philitas second only to Callimachus among the elegiac poets.[3]
The foremost elegiac writers of the Roman era were Catullus, Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid. Catullus, a generation earlier than the other three, influenced his younger counterparts greatly. They all, particularly Propertius, drew influence from Callimachus, and they also clearly read each other and responded to each other's works. Notably, Catullus and Ovid wrote in non-elegiac meters as well, but Propertius and Tibullus did not.

English poets

The "elegy" was originally a classical form with few English examples. However, in 1751, Thomas Gray wrote "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard". That poem inspired numerous imitators, and soon both the revived Pindaric ode and "elegy" were commonplace. Gray used the term "elegy" for a poem of solitude and mourning, and not just for funereal (eulogy) verse. He also freed the elegy from the classical elegiac meter.
Afterward, Samuel Taylor Coleridge argued that the elegiac is the form "most natural to the reflective mind" and that it may be upon any subject, so long as it reflects on the poet himself. Coleridge was quite aware of the fact that his definition conflated the elegiac with the lyric, but he was emphasizing the recollected and reflective nature of the lyric he favored and referring to the sort of elegy that had been popularized by Gray. Similarly, William Wordsworth had said that poetry should come from "emotions recollected in tranquility" (Preface to Lyrical Ballads, emphasis added). After the Romantics, "elegiac" slowly returned to its narrower meaning of verse composed in memory of the dead.
In other examples of poetry such as Alfred Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" an elegiac tone can be used, where the author is praising someone in a sombre tone. J. R. R. Tolkien in his essay, 'Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics' argues that Beowulf is a heroic elegy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Palm Sunday Offertory: Improperium expectavit cor meum

Here's a video of the Palm Sunday Offertory, from last year's Palm Sunday mass at St. Peter's in Rome.  I'm very happy to have a video of the mass itself; it's so much better to be able to see how the chant fits in and works with what's going on in the liturgy.

Palm Sunday may be my favorite of all days on the Church calendar; it's so complex, and contains such an incredible range of events and emotions that it seems to me almost a comprehensive description of human life on earth - all encapsulated in a single day.   The mass begins with the joy of Hosanna, filio David, and the triumphant hymn Gloria, laus, et honor tibi - and then the Tract takes a 180-degree turn with the Psalm 22-based Deus, deus meus.  The rest of the chants for the day are pure mournfulness, the intimation of disaster everywhere.

This text, for instance, comes from the mourning Psalm (68)/69, vv. 20-21; here's my translation (with the help of Google Translate):
My heart hath expected reproach and misery; I looked for someone to grieve together with me, but there was none to comfort me;  I sought him, and found him not.   And they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

The Gradual continues the theme of mourning, with Christus factus est - the same Gradual sung on Good Friday.   Finally, the Communio has the very last word on the day, again anticipating the Passion:  "Father, if this cup cannot pass away, unless I drink it: your will be done."

Palestrina set the text of today's Offertory; it's here in the video below.  The YouTube page says it  comes from the same mass - Palm Sunday at St. Peter's, from last year - and it seems to be part of the Offertory rite as well.  I'm not sure why; cups seem to be carried to the altar in both videos, so it would seem that the two pieces were sung back-to-back. I suppose in such a large place and with so many people in attendance, you would need more music - so perhaps that's it.

And of course, Handel used this text in Messiah, as well, as "Thy Rebuke hath broken his heart":

Here are all the chants for the day, from the Brazilian Benedictines:
Hebdomada Sancta
Dominica in Palmis de Passione Domini
Antiphona: Hosanna filio David (34.9s - 548 kb) 

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

Ad Missam
Tractus: Ps. 21, 2- Deus, Deus meus (1m54.7s - 1794 kb) 
Graduale: Phil. 2, 8. V. 9 Christus factus est (2m19.3s - 2178 kb) 
Offertorium: Ps. 68, 21.22 Improperium... et dederunt (2m40.2s - 2504 kb) 
Communio: Mt. 26, 42 Pater, si non potest (3m28.0s - 3252 kb) 
And here are some Palm Sunday posts on Chantblog:
Here are a couple of files from Trinity Wall Street's Palm Sunday services last year; the first is the complete service, and the second is just the sung passion.  The latter is not Gregorian Chant, but (I believe) their own composition; it's really very beautiful.
I do have a version of the complete Gregorian sung Passion, but it's the one for Good Friday, from the gospel of John:
I'm still looking for a complete sung Gregorian Passion of any of the synoptic Gospels; this year it's Luke.  Haven't found anything yet, though.

Here's Duccio di Buoninsegna's Entry into Jerusalem, from sometime around 1310:

SSJE: "Praying Our Lives: Judgment"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Caramelized Onion & Carrot Soup

The Tomato Tart offers this wonderful and easy recipe; I just made it tonight.  It's fantastic - and vegan, too.   Do exactly as she says (although I did add a bit more water than it says here), and you won't be sorry; definitely do the herb oil thing as well.
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs carrots peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup celery sliced
  • 8 oz vegetable stock- homemade or low sodium variety
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 sprig lemon thyme, leaves removed from stem
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon piment d’espelette

  • Cook onions and olive oil over medium low heat until well-caramelized and a dark golden brown, stirring infrequently (about 25-30 minutes)
  • Add carrots, potato, and celery and cook for another 10 minutes, tossing well to coat with olive oil and onions.
  • Add vegetable stock, turn heat to medium high, and bring to a rapid boil. Cook until vegetables are very tender almost falling apart- about 20 minutes.
  • Blend with an immersion blender until completely smooth, thinning with just a little bit of water or milk (rice milk if dairy free) if necessary
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve with parsley oil and a sprinkling of piment d’espelette if using

  • If you’re making the herb oil, do so while the soup is cooking so it has time to steep
  • finely chop parsley and thyme in food processor until it is tiny tiny tiny
  • Add olive oil and give it a little whirl
  • When ready to serve, strain through a fine mesh sieve and add one teaspoon of the herbs back to the strained oil and whisk to incorporate.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrity and saints

Another thought:  perhaps celebrities are playing a teaching role - almost in the way that saints have?

Christian saints - and also mythic (or real) heroes of all kinds in all cultures - have always been, in part, stand-ins for personality types and examples of human behavior, and a way to teach the faith's values and possibilities.  For instance: 
  • The Blessed Virgin Mary (she accepted God's will for her - and henceforth all generations call her blessed); 
  • Joseph (it's his feast day today; he's the accepting father and provider); 
  • John the Baptist (the wild prophet - the "voice crying in the wilderness"); 
  • St. Peter (the loyal but deeply flawed disciple - redeemed in spite of his betrayal);  
  • St. Thomas (the doubter); 
  • Martha and Mary of Bethany (the active and contemplative - the worldly and mystical); 
  • St. Paul (the mystic and thinker and gadfly); 
  • Mary Magdalene (at various times:  the loyal disciple, the madwoman, the sinner, the whore, the "Apostle to the Apostles", the "good role model");  
  • St. Jerome (the cranky scholar); 
  • St. Francis (the true disciple, the ne plus ultra, the mystic); 
  • St. Julian (the solitary, the mystic, the lover of souls); 
  • others you can name here, I'm sure.

The Greek and Roman gods performed this function, too, as far as I can tell.  Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Hermes, Apollo, Athena, Hercules, etc. - all are distinct personality types, and all are "patrons" of various aspects of human life, exactly as the saints were later.

So perhaps this is what the celebrity culture is about?  Perhaps people are using them - and the word "using" is pretty accurate, I think - as a way to look at and dissect the human condition via the variety of character traits and personality types that celebrities act out?  As models for behavior?  And, more specifically: as a way to understand human life and behavior?  To talk all this out, and figure out what's good and what's deleterious?  The difference, of course, is that there is no real system to this - and the values it contains are of-the-moment and very likely fleeting.

Celebrities are used as scapegoats, too, of course - there is that love-hate thing going - and that's another place the "saint" comparison breaks down.

Saint culture is almost gone now, in these terms - and celebrity culture is powerful and everywhere.  And unreasonably central to modern life - which says to me that it's an adaptation, and functioning in, perhaps, the same way as religion once did.  That is, to give shape to all the data, and find coherence in patterns, perhaps?   Perhaps people are simply using "celebrity" as a means to deal with the loss of the religious function in their lives?

Think Ayn Rand, too, BTW, and the continued popularity of her novels - and the unquestionably "religious" devotion of her disciples.  This is another case of oversized enthusiasm for characters, I think - which in addition comes alongside a developed statement about coherence.  This is what people are doing, I think:  looking for patterns and "ways of being," and/or talking out human problems - whether or not these ways of being actually work or make real sense in the long run.  (This is exactly what I'm doing on this thread, too, as a matter of fact!)

This is what the church does, too, of course; it tells a strange story, filled with fascinating, mysterious characters and powerful events - and has worked out a theory about the coherence and meaning of human existence based on those events.   The really interesting thing is that it has spoken strongly to people for such a long time - which says that it's dealing with some very basic, core human concerns.

I've always thought, BTW, that the "twelve tribes of Israel" may actually represent some basic breakdown of human personality types or spheres of interest.  Someday I'll have to look closely at what the Oral Tradition says about this, if anything....