Monday, July 8, 2013

O adiutor omnium seculorum

The YouTube page says that this is "medieval chant from Codex Calixtinus," and offers also the following information:
Title: "Graduale" (codex calixtinus f. 110v, 217-217v)
Service: Missa Sancti Iacobi
Performers: Grupo de Musica Alfonso X el Sabio, Director: Luis Lozano Virumbrales
If, though, the folio number there is right, this comes from Matins and not the Mass; I've also seen it listed elsewhere as a "Responsory."    It's from Book I, the "Book of Liturgies."  To me, the interesting part here is the section that begins "Portum in ultimo";  it seems to play the part of a doxology, but sort of acts like trope material too.    I'm not sure where it comes from, since it's not included in other recordings of this material - but it is a beautiful text.  The content itself seems a bit over-the-top even for the celebration of an Apostle's feast day; perhaps the fact that this was a pilgrimage/festival (St. James was celebrated, apparently, twice a year:  July 25 and December 30) explains that.

O adiutor omnium seculorum.
O decus apostolorum.
O lux Clara Gallecianorum.
O advocate peregrinorum.
Iacobe, supplantator viciorum.
Solve nostrorum catenas delictorum,
et duc nos ad salutis portum.

Qui subvenis periclitantibus ad te clamantibus
tam in mare quam in terra.
Sccurre nobis nunc et in periculo mortis.
Et duc nos ad salutis portum.

Portum in ultimo
Da nobis iudicio.

Ita ut cum Deo
Carenti principio.

Et cum eius Nato
Qui est sine termino

Et cum Paraclito
Ab utroque edito

Expulsi a tetro
Tartareo puteo

Angelorum choro
Coniuncti sanctissimo

Purgati vico,
Potiti gaudio,
Cum vite premio,

Te duce patrano,
Intremus cum pio
Paradici voto Ortum.

Oh helper throughout the ages.
Oh glory of the apostles.
Oh shining light to those who dwell in Galicia.
Oh you who aid the pilgrims.
James, remover of hardships,
take off the chains of our sins and lead us to safe harbors.

You who come to the aid of those who call to you in their perils
both at sea and on land,
help us now and when we face the danger of death.
And lead us to the door of salvation.

Grant us a safe harbor
On the day of Judgement

So that with God
Who had no beginning

And with his son
Who is without end

And with the Paraclete
Issuance of both

Saved from the black
Cavern of Hell

And admitted into the
holy choir of angels

Purged of all sin,
Filled with joy
With the reward of life

And, with you as our leader and protector
We may enter with pious sing
Into the garden of Paradise.

You may be interested in reading this online Pilgrim's Guide.  It's apparently a complete English translation of Book V of the Codex Calixtinus; the Latin is taken, says the translator, in great part from the 1882 Le codex de saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

The Book opens this way:
Quatuor viae sunt quae ad sanctum Jacobum tendentes, in unum, ad Pontem Regine , in oris Hispanise coadunantur.

(Four roads meet at Puente la Reina in Spain and become one route to Santiago.)

Here's a shorter version of the same chant, which does not include the doxological material above - but does include its own fantastic doxology!

Here are the notes from that YouTube page:
"A certain priest, who was saved by St. James
from shipwreck as he was returning from Jerusalem,
wrote this song, which is in the fist mode."

Help of the ages, Glory of the apostles,
Light of the Galicians,
Protector of pilgrims, Oh St James,
who removes our sins:

Break the chains of our vice and lead us to the port
of salvation.

You who sustain those in peril, those who cry out to you on land and on sea,
Help us now and at the hour of death.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Performers: Coro de Monjes del Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos

Recorded live at the church of the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos (1969)

No comments: