Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Corpus Christi Alleluia: Caro mea ("My flesh")

Here's the beautiful Corpus Christi Alleluia, sung at "Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, City of Westminster, 18 September 2010."

Here are Latin and English words, from Chapter 6 of John's Gospel:
Caro mea vere est cibus: et sanguis meus vere est potus.
Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem in me manet, et ego in illo[eo].

My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

 Here's the full chant score:

This was the Tridentine Alleluia for this feast day as well. 

Dom Dominic Johner, in Chants of the Vatican Gradual, writes, about this Alleluia (as he compares it to various other chant Alleluia propers during the church year):
With what earnestness the disciples on the way to Emmaus besought the Lord to remain with them, for the night was approaching!  Here our Saviour not only gives us the assurance that He will remain  with us, but that He will remain in us when we are united with Him in  Holy Communion. Thus the indefectible Light itself, the Light which  can never be dimmed, is within us! Our souls will be the house where  Truth dwells, where falsehood can never intrude. We shall be filled with  the life and strength from which all the saints, whom we rightly admire, have drawn. Hence He truly is what our hungering and thirsting  soul needs in life and still more in death. Our present song expresses  thanks for these many graces.

Alleluia with its jubilus has the form abc; no inner relationship  exists between it and the melody of the verse. Several times during the  year we meet this melody: first, on Corpus Christi; second, on the feast  of the Transfiguration; third, on the feast of St. Lawrence; fourth, on  the feast of St. Michael (second Alleluia); and fifth, on the feast of the  Holy Rosary. In the most ancient manuscripts it is found with the text  Laetabitur Justus: 'The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in  Him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised." The melody is entirely begotten of the text, an energetic song of exultation, which leaves  this earth far below it and soars up to the ethereal blue—describing the  joy and the delight of the singer. The original, unfortunately, is no  longer sung. In it the beauty and clarity of the structure, which is psalmodic in character, is better revealed. Two phrases begin with an intonation and then have a florid middle cadence. In the first phrase there  follows not a mere recitation on the tenor, but a very ornate melisma  with a repetition; finally comes the closing cadence. The melody of  alleluia with its jubilus is joined to the last words of the verse to form  the third phrase. In the first part of the original an independent thought  is expressed: "The just shall rejoice in the Lord," thus fully justifying  the pause on the dominant after the middle cadence. But b towers above the two a parts. A brief survey will show the relation between the original composition and the adaptations mentioned and numbered above.

1. Caro mea
2. Candor est
3. Levita
4. Concussum
5. Solemnitas

vere est cibus
est mare

  Middle Cadence
in Domino
et sanguis meus
bonum opus
et contremuit
Florid Melisma
                           Et spera-
1. vere est potus, qui manducat
2. et speculum sine ma-
3. opera-
4. terra
5. Mariae ex semine

Closing Cadence
-bit in eo
meam carnem
-tus est
[without closing cadence]

     et lauda-
1. et bibit
2. et
3. qui per signum
4. [irregular]
5. ortae

Middle Cadence
ubi Archangelus
de tribu

Closing Cadence
Michael descende-

    recti corde
1. in me manet et ego in eo.
2. illius.
3. illuminavit.
4. -bat de caelo.
5. clara ex stirpe David.

The structure is clearest in the verse Laetabitur. Of the others, verse  2, that is, that of the feast of the Transfiguration, bears the closest resemblance. The third also is good. In 1, a new thought begins with the melisma that is repeated, thus handicapping the effectiveness of the  melody; for its upward surge, about which there can be no doubt in this  type of Alleluia, is thereby weakened. The third part, whose melody is  formed somewhat differently, does not give the feeling of a finished  organic whole in which all parts are attuned to one another.

See this post on Chantblog, to compare:  The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6: Candor est lucis æternæ.  I have not posted any of the others as of yet, but you can always check Gregorian Chant to find out more about the ones I haven't worked on yet.

Here are all the chant propers for Corpus Christi, from the ChristusRex website:

Ss.mi Corporis et Sanguinis Christi
Introitus: Ps. 80, 17 et 2.3.11 Cibavit eos (2m34.2s - 904 kb) Score
Graduale: Ps. 144, 15 V 16 Oculi omnium (3m11.5s - 1124 kb) Score
Alleluia: Io. 6, 56.57 Caro mea (2m21.5s - 830 kb) Score
Sequentia: Lauda, Sion (5m49.8s - 2052 kb) Score
Offertorium: Ps. 77, 23.24.25 Portas cæli (1m35.1s - 576 kb) Score
             Qui manducat (38s - 270 kb) (with fan noises) Score
                (anno C) 1 Cor. 11, 24.25 Hoc corpus (1m02.9s - 370 kb) Score

Corpus Christi is not an official feast on the Anglican Calendar, but it is observed by many Anglicans.  For instance, here are some photo albumss from Corpus Christi services - including the procession - at the Flickr page of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, NYC.

And here are photos from this year's observance (on May 29) at their Facebook page.  Here are two photos from that collection:

Censing the Sacrament


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Compline at Arundel Cathedral: Guildford Cathedral Choir (Barry Rose)

Another wonderful video from Archives of Sound; this time it's Compline for Ordinary Time, sung in English.  The full text of the service was included at the page as well, and I've copied it in below.

About the choir and the recording, from the YouTube page:
The Lay-clerks of Guildford Cathedral, directed by Barry Rose:
The Office of Compline, sung in English by the Lay Clerks of Guildford Cathedral on 25th July 1973, in the Cathedral Church of Our Lady and St Philip Howard, Arundel, West Sussex.
(Officiant: The Rev. Prebendary W. D. Kennedy-Bell. Musical director: Barry Rose. It was a busy day for the men of the choir; a couple of hours earlier, they had broadcast Vespers live on BBC Radio from the same cathedral, together with the boys of the choir.)

"Compline" is the final church service (or "office") of the day in the Christian tradition of canonical hours. Compline tends to be a contemplative Office that emphasizes spiritual peace. In many monasteries it is the custom to begin the "Great Silence" after Compline, during which the whole community, including guests, observes silence throughout the night until the morning service the next day. In the Anglican tradition, Compline was originally merged with Vespers to form Evening Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer.

Here's the full text for the service:
The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

Brethren, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
whom resist, steadfast in the faith.

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Thanks be to God.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.

Have mercy upon me, O God,
and hearken unto my prayer.

Psalm 91:
1. Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High : shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say unto the Lord, Thou art my hope, and my stronghold : my God, in him will I trust.
3. For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter : and from the noisome pestilence.
4. He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers : his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5. Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night : nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6. For the pestilence that walketh in darkness : nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noonday.
7. A thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand : but it shall not come nigh thee.
8. Yea, with thine eyes shalt thou behold : and see the reward of the ungodly.
9. For thou, Lord, art my hope : t hou hast set thine house of defence very high.
10. There shall no evil happen unto thee : neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee : to keep thee in all thy ways.
12. They shall bear thee in their hands : that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone.
13. Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder : the young lion and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet.
14. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him : I will set him up, because he hath known my name.
15. He shall call upon me, and I will hear him : yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.
16. With long life will I satisfy him : and shew him my salvation.

Have mercy upon me, O God,
and hearken unto my prayer.

Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not, O Lord our God.
Thanks be to God.

Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

For thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world we pray,
That with thy wonted favour thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.
From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
From nightly fears and fantasies;
Tread underfoot our ghostly foe,
That no pollution we may know.
O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

Keep me as the apple of an eye.
Hide me under the shadow of thy wings.

Preserve us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ,
and asleep we may rest in peace.


Preserve us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ,
and asleep we may rest in peace.


Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.


Blessed art thou, Lord God of our fathers:
to be praised and glorified above all for ever.

Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost:
let us praise him and magnify him for ever.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven:
to be praised and glorified above all for ever.

The almighty and most merciful Lord guard us and give us his blessing.


Wilt thou not turn again and quicken us;
that thy people may rejoice in thee?

O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us;
and grant us thy salvation.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this night without sin;
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, hear our prayer;
and let our cry come unto thee.


We will lay us down in peace and take our rest.
For it is thou, Lord, only that makest us dwell in safety.

The Lord be with you
and with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,
bless us and preserve us.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Video: The Palm Sunday Liturgy at Trinity NYC, 2016

From the Trinity website:
The Liturgy of the Passion and the Eucharist: the traditional scripture text from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 22:14–23:56) will be used in the reading of the Passion, which will be chanted in an improvisational style by members of the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, with participation by the congregation in a sung refrain.

 Music also provided by the Trinity Youth Chorus and the Family Choir.

In an interesting touch, a shortened and dissonantly-harmonized version of Fortunatus' The Royal Banners Forward Go is sung as an introduction to St. Luke's Passion; the singing of the Passion itself begins at 15:55.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Five paths of repentance"

This is the second reading at Mattins of Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent:
Would you like me to list also the paths of repentance? They are numerous and quite varied, and all lead to heaven.

A first path of repentance is the condemnation of your own sins: Be the first to admit your sins and you will be justified. For this reason, too, the prophet wrote: I said: I will accuse myself of my sins to the Lord, and you forgave the wickedness of my heart. Therefore, you too should condemn your own sins; that will be enough reason for the Lord to forgive you, for a man who condemns his own sins is slower to commit them again. Rouse your conscience to accuse you within your own house, lest it become your accuser before the judgment seat of the Lord.

That, then, is one very good path of repentance. Another and no less valuable one is to put out of our minds the harm done us by our enemies, in order to master our anger, and to forgive our fellow servants’ sins against us. Then our own sins against the Lord will be forgiven us. Thus you have another way to atone for sin: For if you forgive your debtors, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Do you want to know of a third path? It consists of prayer that is fervent, careful and comes from the heart.

If you want to hear of a fourth, I will mention almsgiving, whose power is great and far-reaching.

If, moreover, a man lives a modest, humble life, that, no less than the other things I have mentioned, takes sin away. Proof of this is the tax-collector who had no good deeds to mention, but offered his humility instead and was relieved of a heavy burden of sins.

Thus I have shown you five paths of repentance; condemnation of your own sins, forgiveness of our neighbor’s sins against us, prayer, almsgiving and humility.

Do not be idle, then, but walk daily in all these paths; they are easy, and you cannot plead your poverty. For, though you live out your life amid great need, you can always set aside your wrath, be humble, pray diligently and condemn your own sins; poverty is no hindrance. Poverty is not an obstacle to our carrying out the Lord’s bidding, even when it comes to that path of repentance which involves giving money (almsgiving, I mean). The widow proved that when she put her two mites into the box!

Now that we have learned how to heal these wounds of ours, let us apply the cures. Then, when we have regained genuine health, we can approach the holy table with confidence, go gloriously to meet Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The text is taken from one of John Chrysostom's homilies, I'm sorry to say.  I just cannot stand him - but he's exactly right about this. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tria sunt munera at Cologne Cathedral

The YouTube header says "Pontifical Mass for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time."  Scott brought this to my attention in a comment on my previous post, Epiphany Matins: Tria sunt munera ("Three are the gifts").   There's apparently a famous reliquary at Cologne said to contain the bones, along with other relics, of the three Magi, and Scott tells us that Tria sunt munera is chanted in procession by the girls' choir there on various important occasions (a Pontifical Mass would qualify) and whenever there's a procession.  (It may be done more frequently; will try to find out more about this.)

It's pretty wonderful, and a great example of how the Divine Office made its way into the life of the parish and cathedral churches.  The chant begins at about 1:20 on the video.

Follow along with the singers using the chant score, which comes from the wonderful McMaster University Sarum Chant site:

This again is the text in Latin, with an English translation, from Divinum Officium:

R. Tria sunt munera pretiosa, quae obtulerunt Magi Domino in die ista, et habent in se divina mysteria:
* In auro, ut ostendatur Regis potentia: in thure, Sacerdotem magnum considera: et in myrrha, Dominicam sepulturam.
V. Salutis nostrae auctorem Magi venerati sunt in cunjibulis, et de thesauris suis mysticas ei munerum species obtulerunt.
R. In auro, ut ostendatur Regis potentia: in thure, Sacerodtem magnum considera: et in myrrha, Dominicam sepulturam.

R. There are three precious gifts which the wise men offered unto the Lord on this day, and they speak a mystery of the things of God,
* Gold, to show His kingly power; frankincense, for our Great High Priest; and myrrh, against the Lord's burying.
V. The wise men worshipped the Captain of our Salvation, as He lay in the manger, and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him mystic gifts.
R. Gold, to show His kingly power; frankincense, for our Great High Priest; and myrrh, against the Lord's burying.

Read more about Cologne's "Shrine of the Three Kings" here.  Here's a short citation from that article, plus one of the images (credit: Welleschik) from that site:
The Shrine of the Three Kings (German Dreikönigsschrein) is a reliquary said to contain the bones of the Biblical Magi, also known as the Three Kings or the Three Wise Men. The shrine is a large gilded and decorated triple sarcophagus placed above and behind the high altar of Cologne Cathedral. It is considered the high point of Mosan art and the largest reliquary in the western world.
Legend recounts that the "relics of the Magi" were originally situated at Constantinople, but brought to Milan in an oxcart by Eustorgius I, the city's bishop, to whom they were entrusted by the Emperor Constantine in 314.[1] The relics of the Magi were taken from Milan by Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa and given to the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel, eight centuries later, in 1164. The Three Kings have since attracted a constant stream of pilgrims to Cologne.
"In the days of Philipp of Heinsberg the shrine of the three magi was built. This was told to me by some eyewitnesses who were present when the three magi were put into the shrine." — Vita Eustorgii[2]
Parts of the shrine were designed by the famous medieval goldsmith Nicholas of Verdun, who began work on it in 1180 or 1181. It has elaborate gold sculptures of the prophets and apostles, and scenes from the life of Christ. The shrine was completed circa 1225.