St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland

A search of the Analecta Hymnica finds the following hymns,

A version of the Easter processional hymn Salve, festa dies, found in a Dublin manuscript was written in honour of St. Patrick. It is common to find parodies of this hymn for various feasts. Some of them can be found in the same volume as Salve, festa dies, (St. Patrick), Analecta Hymnica Vol. 43, pg 266.

A Vespers and Matins hymn, Exsultent filii matris ecclesiæ and the Lauds hymn Jesu, Corona præsulum from a 15th century Dublin Manuscript Vol. 11 of the Analecta Hymnica pg. 213. This also has a third hymn in honour of St. Patrick, Patricius, doctor nobilis a hymn for Lauds from a from a 15th c. Kilmonense Antiphonal.

A Parody of the Christmas Sequence Latabundus in honour of St. Patrick is found in Analecta Hymnica Vol. 40 with another Sequence, Læta lux est hodierna.

Other Hymns and Sequences, Dei per Patricium, Carnis sepulto vitio, Ecce fulget clarissima are found in other volumes of the Analecta Hymnica.

St Gregory the Great, Apostle of England

The Gregorian chant hymns: Anglórum jam Apóstolus, and Summæ sedis antistitis can be found here, We are working on setting the other melodies for these Hymns from the Liber Responsoralis and Antiphonale Monasticum.

Another Hymn for St. Gregory from the Analecta Hymnica Vol 43 pg 164 is the Splendida sacra Gratulans

1. Splendido sacra gratulans amore Plebs tibi festa celebrat, Gregori Sancte. qui summo rutilas honore Regis in aula. 

2. Tu pius pastor populique rector Hujus et nostræ patriæ patronus, Hic tuis præbe famulis favorem, Signifer alme. 

3. Pelle clementer cumulum piacli, Mortis et morbi stimulum recide, Ne sibi Christi subigat clientes Dæmonis ira. 

4. Præsul insignis, fragiles tuere, Tu geras nostræ fidei tutelam, Ut Deo dignam jugiter queamus Pangere vitam. 

5. Vota psallentum, petimus ovantes, Incliti regis referas ad aures, Præstet ut nobis placidus amœnæ Gaudia vitæ. 

6. Laus Deo patri parilique proli Et tibi sancte studio perenni Spiritus nostro resonet ab ore Omne per ævum. 

Hymn. ms. Romarici Montis saec. 15. Cod. Spinalien. 194 (86).

Vigil of the Epiphany

On this vigil it was traditional to bless Epiphany water, the Roman blessing is from 1890. More about the blessing of today including the older Latin version can be found in The Blessing of the Waters on the Eve of the Epiphany. This book contains the Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic and Russian texts. For this book we have to thank JOHN, MARQUESS OF BUTE. K.T.

Choir booklet from the Notated Rituale, in Production

Latin English booklet for the laity, in production

Last Antiphon, O Emmanuel

The Church sings this Antiphon in to-day’s Lauds: 

ANT. Ecce completa sunt omnia quae dicta sunt per Angelum de Virgine Maria. ANT. Lo! all things are accomplished that were said by the Angel, of the Virgin Mary. 

 

SEVENTH ANTIPHON. 

O Emmanuel, Rex et Legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et salvator earum; veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expectation and Saviour of the nations! come and save us, O Lord our God! 

O Emmanuel! King of Peace! thou enterest to-day the city of thy predilection, the city in which thou hast placed thy Temple, – Jerusalem. A few years hence, and the same city will give thee thy Cross and thy Sepulchre: nay, the day will come, on which thou wilt set up thy Judgment-seat within sight of her walls. But, to-day, thou enterest the city of David and Solomon unnoticed and unknown. It lies on thy road to Bethlehem. Thy Blessed Mother and Joseph, her Spouse, would not lose the opportunity of visiting the Temple, there to offer to the Lord their prayers and adoration. They enter; and then, for the first time, is accomplished the prophecy of Aggeus, that great shall be the glory of this last House more than of the first [Agg. ii. 10.] ; for this second Temple has now standing within it an Ark of the Covenant more precious than was that which Moses built; and within this Ark, which is Mary, there is contained the God, whose presence makes her the holiest of sanctuaries. The Lawgiver himself is in this blessed Ark, and not merely, as in that of old, the tablet of stone on which the Law was graven. The visit paid, our living Ark descends the steps of the Temple, and sets out once more for Bethlehem, where other prophecies are to be fulfilled. We adore thee, O Emmanuel! in this thy journey, and we reverence the fidelity wherewith thou fulfillest all that the prophets have written of thee, for thou wouldst give to thy people the certainty of thy being the Messias, by showing them, that all the marks, whereby he was to be known, are to be found in thee. And now, the hour is near; all is ready for thy Birth; come, then, and save us; come, that thou mayest not only be called our Emmanuel, but our Jesus, that is, He that saves us. 

THE GREAT ANTIPHON TO JERUSALEM.

O Hierusalem! civitas Dei summi, leva in circuitu oculos tuos; et vide Dominum tuum, quia jam veniet solvere te a vinculis. O Jerusalem! city of the great God! lift up thine eyes round about, and see thy Lord, for he is coming to loose thee from thy chains. 

6th Antiphon, O Rex Gentium

O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum; veni, et salva hominem quem de limo formasti.O King of nations, and their desired One, and the corner-stone that makest both one; come and save man whom thou formedst out of slime. 

O King of Nations! thou art approaching still nigher to Bethlehem, where thou art to be born. The journey is almost over, and thy august Mother, consoled and strengthened by the dear weight she bears, holds an unceasing converse with thee on the way. She adores thy divine Majesty; she gives thanks to thy mercy; she rejoices that she has been chosen for the sublime ministry of being Mother to God. She longs for that happy moment when her eyes shall look upon thee, and yet she fears it. For, how will she be able to render thee those services which are due to thy infinite greatness, she that thinks herself the last of creatures? How will she dare to raise thee up in her arms, and press thee to her heart, and feed thee at her breasts? When she reflects that the hour is now near at hand, in which, being born of her, thou wilt require all her care and tenderness, her heart sinks within her; for, what human heart could bear the intense vehemence of these two affections, – the love of such a Mother for her Babe, and the love of such a Creature for her God? But thou supportest her, O thou the Desired of Nations! for thou, too, longest for that happy Birth, which is to give the earth its Saviour, and to men that Corner-Stone, which will unite them all into one family. Dearest King! be thou blessed for all these wonders of thy power and goodness! Come speedily, we beseech thee, come and save us, for we are dear to thee, as creatures that have been formed by thy divine hands. Yea, come, for thy creation has grown degenerate; it is lost; death has taken possession of it: take it thou again into thy almighty hands, and give it a new creation; save it; for thou hast not ceased to take pleasure in and love thine own work.

THE GREAT ANTIPHON IN HONOUR OF CHRIST.

O Rex Pacifice, tu ante saecula nate, per auream egredere portam, redemptos tuos visita, et eos illuc revoca, unde ruerunt per culpam. O King of Peace! that wast born before all ages, come by the golden gate; visit them whom thou hast redeemed, and lead them back to the place whence they fell by sin.

Vigil of St Thomas

4th Antiphon O Clavis

O Clavis David et Sceptrum domus Israel, qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel!  who openest, and no man shutteth: who shuttest, and  no man openeth; come and  lead the captive from prison,  sitting in darkness and in the  shadow of death. 

O Jesus, Son of David! heir to his throne and his power! thou art now passing over, in thy way to Bethlehem, the land that once was the kingdom of thy ancestor, but now is tributary to the Gentiles. Scarce an inch of this ground which has not witnessed the miracles of the justice and the mercy of Jehovah, thy Father, to the people of that old Covenant, which is so soon to end. Before long, when thou hast come from beneath the virginal cloud which now hides thee, thou wilt pass along this same road doing good [Acts, x. 36.], healing all manner of sickness and every infirmity [St Matth. iv. 23.], and yet having not where to lay thy head? [St. Luke, ix. 58.] Now, at least, thy Mother’s womb affords thee the sweetest rest, and thou receivest from her the profoundest adoration and the tenderest love. But, dear Jesus, it is thine own blessed will that thou leave this loved abode. Thou hast, O Eternal Light, to shine in the midst of this world’s darkness, this prison where the captive, whom thou art come to deliver, sits in the shadow of death. Open his prison-gates by thy all-powerful key. And who is this captive, but the human race, the slave of error and vice? Who is this Captive, but the heart of man, which is thrall to the very passions it blushes to obey? Oh! come and set at liberty the world thou hast enriched by thy grace, and the creatures whom thou hast made to be thine own Brethren.

ANTIPHON TO THE ANGEL GABRIEL.

O Gabriel! nuntius coelorum, qui januis clausis ad me intrasti, et Verbum nunciasti: Concipies et paries; Emmanuel vocabitur.O Gabriel! the Messenger of heaven, who earnest unto me through the closed doors, and didst announce the Word unto me: Thou shalt conceive and hear a Son, and he shall he called Emmanuel,

Children’s O Antiphons colouring booklet

4th Sunday of Advent

Latin English Propers sheet

Commentary on the Season from the Liturgical year, Dom Gueranger

Commentary on the Fourth Sunday of Advent from the Liturgical year, Dom Gueranger

Chants for today

Commentary on the chants for today

Today the children’s choir sing the Ordinary, and some of the other music.

The normal choir will also sing, the full Propers from the Gradual Romanum 1924, and the Rorate Caeli

December 19th Third Antiphon, O Radix Jesse

O radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super est quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare. O Root of Jesse, who standest as the standard of the people ; before whom Kings shall not open their lips; to whom the nations shall pray: come and deliver us; tarry now no more.

At length, O Son of Jesse! thou art approaching the city of thy ancestors. The Ark of the Lord has risen, and journeys, with the God that is in her, to the place of her rest. “How beautiful are thy steps, O thou daughter of the Prince,” [Cant. vii. 1.] now that thou art bringing to the cities of Juda their salvation! The Angels escort thee, thy faithful Joseph lavishes his love upon thee, heaven delights in thee, and our earth thrills with joy to bear thus upon itself its Creator and its Queen. Go forward, O Mother of God and Mother of Men! Speed thee, thou propitiatory that holdest within thee the divine Manna which gives us life! Our hearts are with thee, and count thy steps. Like thy royal ancestor David, “we will enter not into the dwelling of our house, nor go up into the bed whereon we lie, nor give sleep to our eyes, nor rest to our temples, until we have found a place in our hearts for the Lord whom thou bearest, a tabernacle for this God of Jacob.” [Ps. cxxxi. 3-5.] Come, then, O Root of Jesse! thus hid in this Ark of purity; thou wilt soon appear before thy people as the standard round which all that would conquer must rally. Then, their enemies, the Kings of the world, will be silenced, and the nations will offer thee their prayers. Hasten thy coming, dear Jesus! come and conquer all our enemies, and deliver us.

Second Antiphon O Adonaï

O Adonaï, et dux domus Israël, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extenso.O Adonaï, and leader of the house of Israel! who appearedst to Moses in the fire  of the flaming bush, and gavest him the law on Sinai;  come and redeem us by thy  outstretched arm. 

O Sovereign Lord! O Adonaï! come and redeem us, not by thy power, but by thy humility. Heretofore, thou didst show thyself to Moses thy servant in the midst of a mysterious flame; thou didst give thy law to thy people amidst thunder and lightning; now, on the contrary, thou comest not to terrify, but to save us. Thy chaste Mother having heard the Emperor’s edict, which obliges her and Joseph her Spouse to repair to Bethlehem, she prepares everything needed for thy divine Birth. She prepares for thee, O Sun of Justice! the humble swathing-bands, wherewith to cover thy nakedness, and protect thee, the Creator of the world, from the cold of that mid-night hour of thy Nativity! Thus it is that thou willest to deliver us from the slavery of our pride, and show man that thy divine arm is never stronger than when he thinks it powerless and still. Everything is prepared, then, dear Jesus! thy swathing-bands are ready for thy infant limbs! Come to Bethlehem, and redeem us from the hands of our enemies.

THE EXPECTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

This Feast, which is now kept, not only throughout the whole of Spain, but in almost all the Churches of the Catholic world, owes its origin to the Bishops of the tenth Council of Toledo, in 656. These Prelates having thought that there was an incongruity in the ancient practice of celebrating the feast of the Annunciation on the twenty-fifth of March, inasmuch as this joyful solemnity frequently occurs at the time when the Church is intent upon the Passion of our Lord, and is sometimes obliged to be transferred into Easter Time, with which it is out of harmony for another reason;- they decreed that, henceforth, in the Church of Spain there should be kept, eight days before Christmas, a solemn Feast with an Octave, in honour of the Annunciation, and as a preparation for the great solemnity of our Lord’s Nativity. In course of time, however, the Church of Spain saw the necessity of returning to the practice of the Church of Rome, and of those of the whole world, which solemnise the twenty-fifth of March as the day of our Lady’s Annunciation and the Incarnation of the Son of God. But such had been, for ages, the devotion of the people for the Feast of the eighteenth of December, that it was considered requisite to maintain some vestige of it. They discontinued, therefore, to celebrate the Annunciation on this day; but the faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding her giving him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin’s Delivery.

This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O, or the Feast of O, on account of the Great Antiphons which are sung during these days, and, in a special manner, of that which begins O Virgo Virginum (which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation, together with the O Adonaï, the Antiphon of the Advent Office,) – is kept with great devotion in Spain. A High Mass is sung, at a very early hour, each morning during the Octave, at which all who are with child, whether rich or poor, consider it a duty to assist, that they may thus honour our Lady’s Maternity, and beg her blessing upon themselves. It is not to be wondered at that the Holy See has approved of this pious practice being introduced into almost every other country. We find that the Church of Milan, long before Rome conceded this feast to the various dioceses of Christendom, celebrated the Office of our Lady’s Annunciation on the sixth and last Sunday of Advent, and called the whole week following the Hebdomada de Exceptato (for thus the popular expression had corrupted the word Expectato). But these details belong strictly to the archaeology of Liturgy, and enter not into the plan of our present work; let us, then, return to the Feast of our Lady’s Expectation, which the Church has established and sanctioned as a new means of exciting the attention of the faithful during these last days of Advent.

Most just indeed it is, O Holy Mother of God, that we should unite in that ardent desire thou hadst to see Him, who had been concealed for nine months in thy chaste womb ; to know the features of this Son of the heavenly Father, who is also thine; to come to that blissful hour of his Birth, which will give Glory to God in the highest, and, on earth. Peace to men of good-will. Yes, dear Mother, the time is fast approaching, though not fast enough to satisfy thy desires and ours. Make us redouble our attention to the great mystery ; complete our preparation by thy powerful prayers for us, that when the solemn hour is come, our Jesus may find no obstacle to his entering into our hearts.

THE GREAT ANTIPHON TO OUR LADY.

O Virgo virginum! quomodo fiet istud! quia nec primam similem visa es, nec habere sequentem. Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini? Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis. O Virgin of virgins! how shall this be! for never was there one like thee, nor will there ever be. Ye daughters of Jerusalem, why look ye wondering at me! What ye behold, is a divine mystery, 

The Commencement of the Great Antiphons

From “THE LITURGICAL YEAR” BY THE VERY REV. DOM PROSPER GUÉRANGER, ABBOT OF SOLESMES

The Church enters to-day on the seven days, which precede the Vigil of Christmas, and which are known in the Liturgy under the name of the Greater Ferias. The ordinary of the Advent Office becomes more solemn; the Antiphons of the Psalms, both for Lauds and the Hours of the day, are proper, and allude expressly to the great Coming. Every day, at Vespers, is sung a solemn Antiphon, which consists of a fervent prayer to the Messias, whom it addresses by one of the titles given him by the sacred Scriptures.

In the Roman Church, there are seven of these Antiphons, one for each of the Greater Ferias, They are commonly called the O’s of Advent, because they all begin with that interjection. In other Churches, during the Middle Ages, two more were added to these seven; one to our Blessed Lady, O Virgo Virginum; and the other to the Angel Gabriel, O Gabriel; or to St. Thomas the Apostle, whose feast comes during the Greater Ferias; it began O Thoma Didyme [It is more modern than the O Gabriel; but dating from the 13th century, it was almost universally used in its stead.] There were even Churches, where twelve Great Antiphons were sung; that is, besides the nine we have just mentioned, there was Rex Pacifice to our Lord, O mundi Domina to our Lady, and O Hierusalem to the city of the people of God.

The canonical Hour of Vespers has been selected as the most appropriate time for this solemn supplication to our Saviour, because, as the Church sings in one of her hymns, it was in the Evening of the world (vergente mundi vespere) that the Messias came amongst us. These Antiphons are sung at the Magnificat, to show us that the Saviour, whom we expect, is to come to us by Mary. They are sung twice; once before and once after the Canticle, as on Double Feasts, and this to show their great solemnity. In some Churches it was formerly the practice to sing them thrice; that is, before the Canticle, before the Gloria Patri, and after the Sicut erat. Lastly, these admirable Antiphons, which contain the whole pith of the Advent Liturgy, are accompanied by a chant replete with melodious gravity, and by ceremonies of great expressiveness, though, in these latter, there is no uniform practice followed. Let us enter into the spirit of the Church; let us reflect on the great Day which is coming; that thus we may take oar share in these the last and most earnest solicitations of the Church imploring her Spouse to come, and to which He at length yields.

December 17th O SAPIENTIA

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia; veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.O Wisdom, that proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end mightily, and disposing all things with strength and sweetness! come and teach us the way of prudence.

O Uncreated Wisdom! that art so soon to make thyself visible to thy creatures, truly thou disposest all things. It is by thy permission, that the Emperor Augustus issues a decree ordering the enrolment of the whole world. Each citizen of the vast Empire is to have his name enrolled in the city of his birth. This prince has no other object in this order, which sets the world in motion, but his own ambition. Men go to and fro by millions, and an unbroken procession traverses the immense Roman world; men think they are doing the bidding of man, and it is God whom they are obeying. This world-wide agitation has really but one object; it is, to bring to Bethlehem a man and woman who live at Nazareth in Galilee, in order that this woman, who is unknown to the world but dear to heaven, and is at the close of the ninth month since she conceived her child, may give birth to this Child in Bethlehem, for the Prophet has said of him: “His going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. And thou, O Bethlehem I art not the least among the thousand cities of Juda, for out of thee He shall come.” [Mich. v. 2; St Matth. ii. 6.]. O divine Wisdom! how strong art thou, in thus reaching Thine ends by means which are infallible, though hidden! and yet, how sweet, offering no constraint to man’s free-will! and withal, how fatherly, in providing for our necessities! Thou choosest Bethlehem for thy birth-place, because Bethlehem signifies the House of Bread. In this, thou teachest us that thou art our Bread, the nourishment and support of our life. With God as our food, we cannot die. O Wisdom of the Father, Living Bread that hast descended from heaven, come speedily into us, that thus we may approach to thee and be enlightened [Ps. xxxiii. 6.] by thy light, and by that prudence which leads to salvation.

Veni, Veni Emmanuel is a synthesis of the great “O Antiphons” that are used for Vespers during the octave before Christmas (Dec. 17-23). These antiphons are of ancient origin and date back to at least the ninth century. The hymn itself was composed in the 12th century in French and the Latin version of the hymn is from the 18th century, first appearing in the Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum (Cologne 1710).

There are several arrangements of this hymn. The one below gives the seven verses in the order in which the antiphons appear during the octave before Christmas, except for the first verse, which really is the last of the O antiphons and would otherwise go at the end if it were not the standard first verse of the hymn. It is interesting to note that the initial words of the actual antiphons in reverse order form an acrostic: O Emmanuel, O Rex, O Oriens, O Clavis, O Radix (“virgula” in the hymn), O Adonai, O Sapientia. ERO CRAS can be loosely translated as “I will be there tomorrow”. That is a fitting message indeed since Christ’s birth falls on following day.

Here is a booklet for children to colour in over the next seven days,

Carols

Tonight we had our traditional carol party… with mulled wine and mince pies. Most of the selections have come from the excellent Oxford Book of Carols. Hymn numbers below are from the Oxford Book of Carols, links are to the excellent Hymns and Carols of Christmas.