Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Feast of the Holy Trinity and Octave of Pentecost 2014

Duo Seraphim clamabant alter ad alterum: * Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth: * Plena est omnis terra gloria ejus. V. Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in cælo: Pater, Verbum, et Spíritus Sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt. Sanctus. Gloria Patri. Plena.

R. The two Seraphim cried one to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord, the God of hosts: * All the earth is full of his glory. V. There are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. Holy. Glory be to the Father. All the earth.

This responsory was traditionally very prominent in the Divine Office in the Use of Rome, being sung after the eighth lesson of Matins on all the Sundays between the Octave of Epiphany and Septuagesima, and again on the Sundays between the Octave of Corpus Christi and Advent. This custom was introduced by the author of the responsory, Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), under whom the ordo of the Divine Office was written out which would ultimately form the basis of the Breviary of St. Pius V. Odd as it may seem, despite the Trinitarian theme, it was not originally written for or used in the Office of the Holy Trinity, which in Pope Innocent’s time had not yet been received into the Office used at the Papal court; it was only added to the feast in the Tridentine Breviary reform. Several composers have set it to polyphony for use as a motet; among the best of these is the version of Tomás Luis de Victoria.

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