Monday, December 17, 2012

The Other Major Antiphons for the End of Advent

The best known feature of the Office of the Advent season is of course the O antiphons, which are now upon us, said each day at Vespers with the Magnificat. Their prominence has perhaps overshadowed some of the other riches of the Advent Office, which has an unusually large number of musical propers. In addition to the proper daily antiphons of the Benedictus and Magnificat, the psalms at Sunday Matins also have their own antiphons, which is not true of either Lent or Passiontide, and each individual Sunday has another set of five antiphons for the psalms of Lauds and Vespers.

The last six ferias of the season before the vigil of Christmas also each have a proper set of antiphons to be sung with the psalms of Lauds, (but not with those of Vespers,) one of the most beautiful parts of the Gregorian repertoire. If December 17 is a Sunday, these begin on Monday the 18th; otherwise, on the 17th itself, along with the Os. I have here set them out in a table with the Latin on one side and an English translation on the other. Between the Latin and the English, I have indicated the psalms and canticles with which they are currently sung according to the Breviary of St. Pius X. Prior to his reform in 1911, the third psalm of Lauds each day was Psalms 62 and 66 said together as a single psalm, and the fifth was Psalms 148, 149 and 150, also said together as a single psalm. On the English side, I have noted the Biblical citations in the text; the reader will note that many of them are not Scriptural at all, and some of the them, such as the very first one (Ecce veniet Dominus), are quite vague or contain only a few words directly from the Bible. The traditional corpus of Breviary antiphons is very ancient, and some of the Biblical citations come from the Old Latin version of the Bible used before St Jerome’s Vulgate translation, such as the antiphon Deus a Libano which is said with the canticle of Habacuc.

Aña 1 Ecce veniet Dominus, princeps regum terræ: beati, qui parati sunt occurrere illi.
Psalm 50
Behold the Lord shall come, the Prince of the kings of the earth: blessed are they that are prepared to meet him. (Apocalypse 1, 5)
2 Cum venerit Filius hominis, putas inveniet fidem super terram?
Psalm 5
When the Son of Man shall come, thinkest thou that He shall find faith upon the earth? (Luke 18, 8)
3 Ecce jam venit plenitudo temporis, in quo misit Deus Filium suum in terras.
Psalm 28
Behold, the fullness of time hath already come, in which God hath sent His Son upon the lands. (Galatians 4, 4)
4 Haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris
The Canticle of Isaiah, chap. 12, 1-6
Ye shall draw waters in joy from the fountains of the Savior. (Isa. 12, 3)
5 Egredietur Dominus de loco sancto suo: veniet ut salvet populum suum.
Psalm 116
The Lord will go forth from His holy place, He will come to save his people.
Aña 1 Rorate, cæli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.
Psalm 50
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One; let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior. (Isa. 45, 8)
2 Emitte Agnum, Domine, Dominatorem terræ, de Petra deserti, ad montem filiæ Sion?
Psalm 42
Send forth, O Lord, the lamb, the ruler of the earth, from Petra of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Sion. (Isaiah 16, 1)
3 Ut cognoscamus, Domine, in terra viam tuam, in omnibus gentibus salutare tuum.
Psalm 66
That we may know, o Lord, thy way upon earth: thy salvation in all nations. (Psalm 66, 3)
4 Da mercedem, Domine, sustinentibus te, ut prophetæ tui fideles inveniantur.
The Canticle of Ezechiah, Isaiah 38, 10-20
Reward them, o Lord, that patiently wait for Thee, that thy prophets may be found faithful. (Ecclesiasticus 36, 18)
5 Lex per Moysen data est, gratia et veritas per Jesum Christum facta est.
Psalm 134
The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1, 17)
Aña 1 Prophetæ prædicaverunt nasci Salvatorem de Virgine Maria.
Psalm 50
The prophets foretold that the Savior would be born of the Virgin Mary.
2 Spiritus Domini super me, evangelizare pauperibus misit me.
Psalm 64
The spirit of the Lord is upon me: He hath sent me to preach good tidings to the poor. (Isaiah 61, 1 as quoted in Luke 4, 18)
3 Propter Sion non tacebo, donec egrediatur ut splendor justus ejus.
Psalm 100
For Sion's sake I will not hold my peace, till her just one come forth as brightness. (Isaiah 62, 1)
4 Ecce veniet Dominus, ut sedeat cum principibus, et solium gloriæ teneat.
The Canticle of Anna, I Kings 2, 1-10
Behold, the Lord shall come to sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. (I Kings 2, 8)
5 Annuntiate populis, et dicite: Ecce Deus Salvator noster veniet.
Psalm 145
Proclaim ye to the peoples, and say: Behold, God our Saviour cometh.
Aña 1 De Sion veniet Dominus omnipotens, ut salvum faciat populum suum.
Psalm 50
From Sion shall come the Lord almighty, to save His people.
2 Convertere, Domine, aliquantulum, et ne tardes venire ad servos tuos.
Psalm 89
Return, o Lord, a little while, and delay not to come to Thy servants.
3 De Sion veniet, qui regnaturus est Dominus, Emmanuel magnum nomen ejus.
Psalm 35
From Sion shall come the Lord, who is to rule, Emmanuel, great is His name.
4 Ecce Deus meus, et honorabo eum: Deus patris mei, et exaltabo eum.
The Canticle of Moses in Exodus, 15, 1-19
Behold my God, and I will honor Him, the God of my father, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15, 2)
5 Dominus legifer noster, Dominus Rex noster, ipse veniet, et salvabit nos.
Psalm 146
The Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is our king, He will come and save us.(Isaiah 33, 22)
Aña 1 Constantes estote, videbitis auxilium Domini super vos.
Psalm 50
Be ye steady, you shall see the help of the Lord over you. (II Chronicles 20, 17)
2 Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam: veni, et eripe me, Domine, ad te confugi.
Psalm 142
To Thee, o Lord, I have lifted up my soul: come and deliver me, o Lord; to thee have I fled. (Psalm 142, 8-9)
3 Veni, Domine, et noli tardare: relaxa facinora plebi tuæ Israël.
Psalm 84
Come, o Lord, delay Thou not; forgive the crimes of Thy people Israel.
4 Deus a Libano veniet, et splendor ejus sicut lumen erit.
The Canticle of Habacuc, 3, 1-19
God will come from the Lebanon, and His brightness shall be as the light. (Habacuc 3, 3 and 4)
5 Ego autem ad Dominum aspiciam, et exspectabo Deum Salvatorem meum.
Psalm 146
But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God my Saviour. (Micheas 7, 7)

In the Breviary of St Pius V, there is no special set of antiphons for Saturday; since one of these sets will always be impeded by the feast of St Thomas the Apostle on December 21st, the impeded set is said on Saturday. (Obviously, the problem is avoided if Saturday itself is the 21st.)  The Canticle of Moses in Deuteronomy did however, have its own antiphon, which is given below. This custom was changed in the Breviary reform of St Pius X, in which Saturday was given a full set, and the antiphons impeded on St. Thomas’ day are simply omitted. Of the four new antiphons, the first and fifth (Intuemini and Paratus esto) are found in several very old chant manuscripts, and were widely used in the Middle Ages; the second and third (Multiplicabitur and Ego Dominus) appear to be new compositions made specifically for this reform.

Aña 1 Intuemini, quantus sit gloriosus iste, qui ingreditur ad salvandos populos.
Psalm 50
Behold ye, how glorious is this one, that cometh in to save the peoples
2 Multiplicabitur ejus imperium, et pacis non erit finis.
Psalm 91
His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace. (Isaiah 9, 7)
3 Ego Dominus prope feci justitiam meam, non elongabitur, et salus mea non morabitur.
Psalm 63
I the Lord have brought my justice near, it shall not be afar off: and my salvation shall not tarry. (Isaiah 46, 12)
4 Exspectetur, sicut pluvia, eloquium Domini: et descendat, sicut ros, super nos Deus noster.
The Canticle of Moses in Deuteronomy 32, 1-43
Let the word of the Lord be awaited, like the rain, and let our God descend upon us like the dew. (Deuteronomy 32, 2)
5 Paratus esto, Israel, in occursum Domini, quoniam venit.
Psalm 150
But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God my Saviour. (Amos 4, 12)
Finally, on the 21st and 23rd, there are special antiphons to be said with the Benedictus, the last of these an especially fitting final word of the season, before the special office of the vigil of the Nativity.

Aña Nolite timere: quinta enim die veniet ad vos Dominus noster.
December 21
Fear ye not, for on the fifth day our God will come to you.
Aña Ecce completa sunt omnia, quae dicta sunt per Angelum de Virgine Maria.

December 23
Behold, all things are fulfilled which were said by the Angel about the Virgin Mary.

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