Sunday, December 01, 2019

The First Sunday of Advent 2019

Gregorius praesul, méritis et nómine dignus, unde genus ducit, summum conscendit honórem; renovávit monumenta patrum priórum, tunc compósuit hunc libellum músicae artis scholae cantórum anni círculi. Eia dic, domne, eia: Ad te levávi ánimam meam: Deus meus, in te confído, non erubescam: neque irrídeant me inimíci mei: étenim universi, qui te exspectant, non confundéntur. Ps. 24 Vias tuas, Dómine, demonstra mihi: et sémitas tuas édoce me. Gloria Patri. Sicut erat. Ad te levávi. (The introit of the First Sunday of Advent, with an introductory trope. The text of the trope sung in the video is slightly different from the one given here; explanation below.)

Gregory the bishop, worthy by his merits and the name from which his lineage came, ascended to the the highest honour; he renewed the monuments of earlier fathers, then he composed this little book of musical art for the school of singers for the cycle of the year. Come now, master, come and sing! To Thee I have lifted up my soul: my God, in Thee do I trust; let me not be put to shame; nor let my enemies deride me, for all they that await Thee shall not be put to shame. Ps. 24 Show me Thy ways, O Lord, and teach me Thy paths. Glory be. As it was. To Thee...

The Latin word “Eia” is an expression of joy, and like many exclamations, difficult to translate; it is sometime rendered “come” or “come on”, as an exhortation to join in something happy. “Domne” is a medieval variant of “Domine”, the vocative of “Dominus - Lord”, commonly used when speaking to a religious superior, as in “Jube, domne, benedicere - pray, lord, the blessing.” In this case, it represents the members of the schola uring the master of the choir to intone the Introit.

In the recording, the words at the end of the trope “Eia dic, domne, eia” are replaced with a variant text “Eia parabolista, dicunt psalmista.” This variant is recorded in the Analecta hymnica (XLIX, p. 20) in a footnote to this version of the trope Gregorius praesul, with “(!)”, incidating that the reading is surprising for being basically unintelligible. The word “parabolista” seems to be a variant of “paraphonista - chorister.”

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