Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Video of Sarum Vespers of Candlemas

On Saturday, February 1st, the Dominican church of St Patrick in Philadelphia hosted a celebration of Solemn First Vespers of Candlemas according to the Use of Sarum. This remarkable event was organized by Mr James Griffin, executive director of the newly founded Durandus Institute for Sacred Liturgy and Music, with the help of a great many people, as you can see in this video of the complete ceremony. We are very pleased to congratulate everyone who offered their time and effort for such a beautiful rite; the church was absolutely packed, a hopeful sign for similar initiatives in the future, both here and elsewhere.

Later this week, we will offer a detailed explanation of the ceremony written up by Mr Griffin, and some photos from one of our favorite photographers, Allison Girone. For now, enjoy the video; the texts are given below.

The Psalms of Christmas Vespers (109-110-111-129-131) are sung with the antiphons from Lauds of the Circumcision, which are semidoubled. (The fifth of these antiphons, Magnum hereditatis mysterium is sung at the Benedictus on the Circumcision in the Sarum Use)
   Aña 1 O admirábile * commercium:  Creátor géneris humáni, animátum corpus sumens, de Vírgine nasci dignátus est; et procédens homo sine sémine, largítus est nobis suam Deitátem. (O wondrous exchange! the Creator of the human race, taking upon Him a living body, deigned to be born of a Virgin: and coming forth without seed as a man, bestowed in us His Divinity.)
   Aña 2 Quando natus es * ineffabíliter ex Vírgine, tunc implétae sunt Scriptúrae: sicut pluvia in vellus descendisti, ut salvum fáceres genus humánum: te laudámus, Deus noster. (When Thou wast born ineffably of a Virgin, then were the Scriptures fulfilled; like the rainful upon the fleece thou camest down, to save the human race; we praise thee, O our God.)
   Aña 3 Rubum, * quem víderat Móyses incombustum, conservátam agnóvimus tuam laudábilem virginitátem: Dei Génitrix, intercéde pro nobis. (In the bush which Moses saw unconsumed, we recognize the preservation of Thy praisworthy virginity: Mother of God, intercede for us.)
   Aña 4 Germinávit * radix Jesse, orta est stella ex Jacob: Virgo péperit Salvatórem; te laudámus, Deus noster. (The root of Jesse hath budded, the Star hath arisen from Jacob, the Virgin hath borne the Saviour: we praise thee, O our God.)
   Aña 5 Magnum * hereditátis mystérium: templum Dei factus est úterus nesciéntis virum: non est pollútus ex ea carnem assúmens; omnes gentes vénient dicéntes: Glória tibi, Dómine. (The great mystery of heirship; the womb of Her that knew not a man is become the temple of God; in taking flesh from Her, He was not defiled; all nations shall come, saying: Glory to thee, O Lord!)

The Chapter (Malachi 3, 1) Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple.

As in almost all medieval Uses, one of the responsories from Matins is sung between the chapter and the hymn.
R. Vidéte miráculum matris Dómini: concépit Virgo virílis ignára consortii. * Stans oneráta nóbili ónere María. * Et matrem se laetam cognoscit: quae se nescit uxórem. V. Haec speciósum forma prae filiis hóminum castis concépit viscéribus: et benedicta in aeternum, Deum nobis prótulit et hóminem. Stans oneráta. Gloria Patri. Et matrem. (See the miracle of the Mother of the Lord; a virgin conceiveth who knoweth not the company of man. Mary remains entrusted with a noble charge, and knoweth herself to be a joyful mother, who knoweth not herself as a wife. She concevied in her chaste womb Him that is beautful above the sons of men, and being blessed forever, brought forth unto us God and man.)

There follows the hymn Quod chorus vatum, a composition of the Carolingian era which was written for the feast of the Purification, but never adopted at Rome. (It has been incorporated into the revised Latin hymnal of the Liturgy of the Hours.)

V. Responsum accepit Symeon a Spiritu Sancto. R. Non visurum se mortem nisi videret Christum Domini. (Simeon received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.)

The Antiphon of the Magnificat Homo erat in Hierusalem cui nomen Symeon, homo iste justus et timoratus, expectabat redemptionem Israel: et Spiritus Sanctus erat in eo. (There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; this man, just and God-fearing, awaited the redemption of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was in him. - As in most medieval Uses, the antiphons of the Magnificat and Benedictus were doubled for major feast days.)

The Prayer Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, majestatem tuam supplices exoramus: ut sicut unigenitus Filius tuus hodierna die cum nostrae carnis substantia in templo est praesentatus, ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus praesentari. Per eundem. (Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that as thy Only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts. )

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