December 30, 2012

The Day of Resurrection

From Earth to Heavens Height

The Day of Resurrection is an Anthony G. Petti adaption of the John Mason Neale (1818–1866) translation of an 8th century Greek hymn by St. John of Damascus (c.676-c.749). The text is drawn from the first Ode of his "Golden Canon", traditionally sung with the lighting of the candles at the Easter Vigil. Also known as St. John Damascene, this Doctor of the Church is often referred to as the "Last of the Early Church Fathers". He is best known for his defence of the veneration of sacred images, statues and icons of which he wrote in On the Divine Images: "I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake, who willed to take His abode in matter; who worked out my salvation through matter. Never will I cease honoring the matter which wrought my salvation!" Neale's translation is set to the 1784 tune Ellacombe. In the Liturgy of the Hours, The Day of Resurrection is used at Easter.
Tune: Ellacombe

THE DAY OF RESURRECTION by John Mason Neale, 1853 (Public Domain)

1. The day of resurrection! Earth, spread the news abroad;
The Paschal feast of gladness, the Paschal feast of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth to heaven's height,
Our Savior Christ has brought us, the glorious Lord of Light.

2. Our hearts be free from evil, that we may see aright
The Savior resurrected in his eternal light,
And hear his message plainly, delivered calm and clear:
"Rejoice with me in triumph; Be glad and do not fear."

3. His love is everlasting; His mercies never cease;
The resurrected Savior, will all our joys increase.
He'll keep us in his favor, supply the holy grace
to all his pilgrim people who seek his heavenly place.

4. Now let the heavens be joyful, and earth the song begin.
The whole world keep high triumph, and all that is therein.
Let all things in creation their notes of gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen, our joy that hath no end.

At the Lamb's High Feast / Ad Coenam Agni Providi (Ad Regias Agni Dapes)

Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest

At the Lamb's High Feast is a Geoffrey Laycock adaptation of the 1849 translation by Robert Campbell (1814-1868) of the 6th century Latin hymn, Ad Coenam Agni Providi. Among the oldest of the Ambrosian chants, in 1623 it was revised by Pope Urban VII (1568-1644) and has henceforth been known as Ad Regias Agni Dapes (see below) in the Roman Breviary where it is sung at Vespers from Easter Sunday until Ascension. Raised a Presbyterian, Campbell would after a period in the Episcopal Church of Scotland join the Roman Catholic Church. Much of his life, both as a Protestant and a Catholic was dedicated to the education of Edinburgh's poorest children. At the Lamb's High Feast is set to the 1678 tune, Salz­burg by Ja­kob Hintze (1622-1702). In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used at Easter.

Tune: Salzburg

AT THE LAMB’S HIGH FEAST WE SING by Robert Campbell, 1849 (Public Domain)

1. At the Lamb’s high feast we sing,
Praise to our victorious King,
Who hath washed us in the tide
Flowing from his piercèd side;
Praise we Him, whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His body for the feast,
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.

2. Where the Paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal Victim, paschal Bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we Manna from above.

3. Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce powers beneath Thee lie;
Thou hast conquered in the fight,
Thou hast brought us life and light;
Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthral;
Thou hast opened Paradise,
And in Thee Thy saints shall rise.

4. Paschal triumph, Easter joy,
Only sin can this destroy;
From sin’s death do Thou set free
Souls reborn, O Lord, in Thee.
Hymns of glory and of praise,
Father, to Thee we raise;
Risen Lord, all praise to Thee,
Ever with the Spirit be.

Ad Coenam Agni Providi


1. Ad coenam Agni providi,
stolis salutis candidi,
post transitum maris Rubri
Christo canamus principi.

2. Cuius corpus sanctissimum
in ara crucis torridum,
sed et cruorem roseum
gustando, Dei vivimus. 

3. Protecti paschae vespero
a devastante angelo,
de Pharaonis aspero
sumus erepti imperio.

4. Iam pascha nostrum Christus est,
agnus occisus innocens;
sinceritatis azyma
qui carnem suam obtulit.

5. O vera, digna hostia,
per quam franguntur tartara,
captiva plebs redimitur,
redduntur vitae praemia!

6. Consurgit Christus tumulo,
victor redit de barathro,
tyrannum trudens vinculo
et paradisum reserans.

7. Esto perenne mentibus
paschale, Iesu, gaudium
et nos renatos gratine
tuis triumphis aggrega.

 8. Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui morte victa praenites,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

Ad Regias Agni Dapes (Singing starts at 0:35)


1. Ad regias Agni dapes,
Stolis amicti candidis,
Post transitum maris Rubri,
Christo canamus Principi.

2. Divina cuius caritas
Sacrum propinat sanguinem,
Almique membra corporis
Amor sacerdos immolat.

3. Sparsum cruorem postibus
Vastator horret Angelus:
Fugitque divisum mare,
Merguntur hostes fluctibus.

4. Iam Pascha nostrum Christus est,
Paschalis idem victima:
Et pura puris mentibus
Sinceritatis azyma.

5. O vera caeli víctima,
Subiecta cui sunt tartara,
Soluta mortis vincula,
Recepta vitæ praemia.

6. Victor subactis inferis,
Trophaea Christus explicat,
Caeloque aperto, subditum
Regem tenebrarum trahit. 

7. Ut sis perenne mentibus
Paschale Iesu gaudium,
A morte dira criminum
Vitæ renatos libera.

8. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
In sempiterna saecula. Amen.

Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands / Victimae Paschali Laudes

At God's Right Hand He Stands

Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands is an Anthony G. Petti adaption of the 1854 translation (shown below) by Richard Massie (1800-1887) of the 1524 Martin Luther (1483-1546) German hymn, Christ lag in Tod­es ­Band­en. It is based upon one of his favorite Latin hymns: Victimae Paschali Laudes, an 11th century Easter Sunday Sequence usually attributed to the Chaplain to the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II, Wipo of Burgundy (995?-1048?). The initial melody used by Luther suggests that he may have adapted parts of the Latin plainchant of Victimae Paschali Laudes for his translation. The tune, Christ lag in Todesbanden would see a final arrangement by Johann Walther (1494-1570) when published in his Wittembergisch Geistlisch Gesangbuch of 1524. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands is used during Easter.

Tune: Christ lag in Tod­es ­Band­en

CHRIST JESUS LAY IN DEATH’S STRONG BANDS by Richard Massie, 1854 (Public Domain)

1. Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God’s right hand He stands,
And brings us life from Heaven.
Wherefore let us joyful be,
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. No son of man could conquer Death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on earth,
And therefore Death had brought us
Into thralldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in his bondage. Alleluia!

3. But Jesus Christ, God’s only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of Death He has undone,
His power forever ended,
Ruined all his right and claim
And left him nothing but the name,
His sting is lost forever. Alleluia!

4. It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life;
The reign of death was ended.
Stripped of power, no more it reigns,
An empty form alone remains
Death’s sting is lost forever! Alleluia!

5. Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree—
So strong His love!—to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, Death passes over,
And Satan cannot harm us. Alleluia!

6. So let us keep the festival
Where to the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended! Alleluia!

7. Then let us feast this Easter day
On the true Bread of Heaven;
The Word of grace hath purged away
The old and wicked leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed;
He is our Meat and Drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!

Gregorian Chant


Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
quid vidisti in via?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium, et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

I Am the Bread of Life

He Who Comes to Me Shall Not Hunger

I Am the Bread of Life, first published in 1970, was written by Sr. Suzanne Toolan, RSM (b.1927). A Religious Sisters of Mercy, Sr. Toolan wrote the well known hymn in 1966 for an upcoming event in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. She related in a recent interview with the National Catholic Reporter how she had been working on the piece in an unoccupied room of a girls school. Frustrated with the results, she had thrown the working copy in the garbage. But a when a 6 year old student came in asking what that beautiful music was that she had overheard, Sr Toolan retrieved the song from the trash and continued working. It has gone on to become one of the most widely known, and enduring Catholic hymns of the Vatican II era. Though admitting, it can be a challenge for congregational singing, Sr. Toolan attributes the song's popularity to the strong scriptural nature of the lyrics, drawn mainly from the 'Bread of Life Discourse' of John 6. In the Liturgy of the Hours, I Am the Bread of Life is used with the Office for the Dead and at Easter.

Singing starts at the 1:15 mark.

Original Recording from 1970

December 29, 2012

In the Midst of Death

Jesus, Be Our Light

In the Midst of Death, first published in 1961, was written by Dutch poet and linguist Klaas Hanzen Heeroma (1909-1972) under the pen name Muus Jacobse. The tune was written by Rik Veelenturf (b.1936). A Dutch language sample of the tune is featured in the following video. It was originally intended for Maundy Thursday worship service in the Lutheran Liturgy, but was later adopted for use in many Roman Catholic parishes in Holland. The hymn was adapted for use in English by David Smith. In the Liturgy of the Hours, We Who Once were Dead (In the Midst of Death) is used at Easter and in the Office for the Dead.

"Midden in de Dood" - Dutch lyrics can be found here.

Alleluia, The Strife is O'er / Finita Iam Sunt Proelia

O Let the Song of Praise be Sung

Alleluia, The Strife is O'er is a 1859 translation by Anglican Priest, Francis Pott (1832-1909) of Finita Jam Sunt Praelia, an anonymous Latin hymn first published in the 1695 Jesuit collection: Symphonia Sirenum Selectarum, Cologne. In 1861, William H. Monk (1823-1889) added "Alleluias" and set it to the tune Victory, which is an adaptation of the Gloria Patri from the 1591 Choral Mass, Magnificat Tertii Toni by Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594). In the Liturgy of the Hours, The Strife is O'er, The Battle Done is sung at Easter.

THE STRIFE IS O’ER, THE BATTLE DONE by Francis Pott, 1861 (Public Domain)

1. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o'er, the battle done,
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun. Alleluia!

2. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions hath dispersed:
let shout of holy joy outburst. Alleluia!

3. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The three sad days are quickly sped,
he rises glorious from the dead:
all glory to our risen Head! Alleluia!

4. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
He closed the yawning gates of hell,
the bars from heaven's high portals fell;
let hymns of praise his triumphs tell! Alleluia!

5. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Lord! by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death's dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee. Alleluia!

FINITA IAM SUNT PROELIA - Anonymous, 1695 (Public Domain)

1. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
Finita iam sunt proelia,
Est parta iam victoria:
Gaudeamus et canamus, Alleluia.

2. Post fata mortis barbara
Devicit Jesus tartara:
Applaudamus et psallamus, Alleluia.

3. Surrexit die tertia
Caelesti clarus gratia
nsonemus et cantemus, Alleluia.

4. Sunt clausa stygis ostia
Et caeli patent atria:
Gaudeamus et petamus, Alleluia.

5. Per tua, Jesu, vulnera
Nos mala morte libera,
Ut vivamus et canamus, Alleluia.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

December 27, 2012

Christ, Victim for the Sins of Men / O Salutaris Hostia

Your Death Brings Hope to Our Despair

Christ, Victim for the Sins of Men was one of fourteen contributions by Fr. Brian Foley (1919-2000) to the New Catholic Hymnal (1971), a collection he helped compile. It is based upon the Latin hymn, O Salutaris Hostia (see 2nd video) written by St. Thomas Aquinas O.P. in 1264 for the Office of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Fr. Foley's paraphrase is set to the 1543 tune, Erhalt uns, Herr (Spires) by Joseph Klug (1523-1552). An alternative tune that can also be used is Duke Street, as featured in the 1st video. In the Liturgy of the Hours Christ, Victim for the Sins of Men is used during Holy Week.

Alternative Tune: Duke Street

O SALUTARIS HOSTIA by Thomas Aquinas

O salutaris hostia,
quae caeli pandis ostium,
bella premunt hostilia;
da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
sit sempiterna gloria:
qui vitam sine termino
nobis donet in patria. Amen.

December 26, 2012

My Loving Savior

Bitter Death and Shameful Crucifixion 

My Loving Savior is an Anthony G. Petti adaption of the Robert Bridges (1844-1930) 1897 translation, Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended of the 1630 German hymn: Herzliebster Jesu by the Lutheran minister, Johann Heermann (1585-1647). In 1640 it was set to music by Johann Crüger (1598-1662). His tune, Herzliebster Jesu has since been adapted by many composers including: JS Bach (St. Matthew Passion), Johannes Brahms (Chorale Preludes for Organ), and Max Reger (Seven Pieces for Organ). In the Liturgy of the Hours, My Loving Savior is used during Holy Week.

Tune: Herzliebster Jesu

AH, HOLY JESUS, HOW HAST THOU OFFENDED by Robert Bridges, 1897 (Public Domain)

1. Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

2. Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.

3. Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
for our atonement, while we nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

4. For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

5. Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

Alternative Tune

The Word of God Proceeding Forth / Verbum Supernum Prodiens

The Cross, Their Ransom Dearly Paid

The Word of God Proceeding Forth is an english translation of the original latin hymn written in 1264: Verbum Supernum (see 2nd video) by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). In the Roman Breviary it is used as the hymn at Lauds in the Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi. The final two stanzas are often sung at Benediction as the hymn: O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Victim). In 2008, the Catholic recording artist Tom Booth added a praise chorus to the english text for his song: O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Lamb). The version of The Word of God Proceeding Forth used in the Liturgy of the Hours is a combination of the work of three writers: John Mason Neale (1818-1866), Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878), and Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). It is set to the 1790 tune Rockingham, attributed to Ed­ward Mill­er (1735-1807). In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used during Holy Week.

Tune: Rockingham

THE HEAVENLY WORD PROCEEDING FORTH by John Mason Neale, Edward Caswall, and others. (Public Domain)

1. The heavenly Word proceeding forth,
yet not leaving the Father's side,
went forth upon His work on earth
and reached at length life's eventide.

2. By false disciple to be given
to foemen for His Blood athirst,
Himself, the living Bread from heaven,
He gave to His disciples first.

3. To them He gave, in twofold kind,
His very Flesh, His very Blood:
of twofold substance man is made,
and He of man would be the Food.

4. By birth our fellowman was He,
our Food while seated at the board;
He died, our ransomer to be;
He ever reigns, our great reward.

5. O saving Victim, opening wide
the gate of heaven to all below:
our foes press on from every side;
Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow.

6. To Thy great Name be endless praise,
immortal Godhead, One in Three!
O grant us endless length of days
in our true native land with Thee. Amen.

Gregorian Chant

VERBUM SUPERNUM PRODIENS by St. Thomas Aquinas, 1264

1. Verbum supernum prodiens,
nec Patris linquens dexteram,
ad opus suum exiens,
venit ad vitae vesperam.

2. In mortem a discipulo
suis tradendus aemulis,
prius in vitae ferculo
se tradidit discipulis.

3. Quibus sub bina specie
carnem dedit et sanguinem;
ut duplicis substantiae
totum cibaret hominem.

4. Se nascens dedit socium,
convescens in edulium,
se moriens in pretium,
se regnans dat in praemium.

5. O salutaris hostia,
quae caeli pandis ostium,
bella premunt hostilia;
da robur, fer auxilium.

6. Uni trinoque Domino
sit sempiterna gloria:
qui vitam sine termino
nobis donet in patria. Amen.

I Shall Praise the Savior's Glory / Pange Lingua

Born for Us, and For Us Given

I Shall Praise the Savior's Glory is an Anthony G. Petti adaption of the English translation by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878) of the 13th century Latin hymn, Pange Lingua by Saint Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274). Caswell's original translation: Sing, My Tongue, the Savior's Glory was first published in 1850, the same year he left the Anglican Church and converted to Catholicism; following in the footsteps of his friend, Cardinal Newman. Caswall's translations from latin were noted and respected for their faithfulness to the original text, while respecting the rhythm and lyrical qualities of his english verse. The Italian Dominican Priest and Doctor of the Church, Thomas Aquinas is famous as an influential philosopher and scholastic theologian. In 1264 Aquinas was commissioned by Pope Urban IV (c.1195-1264) to compose an Office for the institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Pange, Lingua, Gloriosi (Acclaim, My Tongue, This Mystery) was one of several hymns written for the Office. Stanzas 5 and 6 (Tantum Ergo) are often sung at Benediction. In 2006, Catholic recording artist, Matt Maher recorded a contemporary version, Adoration that incorporates a praise chorus with the ancient text. The tune, Pange Lingua is sung in Mode III, Vatican Plainsong. In the Liturgy of the Hours, I Shall Praise the Savior's Glory is used during Holy Week.

PANGE, LINGUA, GLORIOSI by Thomas Aquinas, 1264 (Public Domain)

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta Virgine,
et in mundo conversatus,
sparso verbi semine,
sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus,
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.

Amen. Alleluja.

December 24, 2012

Have Mercy, O Lord

At Prayer in the Garden of Olives 

Have Mercy, O Lord by Fr. Lucien Deiss, C.S.Sp. (1921-2007) was first published in 1965 as part of the his collection: Biblical Hymns and Psalmns, Vol. 1. While he is best known for his musical works and his involvement with Vatican II liturgical reforms, this Spiritan Father was also a missionary: giving retreats and serving the poor in several nations of the world. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Have Mercy, O Lord is used during Holy Week.

December 23, 2012

John 15 (This I Ask)

Love Each Other as I Have Loved You

John 15 (This I Ask) was written by Enrico Garzilli. It was first published in 1970 as part of the collection, For Those Who Love God. He is a Roman Catholic Priest, but rather than taking on pastoral work, his vocation within the Church has been as a composer, writer, and performer. As a young seminarian, he was assistant to cathedral organist and liturgical composer, Alexander Peloquin (1919 - 1997), who is noted for having composed the first Roman Catholic Mass sung in English. In the Liturgy of the Hours, This I Ask (John 15) is used with the Office of the Dead and during Holy Week.

December 22, 2012

Were You There

When They Crucified My Lord

Were You There is an African-American Spiritual that likely predates the Civil War. It was first published in 1899 as part of the collection: Old Plantation Hymns (p. 40) by Congregational minister, William E. Barton (1861-1930). It is of anonymous authorship, but may have been influenced by or adapted from an earlier white spiritual known to have been sung in Tennessee. Were You There When They Crucified My Lord? is sung to the folk tune traditionally associated with it.  In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used during Holy Week.


1. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

2. Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

3. Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

O Sacred Head, Surrounded

Crown of Piercing Thorn 

O Sacred Head, Surrounded is a translation by Sir Henry W. Baker (1821-1877) of the final portion of the medieval Latin poem, Salve Mundi Salutare. This lengthy medieval poem is a meditation on the sufferings of Christ's body at the crucifixion. Historically it has been attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), but recent research suggests it is more likely the work of the Cistercian Abbot, Arnulf of Leuven (c.1200-1250). An early translation into German was done by the Lutheran hymnist, Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676). That version was then translated into english by Presbyterian minister and theologian, James W. Alexander (1804-1859). His, O Sacred Head, Now Wounded is the source of the different versions of the hymn by that same name. It is believed that Baker's hymn is instead a translation from the original latin. The text included in the Liturgy of the Hours contains an additional verse written by Melvin Farrell, S.S., first published in 1961. It is set to the Passion Chorale by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) which was originally published as the tune for a secular love song in 1601, and then eventually adapted to Gerhardt's hymn in 1656. Other famous composers who have used the same melody include: Johann Sebastian Bach (St Matthew's Passion), Franz Liszt (Way of the Cross), and Paul Simon (American Tune). In the Liturgy of the Hours, O Sacred Head, Surrounded is used on Palm Sunday and during Holy Week.

O SACRED HEAD SURROUNDED - Translated by Henry Baker (Public Domain)

1. O Sacred Head surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
Death's pallid hue comes o'er Thee,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore Thee,
And tremble as they gaze.

2.   I see Thy strength and vigor
All fading in the strife,
And death with cruel rigor,
Bereaving Thee of life:
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy face on me.

3.  In this, Thy bitter passion,
Good shepherd, think of me,
With Thy most sweet compassion,
Unworthy though I be:
Beneath Thy cross abiding,
Forever would I rest;
In Thy dear love confiding,
And with Thy presence blest.

4.  But death too is my ending;
In that dread hour of need,
My friendless cause befriending,
Lord, to my rescue speed:
Thyself, O Jesus, trace me,
Right passage to the grave,
And from Thy cross embrace me,
With arms outstretched to save.

December 19, 2012

All Glory, Praise, and Honor / Gloria, Laus et Honor

Icon by Emmanuel Tzanes - Courtesy of Wikipedia

All Glory, Praise, and Honor is a 1851 translation by John Mason Neale of the original latin hymn, Gloria, Laus, et Honor by Theodulph, Bishop of Orleans (c.760-821). He was also an Abbot, an important poet of the Carolingian Renaissance, and he acted as a theological adviser to Charlemagne. A later Emperor would have Theodulph imprisoned. It was there in 820 that he wrote Gloria, Laus, et Honor. He is said to have recited his hymn to the true King from the window of his cell as the Emperor's procession passed by on Palm Sunday. The bottom video features the original latin hymn as sung at St. Peter's Bacilica during Palm Sunday procession. All Glory, Laud, and Honor is sung to the tune, St. Theodulph by Melchoir Teschner (1584-1635) published in 1615. In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used on Palm Sunday.

Tune: St. Theodulph

ALL GLORY, LAUD AND HONOR by John Mason Neale, 1851 (Public Domain)

Refrain: All glory, laud and honor,
              To Thee, Redeemer, King,
              To Whom the lips of children
              Made sweet hosannas ring.

1. Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

2. The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.

3. The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.

4. To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.

5. Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

Gregorian Chant


Refrain: Gloria, laus et honor
              tibi sit, Rex Christe, Redemptor:
              Cui puerile decus prompsit
              Hosanna pium.

1. Israel es tu Rex, Davidis et
inclyta proles:
Nomine qui in Domini,
Rex benedicte, venis.

2. Coetus in excelsis te laudat
caelicus omnis,
Et mortalis homo, et cuncta
creata simul.

3. Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis
obvia venit:
Cum prece, voto, hymnis,
adsumus ecce tibi.

4. Hi tibi passuro solvebant
munia laudis:
Nos tibi regnanti pangimus
ecce melos

5. Hi placuere tibi, placeat
devotio nostra:
Rex bone, Rex clemens, cui
bona cuncta placent.

December 18, 2012

Hail, Redeemer, King Divine

King of Love on Calvary

Hail, Redeemer, King Divine was written by Redemptorist, Patrick Brennan (1877-1952). It is sung to the tune St. George's Windsor by English organist and composer Sir George J. Elvey (1816-1895). Another popular setting to the tune Merseyside (see bottom video) was written by Fr. Charles Rigby (1901 – 1952) for the laying of the foundation stone of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in 1932. An interesting vintage British Pathé news reel of the Solemn Blessing (featuring the singing of Hail, Redeemer, King Divine) can be found here. Because of the ambitious plans (it was to be the world's 2nd largest Cathedral, after St. Peter's) construction was never started. It would not be built until the 1960s, with a new modern design. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Hail, Redeemer, King Divine is used on Palm Sunday and on the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Tune: St. George's Windsor

Tune: Merseyside

December 17, 2012

Crown Him With Many Crowns

King, Through All Eternity

Crown Him with Many Crowns was first published in 1851. The original text was written by English poet, Matthew Bridges (1800-1894). In 1828 he wrote the book: The Roman Empire Under Constantine the Great, which condemned the Catholic Church. But by 1848, through his association with the Cardinal Newman and the Oxford Movement he converted to Catholicism. He spent the latter part of his life in Quebec, Canada. In 1851, Anglican Minister Godfrey Thring (1823-1903), concerned that the popular hymn contained Roman Catholic theology, wrote several new verses. Today, most versions of the hymn (including the one used in the Liturgy of the Hours) contain elements of both works. It is sung to the 1868 tune: Diademata (Elvey) by English organist and composer, Sir George Elvey (1816–1893). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Crown Him With Many Crowns is used on Palm Sunday and on the Solemnity of Christ the King.

CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS by Matthew Bridges, 1851 (Public Domain)

1. Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

2. Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now
His brow adorn; Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;
The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem.

3. Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.

4. Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

5. Crown Him the Lord of peace, whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end, and round His piercèd feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.

6. Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

7. Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,
Crown Him the King to Whom is given the wondrous name of Love.
Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.

8. Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

9. Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

December 16, 2012

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Rank On Rank the Host of Heaven

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is an 1864 translation and adaptation by Anglican Minister, Gerard Moultrie (1829-1885) from the original Greek text drawn from the ancient Liturgy of Saint James. The exact age and authorship of the Liturgy is disputed. Some traditions associate it with the Apostle, St. James the Less and date it as early as 60 AD. What is agreed by scholars, is that it was known to be in use in the Churches of Jerusalem and Antioch by the late 4th or early 5th century. In the Liturgy of St. James, after the reading of Holy Scripture, the Priest then goes to the altar and begins preparing the bread and wine. At this point as the Priest says the prayer of incense, the Cherubic Hymn is chanted, which is based on Habakkuk 2:20 "But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." (Douay-Rheims). It is this hymn that Moultrie's translation in based. His words are set to the anonymous tune Picardy, a French Carol (Noel) first published in Chansons Populaires des Provences de France (1860). Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is often associated with Christmas because the 2nd verse (which has been omitted, as has the 4th verse) begins with: "King of kings, yet born of Mary" In the Liturgy of the Hours, is used during Lent.

LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE by Gerard Moultrie, 1864 (Public Domain)

1. Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

2. King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

3. Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

4. At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

When from the Darkness

Grant Us Your Light

When from the Darkness, first published in 1971 as part of the New Catholic Hymnal was written by Brendan McLaughlin. It is set to the tune Courtney by English organist, choral composer, and conductor: Colin Mawby (B.1936). He has been a prolific composer of works for the Catholic Liturgy which includes over 50 Masses. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI awarded him with the Knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, bestowed on Catholic individuals in recognition of their personal service to the Church. He has also brought religious themes to a wider audience through such works as The Lord Is My Shepherd featuring Charlotte Church. In the Liturgy of the Hours, When from the Darkness is used during Lent.

December 15, 2012

Keep in Mind

He is Our Saving Lord

Keep in Mind was written by Fr. Lucien Deiss C.S.Sp. (1921-2007). It was first published in 1965 as part of the collection: Biblical Hymns and Psalms, Volume 1. It was during this time period that Fr. Deiss accepted the request by Pope Paul VI to coordinate the revision of the Lectionary Psalter in accordance with the Second Vatican Council. Keep in Mind remains one of his most enduring works. In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used with the Office for the Dead, and during Lent and Easter.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

On Which the Prince of Glory Died

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross is one of the most beloved hymns of Isaac Watts (1674-1748). First published in 1707 as part of his collection: Hymns and Spiritual Songs, it was written for a communion service and was originally called Crucifixion to the World by the Cross of Christ. Charles Wes­ley is said to have remarked: that he would give up all of his 6000 hymns to have written this one. It is set to the tune Rock­ing­ham (1790), attributed to composer and one time flautist in the orchestra of George Fredrick Handel, Ed­ward Mill­er (1735-1807). In the Liturgy of the Hours, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross is used during Lent and Holy Week.

WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS by Isaac Watts, 1701 (Public Domain)

1. When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4. His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

5. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

6. To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.

December 14, 2012

Draw Near, O Lord / Attende Domine

Our Grieving Lifts Our Eyes to Heaven

Draw Near, O Lord is a 1961 translation by Fr. Melvin Farrell, S.S. of Attende Domine, a 10th century Mozarabic penitential hymn of supplication traditionally sung during Lent. The Mozarabic Rite is an ancient rite of the Church that was used throughout much of the Iberian Peninsula up until the 11th century and continues to be used in the Capilla Muzárabe in the Toledo Cathedral, the Chapel of San Salvador at Talavera, and the Old Cathedral of Salamanca. Draw Near, O Lord is set to the traditional melody of Attende Domine, as first published in the Paris Processional of 1824. In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used during Lent.

Tune: Attende Domine with Refrain (English)


Refrain: Attende Domine, et miserere, Quia peccavimus tibi.
(Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.)

1. Ad te Rex summe, Omnium Redemptor, Oculos nostros Sublevamus flentes: Exaudi, Christe, Supplicantum preces.

 2. Dextera Patris, Lapis angularis, Via salutis, Janua caelestis, Ablue nostri Maculas delicti.

 3. Rogamus, Deus, Tuam majestatem: Auribus sacris Gemitus exaudi: Crimina nostra Placidus indulge.

 4. Tibi fatemur Crimina admissa: Contrito corde Pandimus occulta: Tua, Redemptor, Pietas ignoscat.

 5. Innocens captus, Nec repugnans ductus; Testibus falsis Pro impiis damnatus: Quos redemisti, Tu conserva, Christe.

Tune: Attende Domine with Refrain (Latin)

December 12, 2012

This is Our Accepted Time

This is Our Salvation

This is Our Accepted Time was written in 1955 by Sulpician Priest, Fr. Michael Gannon. It is set to the 1609 tune, Weimar (Vulpius) by composer, Melchior Vulpius (c.1560-1615). He was the Lutheran cantor in Weimar, Germany from 1602 to 1615. Many of his chorale melodies are still in use today. An alternative tune that can be used is Aurelia, as featured in the following video. In the Liturgy of the Hours, This is Our Accepted Time is sung during Lent.

Alternative Tune: Aurelia

December 11, 2012

Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days

Painting by James Tissot - Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days was written by Claudia Frances Hernaman (1838-1898). It was first published in 1873 as part of the collection: The Child's Book of Praise; A Manual of Devotion in Simple Verse. Over her lifetime she composed over 150 hymns, most of them intended for children. It is set to the tune St. Flavian, an adaptation of the music from the first half of Psalm 132 in John Day's English Psalter of 1562. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days is used during Lent.

LORD, WHO THROUGHOUT THESE FORTY DAYS by Claudia Hernaman, 1873 (Public Domain)

1. Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us did fast and pray,
Teach us with you to mourn our sins
and close by you to stay.

2. As you with Satan did contend,
and did the victory win,
O give us strength in you to fight,
in you to conquer sin.

3. As you did hunger and did thirst,
So teach us gracious Lord,
To die to self and so to live
By your most holy word.

4. Abide with us, that through this life
Of suff'ring and of pain,
An Easter of unending joy
We may at last attain.

December 9, 2012

For Forty Years

Help Us to Understand the Desert of this Life

For Forty Years is written by Stephen Somerville. It was first published in 1971. During that time he was a Consultor on the Music Committee of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (I.C.E.L.). In the Liturgy of the Hours, For Forty Years is used during Lent.

December 8, 2012

Take Up Your Cross

If You Would Be My Disciple 

Take Up Your Cross is an adaption by Anthony G. Petti (1932-1985) of the 1833 hymn by the American Episcopal Clergyman, Charles William Everest (1814-1877). It was written when he was just 19 years old and published in his first volume of poetry, Vision of Death. It is set to the tune, Breslau from the As Hymnodus Sacer (1625) with later harmonies added by Felix Mendelssohn (1807-1847). It is also the same tune used for We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died (see 1st video). An alternative tune that can also be used is Bourbon (see 2nd video). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Take Up Your Cross the Savior Said is used during Lent and Holy Week.

Tune: Breslau (We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died)

TAKE UP THY CROSS by Charles William Everest, 1833 (Public Domain)

1. “Take up thy cross,” the Savior said,
“If thou wouldst My disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after Me.”

 2. Take up thy cross, let not its weight
Fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

 3. Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
Thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
And saved thy soul from death and hell.

 4. Take up thy cross then in His strength,
And calmly sin’s wild deluge brave,
’Twill guide thee to a better home,
It points to glory o’er the grave.

 5. Take up thy cross and follow Christ,
Nor think til death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.

 6. To Thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
All praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
The heavenly life that knows no end.

Tune: Bourbon

With Hearts Renewed

We Lift Our Thoughts in Grateful Prayer

With Hearts Renewed is written by Jack May S.J. It was first published in 1964 as part of the collection, Hymns for Use at Holy Mass. It is sung to the Lutheran hymn tune, Wie Schön Leuchtet der Morgenstern (How Lovely Shines the Morning Star). Also known as Frankfort, it was first published in 1597. It was written by Phillipp Nicolai (1556-1608) with later musical arrangements added in 1730 by J.S.Bach (1685-1750). In the Liturgy of the Hours, With Hearts Renewed by Living Faith is used during Lent.

December 7, 2012

Grant to Us

Recreate in Us Your Own Spirit

Grant to Us was written in 1965 by Fr. Lucien Deiss C.S.Sp. (1921 -2007). Fr. Deiss wrote over 400 liturgical songs and hymns often blending memorable tunes with scriptural references such as the Biblical themes of repentance, forgiveness, and renewal shown in Grant to Us, O Lord, a Heart Renewed. In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used during Lent.

December 6, 2012

The Glory of These Forty Days / Clarum Decus Jejunii

Christ, by Whom All Things were Made

The Glory of These Forty Days is a 1906 translation by Anglican Minister, Maurice F. Bell (1862-1947) of the 6th century latin hymn Clarum Decus Jejunii, attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). It was traditionally sung at Matins during Lent. The Glory of These Forty Days is set to the Lutheran hymn tune Spires (Erhalt' uns, Herr) by Joseph Klug (1523-1552). First published in 1543 with later harmonies added by J.S. Bach (1685-1750). In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used during Lent.

Tune: Spires

THE GLORY OF THESE FORTY DAYS by Maurice F. Bell, 1906 (Public Domain)

1. The glory of these forty days
We celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ, by Whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.

2. Alone and fasting Moses saw
The loving God Who gave the law;
And to Elijah, fasting, came
The steeds and chariots of flame.

3. So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
Delivered from the lions’ might;
And John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became
The herald of Messiah’s Name.

4. Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
Full oft in fast and prayer with Thee;
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace,
And give us joy to see Thy face.

5. O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
To thee be every prayer addressed,
Who art in threefold Name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord.


1. Clarum decus jejunii
Monstratur orbi coelitus,
Quod Christus Auctor omnium
Cibis dicavit abstinens.

2. Hoc Moyses carus Deo
Legisque lator factus est,
Hoc Helyam per aera
Curru levavit igneo.

3. Hinc Daniel mysteria
Victor leonum viderat,
Per hoc amicus intimus
Sponsi Johannes claruit.

4. Hec nos sequi dona, Deus,
Exempla parcimonise,
Tu robur auge mentium
Dans spiritale gaudium. 

5. Presta, Pater, per Filium,
Proesta per almum Spiritum,
Cum His per eevum triplici
Unus Deus cognomine. Amen.

December 5, 2012

Praise to the Holiest

Praise to the Holiest in the Height

Praise to the Holiest was written by Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890). It is an adaptation of a portion of his 1865 poem, The Dream of Ge­ron­ti­us. Praise to the Holiest as well as his other well known hymn, Firmly I Believe and Truly (also drawn from Gerontius) were both sung at Benedict XVI's Mass celebrating the beatification of Cardinal Newman in 2010. Praise to the Holiest in the Height is set to the tune, Billing by Richard R. Terry (1865-1938), editor of the 1921 Westminster Hymnal, at that time the only collection of hymns authorized for use by the Catholic Church in England and Wales. . In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used during Lent.

PRAISE TO THE HOLIEST IN THE HEIGHT by John Henry Newman, 1865 (Public Domain)

1. Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

2. O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came.

3. O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.

4. And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s Presence and His very Self,
And Essence all divine.

5. O generous love! that He, who smote,
In Man for man the foe,
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo.

6. And in the garden secretly,
And on the Cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.

7. Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

December 4, 2012

Lord, Your Glory in Christ We Have Seen

The Almighty Has Given His Body For Man

Lord, Your Glory in Christ We Have Seen is a 1971 translation by Anthony G. Petti (1932-1985) of the 1957 hymn: Dieu, Nous Avons Vu Ta Gloire, with words by Fr. Didier Rimaud (1922-2003) and music by Jean Langlais (1907-1991). It was written for a Vigil Service preceding the final High Mass of a conference on "The Bible and Liturgy". Dimaud was a Jesuit Priest who was very active in liturgical reforms of Vatican II in France. Langlais was a well known French composer and organist. He lost his eyesight early in life from Glaucoma. He was sent to the National Institute for Blind Children in Paris where he began his studies in music. He would eventually be appointed organist at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris, a position he held from 1945 until his death in 1991. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Lord, Your Glory in Christ We Have Seen is used during Lent, on Palm Sunday, through Holy Week, and on the Feast of the Transfiguration.