Son Of A Virgin, Maker Of Thy Mother

This hymn is used for Matins in the Common of Virgins in the Extraordinary form of the Roman Breviary. The whole hymn is used for Virgin Martyrs, verses 1, 4 & 5 are used for a Virgin who is not a Martyr and verses 4 & 5 are used for Holy Women. In the Ordinary Form, it is used for Vespers for a Virgin-Martyr. It was also used for Vespers I and Matins in the Common of Virgins in the Sarum Breviary. In the Mozarabic Breviary, it is used for feasts of one Virgin in the old Hymnarium and for Vespers & Lauds in the Office of One Virgin in the Common of Saints.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in The English Hymnal (1906) where it is listed as a hymn for the Evening and Morning Office for the common of a virgin (the full text). Part 2 is used for the common of a Matron (York):

Son of a Virgin, Maker of thy mother,
Thou, Rod and Blossom from a Stem unstainèd,
Now while a Virgin fair of fame we honour,
Hear our devotion!

Lo, on thy handmaid fell a twofold blessing,
Who, in her body vanquishing the weakness,
In that same body, grace from heaven obtaining,
Bore the world witness.

Death, nor the rending pains of death appalled her;
Bondage and torment found her undefeated:
So by the shedding of her life attained she
Heavenly guerdon.

Part 2.

Fountain of mercy, hear the prayers she offers;
Purge our offences, pardon our transgressions,
So that hereafter we to thee may render
Praise with thanksgiving.

Thou, the All-Father, thou the One-Begotten,
Thou Holy Spirit, Three in One co-equal,
Glory be henceforth thine through all the ages,
World without ending. Amen.

Words: Anonymous Latin, 8th C.; tr. Laurence Housman, 1906.
Chant Tone: “Virginis Proles” Gregorian Chant, Mode I, traditional.*
Tune (The English Hymnal): “Ut Queant Laxis” Rouen Church Melody.**
Meter: 11.11.11.5

*The English Hymnal provides a chant tone in Mode VIII for this hymn. I do not know where to find a recording of either chant tone.
**I am unable to locate a recording of this tune.

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Anglican Liturgy, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Book of Common Prayer, Breviaries, Commons of the Saints, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Office/Evensong, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Holy Virgins, Holy Women, Hymnarium (Mozarabic), Hymns By The Greats, Laurence Housman, Matins/Office of Readings, Morning Office, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Mozarabic Breviary, No Recording of Tune/Chant Tone Available, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Roman Breviary, Sarum Breviary, Subsections of Breviaries, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Advent Antiphons (The English Hymnal)

The following are the translations of the Great Advent Antiphons (The “O” Antiphons) as they appear in The English Hymnal (1906). Links to the original Latin text for each are included in the Latin title for each below:

Dec. 16 – O Sapientia

O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Dec. 17 – O Adonai

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, who appearedst in the bush to Moses in a flame of fire, and gavest him the Law in Sinai: Come and deliver us with an out-stretched arm.

Dec. 18 – O Radix Iesse

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom kings shall shut their mouths, to whom the Gentiles shall seek: Come and deliver us, and tarry not.

Dec. 19 – O Clavis David

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel; that openest, and no man shutteth, and shuttest, and no man openeth: Come and bring the prisoner out of the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and the shadow of death.

Dec. 20 – O Oriens

O Day-spring, Brightness of Light Everlasting, and Sun of Righteousness: Come and enlighten him that sitteth in darkness and the shadow of death.

Dec. 21 – O Rex Gentium

O King of the Nations, and their desire; the Corner-stone, who makest both one: Come and save mankind, whom thou formedst of clay.

Dec. 22 – O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations, and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Dec. 23 – O Virgo Virginum

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.

Posted in Advent, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Breviaries, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Great Antiphons/O Antiphons, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, Roman Breviary, Sarum Breviary, The Church Year, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Drop Down Ye Heavens From Above

This is the traditional Advent Prose.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in The English Hymnal (1906) were it is listed as an Advent prose:

Antiphon:
Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness.

Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: thy holy cities are a wilderness, Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation: our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee.
Antiphon.

We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing, and we all do fade as a leaf: and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away; thou hast hid thy face from us: and hast consumed us, because of our iniquites.
Antiphon.

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know me and believe me: I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour: and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Antiphon.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people; my salvation shall not tarry: I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions: Fear not, for I will save thee: For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.
Antiphon.

Words: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, ca. 4th C.; tr. The English Hymnal, 1906.
Tune: “Rorate Caeli” traditional Latin Chant.

Here is a recording of this English version chanted by a choir.

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Advent, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Hymns By The Greats, Non-English Hymns, The Church Year | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

O Shepherd Of The Sheep

This is the text of this hymn as it appears in The English Hymnal (1906) where it is listed as a hymn for a Bishop and Confessor:

O Shepherd of the sheep,
High Priest of things to come,
Who didst in grace thy servant keep,
And take him safely home:

Accept our song of praise
For all his holy care,
His zeal unquenched through length of days,
The trials that he bare.

Chief of thy faithful band,
He held himself the least,
Though thy dread keys were in his hand,
O everlasting Priest.

So, trusting in thy might,
He won a fair renown;
So, waxing valiant in the fight,
He trod the lion down;

Then rendered up to thee
The charge thy love had given,
And passed away thy face to see
Revealed in highest heaven.

On all our bishops pour
The Spirit of thy grace;
That, as he won the palm of yore,
So they may run their race;

That, when this life is done,
They may with him adore
The ever-blessèd Three in One,
In bliss for evermore.

Words: Vincent S.S. Coles, 1868.
Tune:Carlisle” Charles Lockhart, 1745-1815.
Meter: 6.6.8.6

Posted in Bishops, Confessors, The Communion of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Whose Confession God Of Old Accepted

This hymn is used for Vespers and Matins in the Common of a Confessor and Bishop as well as of a Confessor who is not a Bishop in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Breviary. In the Ordinary Form, it is used for Vespers on the Feast of St. Martin of Tours (Nov. 11), for whom the hymn was originally written. It was used for Vespers I and Matins for the Common of Confessors  in the Sarum Breviary. In the Common of Saints for the Mozarabic Breviary it was used for Vespers in the Office of One Confessor not a Bishop and in the Office of One Confessor “Simplicis II Capparum vel IX Lectionum.”

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in the English Hymnal (1906) where it is listed as a hymn for the Evening and Morning Office from the Common of a Confessor.

He whose confession God of old accepted,
Whom through the ages all now hold in honour,
Gaining his guerdon this day came to enter
Heaven’s high portal.

God-fearing, watchful, pure of mind and body,
Holy and humble, thus did all men find him;
While, through his members, to the life immortal
Mortal life called him.

Thus to the weary, from the life enshrinèd,
Potent in virtue, flowed humane compassion;
Sick and sore laden, howsoever burdened,
There they found healing.

So now in chorus, giving God the glory,
Raise we our anthem gladly to his honour,
That in fair kinship we may all be sharers
Here and hereafter.

Honour and glory, power and salvation,
Be in the highest unto him who reigneth
Changeless in heaven over earthly changes,
Triune, eternal. Amen.

Words: Anonymous Latin, 8th C.; tr. Laurence Housman, 1906.
Tune: “Iste Confessor” Gregorian Chant, Mode I, traditional.*

Alternate Tune: “Iste Confessor (Rouen)” Poitiers Antiphoner, 1746.**
Meter: 11.11.11.5

* The English Hymnal provides a chant tone in Mode II. I do not know where I could find a recording of it.
** The English Hymnal provides an Anger Church melody “Iste Confessor” for this hymn. I do not know where I could find a recording of it.

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Anglican Liturgy, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Bishops, Book of Common Prayer, Breviaries, Commons of the Saints, Confessors, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Office/Evensong, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Hymns By The Greats, Laurence Housman, Matins/Office of Readings, Morning Office, Mozarabic Breviary, No Recording of Tune/Chant Tone Available, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, Roman Breviary, Sarum Breviary, St. Martin of Tours, St. Martin of Tours (Nov. 11), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Come Let Us Join The Church Above

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in The English Hymnal (1906) where it is listed as a hymn for Martyrs’ feast days:

Come, let us join the Church above
The Martyr’s praise to sing,
That soldier true who gave to-day
His life-blood for his King.

To-day through heaven the cry rang out,
“Great God, the fight is done!
Room for the Victor! lo, his crown
Christ’s valiant Saint hath won!”

The Martyr’s triumph shall endure,
His fame time cannot dim:
See how he calls on one and all
To rise and follow him!

We know that in our Saviour Christ
The blest our troubles heed;
That Saints in heaven to saints on earth
Are very near indeed.

The cloud of witnesses look down,
They cheer us on to fight;
To God their prayers go up that he
May lead their friends aright.

Brave Martyr, we will follow till
To God we yield our breath;
And learn from thee to spurn the world
And mock at pain and death:

To Christ, for whom the Martyrs die,
All laud and glory be,
With Father, and with Holy Ghost,
To all eternity. Amen.

Words: John Athelstan Riley, 1906.
Tune:Balfour” melody by J.G. Knowles (1750-1789).
Meter: 8.6.8.6

Posted in Hymns By The Greats, John Athelstan Riley, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blest Martyr, Let Thy Triumph-Day

This hymn is a partial translation of a hymn used for Lauds for the Feast of Saint Vincent the Levite [of Saragossa], martyr (January 22) in the Mozarabic Breviary. It is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds in the Ambrosian Breviary for the same feast.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in The English Hymnal (1906) where it is listed as a hymn for Martyrs’ feast days:

Blest Martyr, let thy triumph-day
God’s favouring grace to us convey;
The day on which thy life-blood flowed
And he thy crown in meed bestowed.

Thy soul to heavenly mansions sped
While this world’s gloomy shadows fled;
The judge and torturer o’erthrown,
Christ claimed the victor for his own.

Now consort of the Angels bright
Thou shinest clothed in robes of white;
Robes thou hast washed in streams of blood,
A dauntless Martyr for thy God.

Be thou on this thy holy-day
Our strong upholder; while we pray
That from our guilt we may be freed,
Stand thou before the throne and plead.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete. Amen.

Words:  Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, 5th C.; John Athelstan Riley, 1906.
Chant Tone:  “Beate Martyr Prospera” Gregorian chant, Mode I.
Tune (The English Hymnal): “Beata Nobis Gaudia” melody from “Psalterium Chorale” Constance, 1510.*

Meter: 8.8.8.8

*I am unable to locate a recording of this tune.

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Breviaries, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Hymns By The Greats, John Athelstan Riley, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Mozarabic Breviary, No Recording of Tune/Chant Tone Available, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, St. Vincent of Saragossa (Jan. 22), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment