Thursday, November 13, 2008

cool Advent hymn

Last night was a chant choir rehearsal. We're getting ready to sing the Vigil for the First Sunday in Advent. When I put the schedule together (last August) I'd picked an Advent hymn, Verbum Supernum Prodiens, for the choir to sing at Communion. The problem was, there are two sets of texts associated with the title "Verbum Supernum Prodiens". (Also two hymn tunes that I've found, but that's another story). One text is the Advent hymn, which is early, possibly 2nd half of the 5th century but likely 7-8th century. The other (later, associated with St Thomas) is a hymn for Corpus Christi.

In the Liber Usualis, there's the Corpus Christi hymn, and I found the Advent text on-line (but no music, just words). The challenge was to somehow get something on paper that had the music with the Advent text. If I was a more organized person, I could have contact St Meinrad and ordered a copy of their chant writing software, but I'm not. I tried to find something I could just download, hopefully for free, but didn't have any luck w/ that, either. So after spending a good three hours yesterday afternoon trying to figure something out, I ended up taking a sheet of vellum art paper with notebook paper underneath it and writing it out by hand. The girls thought it looked pretty, and they could sing from it fairly easily, so it was a success.

The text is really dark and at rehearsal we spent a while looking it over before we sang it. As an example, the fourth verse goes like this:

Non demum artemur malis/ pro qualitate criminis/ sed cum beatis compotes/ simus perennes caelites.

which translates as:

Saved from the whirling black abyss/ forever more to us be given/ to share the feast of saintly bliss/ and see the face of God in heaven.

I was a little concerned that it might be too dark for the group, but they totally got into it. I loved it when Miss Soprano T said, "it reminds me that He's not a tame lion", and she went on about the strength and power of God, and how we should feel awe at times. It was a great discussion, and we will be singing an ancient Advent hymn for the first Saturday in Advent. Cool.

On the home front, I was over half way done with a crocheted sock, but decided I didn't like how it was going so I ripped it out and started over. The good thing was that if I hadn't ripped it out, I'd have probably finished it last night, which means I crocheted a sock in two days, which is greatly encouraging considering I want to get three pairs of socks (at least) done for Christmas.

And then there's the ongoing saga of my Dear Son and his winter sports choice. He really really really wants to play football next fall, and I'm using that to motivate him to join swim team this winter. I really don't think 9 year olds should play football, but I guess it's probably better to play when everyone's under 100 lbs than it would be when they're all 200+. I need a break from him playing team sports, until he gets his temper under better control, and he's a good swimmer, so I've made him a deal. He swims for several months w/o complaining, and I sign him up for football without complaining. It sounds so simple all written out here, but it's taken sometimes twice-daily phone calls to Mom (MY mother!) to work it all out in my head. Mom is so patient....


The Freewaydiva said...

*sadness* that I won't be singing that mass. But it reminds me that I've got the Anonymous 4 version of Intonet Hodie/Personet Hodie sheet music, should you be interested in it.

Amy said...

That would be cool. Any chance you'd want to come sing it w/ me the Saturday after Christmas? ;)