Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

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Gwyn
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Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Gwyn » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:27 pm

While the Sanctus as sung in R.C. churches transaltes "Hosanna in excelsis" as "Hosanna in the highest", the Anglican version translates it as "Glory be to thee O Lord Most High". Both translate the final line of the Benedictus as "Hosanna in the highest".

Can anyone throw any light on how this came about? It's certainly that way in the 1662 bcp.

Gwyn.

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by quaeritor » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:21 pm

Gwyn wrote:Can anyone throw any light on how this came about?

Not I, but it might help if someone could explain exactly what "Hosanna in the highest" means - - is it " the very best form of Hosanna!" (sort of "Hosanna in spades!"), or "Hosanna is being shouted in the highest places!", or "Hosanna is being shouted by the highest of beings", or "Hosanna to the Highest One" ? We have used this shorthand form of words for so long, and it fills us with a warm sort of good will feeling, but what does it really mean?

Q

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Hare » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:23 am

In the original version of "The gathering Mass" Paul Inwood paraphrased it as "Hosannah in the highest heavens" Is this significant? I must say that is how I have imagined it, although as is stated in the Prefaces "our voices are one with theirs" at this point in the mass, so perhaps to think of it thus is not correct..............?

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by nazard » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:51 am

"In excelsis" translates literally as "in highs", ie it is plural and not superlative. Whether a translator puts "the" in the English is a matter of judgement, but translating "excelsis" as "highest" is a step away from being literal. Does anyone know what "hosanna" means and why it is not translated?

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by alan29 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:59 pm

Wiki is helpful
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosanna
Our usage "Yipee!!" seems a long way removed from its original meaning "Save us"
There would seem to be a link between the Arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to bring salvation, and the coming of the Lord in the Eucharist ...... never occurred to me before.

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Southern Comfort » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:31 am

Hebrew Hosanna is an abbreviation of Aramaic Hosianna (cf. works by Schütz, some old carol texts, etc). It literally means "Save/rescue [us now]!". This is presumably part of the reason why the "Nairobi" WCC translation rendered Hosanna in excelsis as "Come and deliver us, Lord Most High", as famously set by Christopher Walker in his Mannafest Eucharistic Acclamations (see Music for the Mass, vol. I).

The same translation, incidentally, rendered Dominus Deus Sabaoth as "Lord of all powers". A pity that our new version didn't follow this and give us "Holy, Holy Holy Lord God of all powers", which would have been rather easier for composers to set as well as more interesting and less misleading than "hosts".

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Gwyn
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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Gwyn » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:06 am

Thanks everyone for the information.

While the Sanctus as sung in R.C. churches transaltes "Hosanna in excelsis" as "Hosanna in the highest", the Anglican version translates it as "Glory be to thee O Lord Most High". Both translate the final line of the Benedictus as "Hosanna in the highest".

Can anyone throw any light on how this came about? It's certainly that way in the 1662 bcp.

Gwyn.

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by alan29 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:47 pm

Maybe an Anglican liturgy board(if the be such a thing) could answer that one.
Did a bit of Googling and found this
“The Annotated Book of Common Prayer,” edited by Rev. John Henry Blunt, Rivingtons, London, 1866, pages 183-184:
In the Primitive and Mediaeval Liturgies the Sanctus concluded with the words, “Hosannah in the highest, blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, Hosannah in the highest.” In translating it for the Office of our Prayer Book, the four later words were changed to “Glory to Thee, O Lord, in the highest;” and the present termination was substituted in 1552, thus displacing the Hosannah altogether.
No reason can be assigned for this deviation from ancient custom.
It would seem to pre-date the present BCP

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Gwyn » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:13 pm

Thanks Alan. That's very informative.

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by organist » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:41 am

Well this gives pause for thought - we all happily sing Hosanna every week and the link with Palm Sunday is not made? I always thought it meant in the highest heavens as in Gathering Mass. I do think "hosts" is not very helpful and could be confusing. :(

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:41 pm

organist wrote:Well this gives pause for thought - we all happily sing Hosanna every week and the link with Palm Sunday is not made? I always thought it meant in the highest heavens as in Gathering Mass. I do think "hosts" is not very helpful and could be confusing. :(


I think it's quite legitimate to translate in excelsis as "in the highest heavens". It's certainly translated that way in various bible versions when the angels sing Gloria in excelsis Deo.

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Gwyn » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:49 pm

I was watching a non conformist service (basically some tacky ditties and a sermon) on the UCB TV channel. The preacher, Dr. David Jeremiah, stated that nowhere in the bible are we told that angels sang.

Oh? I thought. Hmm . . .

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by Peter » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:44 pm

Gwyn wrote:... Dr. David Jeremiah, stated that nowhere in the Bible are we told that angels sang.

Depends which translation of Luke 2:13-14 you read. According to the Jerusalem Bible they did indeed "sing"; in the RSV and NIV they "said" "Glory to God..."

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by mcb » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:55 pm

Peter wrote:Depends which translation of Luke 2:13-14 you read. According to the Jerusalem Bible they did indeed "sing"; in the RSV and NIV they "said" "Glory to God..."

dicentium in the Vulgate, λεγόντων in the Greek; both I think mean saying rather than singing. I wonder where the JB got singing from?

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Re: Glory be to thee O Lord Most High

Post by FrGareth » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:16 am

mcb wrote:
Peter wrote:Depends which translation of Luke 2:13-14 you read. According to the Jerusalem Bible they did indeed "sing"; in the RSV and NIV they "said" "Glory to God..."

dicentium in the Vulgate, λεγόντων in the Greek; both I think mean saying rather than singing. I wonder where the JB got singing from?

Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 3 wrote: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased’ ” (Lk 2:12–14). According to the evangelist, the angels “said” this. But Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song, in which all the glory of the great joy that they proclaim becomes tangibly present.
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