Help please! - Advent Matins Responsory

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quaeritor
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Help please! - Advent Matins Responsory

Post by quaeritor » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:52 am

Hello folks - I'm helping a rather ad-hoc little choir prepare an Advent carol service, and I thought it might be a good idea to open with the Responsory from Matins of the First Sunday of Advent. However, the one which they (and you) might have heard - the one in Carols for Choirs 2 (Palestrina via Rutter and/or Wilcocks) is beyond their limited compass in the time available, so I thought a simple self-penned setting might work. I know it's an extra-liturgical function (and possibly an extra-liturgical item too - it's fom the old Sarum rite) but if I'm going to set a text it might as well be the "right" one.

So:
- which of the many source books is the source for the text? (I'm hopelessly confused among Missal, Graduale, Lectionary, Breviary, Liber Usualis, and that other one which has a Latin name I can't recall, but which seemed to mean "the Bishops' how-to-do-it book")
- Does the book in question have an "authorised" English translation?
- Is it about to be revised?

I found the following text on a website that didn't seem to claim copyright protection:


R. I look from afar, and behold I see the Power of God, coming like as a cloud to cover the land with the hosts of his People: * Go ye out to meet him and say: * Tell us if thou art he, * That shalt reign over God's people Israel.
V. All ye that dwell in the world, all ye children of men, high and low, rich and poor, one with another. Go ye out to meet him and say.
V. Hear, O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. Tell us if thou art he.
V. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in. That shalt reign over God's people Israel.
Glory be
R. I look from afar, and behold I see the Power of God, coming like as a cloud to cover the land with the hosts of his People: * Go ye out to meet him and say: * Tell us if thou art he, * That shalt reign over God's people Israel.


It's obviously unfashionbly archaic, and I question it's accuracy ("Lift up your heads. O ye gates" - ? - even my Latin is good enough to know that "portas" is not vocative!)

Any helpful suggestions (including of existing alternative settings) would be gratefully received.

Q

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keitha
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Re: Help please! - Advent Matins Responsory

Post by keitha » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:36 am

You might consider taking the responsory from the Office of Readings for Advent 1 and using it as set or adapting it:

"I have been watching from far away. I see the Lord coming in his might, and a cloud covering all the earth. Go out to meet him and say: Tell us, are you the One who is to come, who is to rule over the people of Israel?
Peoples of the earth, whoever you are, you sons of men, rich and poor alike, go out to meet him and say:
Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s flock, hear us. Tell us, are you the One who is to come?
O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the King of glory, who is to rule over the people of Israel.
I have been watching from far away. I see the Lord coming in his might, and a cloud covering all the earth. Go out to meet him and say: Tell us, are you the One who is to come, who is to rule over the people of Israel?"
Keith Ainsworth

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Re: Help please! - Advent Matins Responsory

Post by quaeritor » Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:25 pm

Thanks for the help, Kietha. I'm taking it that the "Office of Readings" is "the book formerly known as Breviary" and is the ultimate source book for this text. Is the translation you give that of 1972 (if I have that right), or is there a more recent one?

I notice that it still has the gates lifting up their heads, and I persist (pace Handel) in the belief that it is the heads (chiefs/princes/town councillors/locally elected mayors or what you will) who are exhorted to lift up or throw open (tollite) the gates - (a little knowledge is ever a dangerous thing!) but I have found a link ( http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~renw ... um-B-1.pdf ) to the Sarum Breviary, in which I find the Latin text complete of course with rubrics. There, regardless of any translation I find that the offending verse is not present (as indeed is the case in the Rutter/Wilcox setting) so I will stick to that tradition and omit it.

Thanks again.

Q

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Re: Help please! - Advent Matins Responsory

Post by quaeritor » Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:28 pm

. . . and regarding the link, I should have said - at page 47 as printed, which is page 49 (from memory) of the pdf.

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Re: Help please! - Advent Matins Responsory

Post by mcb » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:05 pm

quaeritor wrote:It's obviously unfashionbly archaic, and I question it's accuracy ("Lift up your heads. O ye gates" - ? - even my Latin is good enough to know that "portas" is not vocative!)

Different versions of the Bible have Lift up your heads, O ye gates or Lift up your gates, O ye princes. The former is a direct translation of the Hebrew, the latter a translation via the Vulgate and/or Septuagint, which (I read somewhere) mistranslated the Hebrew in the first place. Portas comes from the Vulgate.

quaeritor wrote:I'm taking it that the "Office of Readings" is "the book formerly known as Breviary"

It's one of the services in the Liturgy of the Hours (= Divine Office = stuff contained in the Breviary). It's the modern descendant of Matins, but (if memory serves) it's no longer tied to a particular time of day. The one time we've celebrated it in my neck of the woods was at Christmas Midnight Mass, where it's the prescribed way of making the Mass into a Vigil, a bit like the Easter Vigil. Since that experiment, we've gone down the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy route, of creating our own vigil using songs and readings, rather than sticking to the letter of the Office of Readings.

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