August 25, 2013
Welcome to RAnn’s Sunday meme which she hosts at This That and the Other Thing. Please join us and share some of your posts for the week.
My contribution is Sabbath Moments only, chiefly because I had other stuff going on and couldn’t make the time to write.
Our question for the week, put to us by RAnn, is to name our favorite hymn at Mass. This was difficult for me because, having grown up singing in the choir since first grade and now attending the Extraordinary Form, I have many traditional Gregorian chant hymns that I love, and each for its own reason. In addition, there are beautiful arrangements of Renaissance hymns by the composers who served as choral directors of the Sistine Chapel and wrote gorgeous polyphony, such as Palestrina. And then there are the great 19th century French composers who gave us hymns such as Frank’s Panis Angelicus.
Out of everything I love to hear is a hymn not sung enough. That is the very beautiful chant in honor of the Blessed Virgin, Salve Mater Misericordiae. Below the rendition here I am posting both the Latin and the English translation. Whenever I hear it I think of myself as a little child sitting on Mary’s lap, reaching up to caress her face. I’m sure all the mothers reading this know exactly what that feels like. How great it is that we can do it in song.
This particular recording is unusual in that it alternates between chant and harmony, rarely done with this hymn.
Salve Mater misericordiae, Mater Dei et Mater veniae, Mater spei et Mater gratiae, Mater plena Sanctae Letitiae,
Salve decus humani generis. Salve Virgo dignior ceteris, quae virgines omnes transgrederis et altius sedes in superis. O Maria!
Salve felix Virgo puerpera: Nam qui sedet in Patris dextera, Caelum regens, terram et aethera, Intra tua se clasit viscera. O Maria!
Esto, Mater, nostrum solatium: Nostrum esto, tu Virgo, guadium, et nos tandem post hoc exsilium, Laetos juge choris caelestium. O Maria!
Hail mother of mercy, mother of God and mother of pardon, mother of hope and mother of grace, mother full of holy gladness. O Mary!
Hail, honor of the mankind. Hail worthier Virgin than the other ones because you overcome all of them and in heaven you occupy the highest seat of honor. O Mary!
Hail Blest Virgin yet bearing child: For He who sits at the Father’s right hand, the ruler of heaven, of earth and sky, has sheltered Himself in your womb. O Mary!
Become, O mother, our solace: Be for us our source of joy, and at the last, after this exile, unite us rejoicing to the choir of angels. O Mary!
There are many more verses, all worthy of individual meditation. Once again I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am to be Catholic with this kind of heritage.
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