Veni, Creator Spiritus

“Veni Creator Spiritus” is one of the most widely used hymns in the Church, attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is chanted at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Ghost is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost. Veni, Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita, imple superna gratia quae tu creasti pectora. O Come, Creator Spirit, come; The souls which are Thine own invade; And with supernal grace inflame[…]

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Latin Hym Panis Angelicus: The Bread of Angels

Panis Angelicus: The Bread of Angels

“Panis Angelicus” comes from the last two stanzas of the hymn “Sacris solemniis” composed by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi and of the Votive Office of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The hymn expresses the doctrine that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. In the Roman Catholic tradition the concept of transubstantiation is presented as an explanation of how this change happens. It directs us to contemplate the great mystery of becoming one with Jesus Himself whenever we receive Him. God Himself becomes our nourishment. It then proceeds to ask[…]

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Improperia “Popule meus, quid feci tibi?”

Improperia “Popule meus, quid feci tibi?”

The Improperia are the reproaches which in the liturgy of the Office of Good Friday the Saviour is made to utter against the Jews, who, in requital for all the Divine favours and particularly for the delivery from the bondage of Egypt and safe conduct into the Promised Land, inflicted on Him the ignominies of the Passion and a cruel death. It is during the Adoration of the Cross that these touching remonstrances are rendered by the choir. In all they consist of three distinct parts. Of these the third — composed of the antiphon “Crucem tuam adoramus”, the first[…]

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Filiae maestae Jerusalem by Antonio Vivaldi

«Filiæ mæstæ Jerusalem», RV 638 by Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)

“And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in[…]

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Regina Cæli or Regina Cœli Queen of Heaven

♕ Regina Cæli: Easter Anthem and Prayer

“There is a venerable tradition connected with this joyous anthem.  It is related that a fearful pestilence raged in Rome, during one of the Easters of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great.  In order to propitiate the anger of God, the holy Pope prescribed a public procession of both people and clergy, in which was to be carried the portrait of our blessed Lady painted by St. Luke.  The procession was advancing in the direction of St. Peter’s; and as the holy picture, followed by the Pontiff, was carried along, the atmosphere became pure and free from pestilence.  Having[…]

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Song of Zechariah

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel (Canticle of Zachary)

The Benedictus is the Song of Zechariah, or Canticle of Zachary, given in the Gospel of Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three canticles in the opening chapters of this Gospel, the other two being the “Magnificat” and the “Nunc dimittis”. The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah who was filled with the Holy Spirit, on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Benedictus is part of The Divine Office, that takes place in the early morning hours. The canticle received its name from its first words in[…]

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Dies Irae

Dies Irae (The Day of Wrath)

The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of all nations. It will take place after the resurrection of the dead and the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 20:12–15). The doctrine, iconographic depiction and musical compositions of the “Last Judgment” are drawn from many passages from the apocalyptic sections of the Bible, but most notably from Jesus’ teaching of the strait gate in the Gospel of Matthew and also found in the Gospel of Luke. Dies Irae (The Day of Wrath)[…]

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Ave Regina Caelorum - Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Ave Regina Cælorum – Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Herman Contractus (1013 – 1054) – an 11th-century Benedictine monk and scholar – has been traditionally credited with the composition of several popular Marian antiphons, including Ave Regina Cælorum. The hymn praises Our Lady, acknowledging her Queenship over heaven and angels, and extolling her unparalleled beauty and favor with God. It also acknowledges her as the mediator between men and Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it asks her to pray for us to Our Lord. “Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata! Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.” “Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin. Give me strength against[…]

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Resurrection of Christ

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Victimae Paschali Laudes is one of the medieval sequences that were preserved in the Missale Romanum published in 1570 after the Council of Trent (1545-1563), this poetic liturgical hymn continues to be sung at the Tridentine Mass on Easter Sunday and through its Octave. The Easter sequence, attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (✞ 1048). This ancient chant tells the story of death and life locked in a struggle, wherein Christ, the Paschal victim, victorious over death, reconciles us to the Father. It tells the story of Mary Magdalene, who upon finding the empty tomb of the risen Christ and of finding the[…]

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Litany of Saints

Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of the Saints

A The Litany of the Saints (Litaniae Sanctorum) is a traditional chant in the Catholic Church that praises God and his saints. Its first recorded use was in 590 when Pope St. Gregory prescribed its usage for a public procession of thanksgiving. The Litany is a call to remember those who have gone before us and to ask their intercession. The form given below is a long standing traditional form of the Litany Saints published in the Roman Ritual, Latin-English edition in 1952. A partial indulgence is attached to the Litany of the Saints. Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of[…]

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Mater Dolorosa

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time.  It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of Our Lord’s mother, Mary (Lk2:35). The hymn title means “‘Stood the mother, full of grief’.”  In Latin, the hymn consists of twenty couplets which describe the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin at the Cross.  The Stabat Mater’s popularity is reflected by its use in the popular devotion of the Stations of the Cross. The message of the Stabat Mater focuses on the spiritual and emotional bond which unites Mary and all[…]

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Te Deum laudamus Hymn

Te Deum laudamus

Te Deum laudamus, ( Latin: “God, We Praise You”, ) is an Early Christian Hymn of praise. Traditionally ascribed to Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine. In the Roman Breviary it is entitled as “Hymnus SS. Ambrosii et Augustini”. In the traditional office, the Te Deum is sung at the end of Matins on all days when the Gloria is said at Mass; those days are all Sundays outside Advent, Septuagesima, Lent, and Passiontide; on all feasts (except the Triduum) and on all ferias during Eastertide. A plenary indulgence is granted, under the usual conditions, to those who recite it in[…]

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