Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Magnificat

The Magnificat – Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Magnificat is a canticle, also known as the Song of Mary, the Canticle of Mary and, in the Byzantine tradition, the Ode of the Theotokos. The text of the canticle is taken directly from the Gospel of Luke (1:46–55) where it is spoken by Mary upon the occasion of her Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. An explanation of the Canticle Magnificat is given below from the “Devout instructions on the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays and holydays” by Leonard Goffiné (1648-1719). In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, and[…]

Posted on
Monstrance

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Hymns & Prayers

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament Benediction is a beautiful word. It means a blessing, a greeting, an expression of kindness and love. Benediction is also a beautiful church service in which the congregation is blessed with the Blessed Sacrament. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a liturgical rite that was once popular in the Latin Rite. Since the re-introduction of the Latin Rite Mass or the Roman Mass, popularly referred to as “The Traditional Latin Mass,”  Benediction has been making a comeback, which is a great blessing for souls and for the honour of Jesus Christ Who is Truly Present,[…]

Posted on
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[…]

Posted on
Icon of the Laudation of the Mother of God

Akathist Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ad maiorem Matris Gloriam – For the Greater Glory of the Mother The 6th century Marian devotion, attributed to St. Romanos the Melodist, is one of the greatest marvels of Greek religious poetry, with a richness of imagery that is the despair of any translator. The title “Akathistos” literally means “non-sitting,” because all remain standing while it is sung. When the enemies attacked Constantinople, the citizens would hold a cross procession on the city walls carrying the Christian sanctities and reading out the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God. The Akathist hymn was complemented by a new introduction in[…]

Posted on
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[…]

Posted on
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[…]

Posted on
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[…]

Posted on
Gregorian Requiem Chants of the Requiem Mass

Libera me, Domine, de morte æterna

Líbera me (“Deliver me”) is a Roman Catholic responsory that is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. The text of Libera me asks God to have mercy upon the deceased person at the Last Judgment. Libera me is begun by a cantor, who sings the versicles alone, and the responses are sung by the choir. The text is written in the first person singular, “Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that[…]

Posted on
Celestial Sphere Painting from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Gregorian Chant Hymns to the Holy Trinity

“All life begins in the Trinity, comes from the Trinity, and is destined to seek eternal rest in the Trinity. Even damned souls, by suffering punishment for having rejected love, finally do glorify God’s justice. The life of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, mystery of divine mysteries, is a mutual giving so complete that the Divine Persons do not exist except in relation to one another. The divine life They share with Christ’s members through Baptism is meant to be shared with all peoples through the apostolic zeal of Christians.”  ~ Traditional Latin Mass Missal. Raphael’s Exhortation (Tobit 12:6-8) Then he[…]

Posted on
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[…]

Posted on
Magnificat - The Canticle of Mary

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum

The Magnificat , the canticle of the Incarnation, recalls to us each day that God has stripped Himself of His glory to clothe Himself in the livery of poor and suffering humanity. “He raised [Mary] above all others because she declared herself to be the lowest of all creatures. When He made for Himself a dwelling place on earth, it was not in the palaces of kings. He chose poor, humble parents and all that the world disdained in order to cast down its pomp. This was the proper character of divine power in the new alliance: to make its[…]

Posted on
Sacris sollemniis Latin Hymn by St Thomas Aquinas

Sacris solemniis

“Sacris solemniis” is one of the five beautiful hymns St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) composed in honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at specific request of Pope Urban IV (1261-1264) when the Pope first established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. Today Sacris Solemniis is used as a hymn for the Office of the Readings for Corpus Christi. The last two stanzas are the text for the hymn Panis Angelicus. “Sacris solemniis” Latin and English Lyrics Sacris solemniisiuncta sint gaudia,et ex praecordiissonent praeconia;recedant vetera,nova sint omnia,corda, voces, et opera. At this our solemn feastlet holy joys abound,and from the[…]

Posted on