Looking at the full moon recently reminded me of a blog entry that I started almost a year ago, and then left unpublished when I had to turn my attention elsewhere. It was about a piece, “Jubilemus omnes,” which the Compline Choir sang last year for the annual “O Antiphon” service sung by the Compline Choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir on the first Sunday of Advent. When I saw the bright October moon in the misty chill of the night the words of Thomas Merton’s translation of the 11th-century poem came back to me: “the moon, the grace of night, and all things shining.”
The piece is the second of a pair of pieces written by Peter Hallock for the Compline Choir, accompanied by five cellos – a very rich and wonderful texture (the other piece is a setting of “The Dawning,” by the seventeenth-century metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan). I particularly love Hallock’s word-painting of such things as “showers of rain” (Latin pluvia) with the appropriate melancholy that is immediately understood by anyone who has lived in Seattle.
The following excerpt is from the Compline podcast for December 2, 2012. Enjoy this wonderful composition.
|Jubilemus omnes una Deo nostro qui creavit Omnia.
Per quem condita sunt saecula;
Coelum quod plurima luce coruscat, et diversa sidera;
Sol mundi schema, noctium decus luna, cunctaque splendentia,
Mare, solum, alta, plana et profunda flumina;
Aeris ampla spatia: quae discurrent aves, venti atque pluvia.
Haec simul cuncta tibi soli Deo Patri militant,
Nunc et in aevum, sine fine, per saecula:
Laus eorum tua Gloria:
Qui pro salute nostra Prolem unicam,
Pati in terra misisti sine culpa, sed ob nostra delicta.
Te, sancta Trinitas, precamur ut corpora nostra et corda regas et protegas et donas peccatorum veniam. Amen.(11th century, French-Roman Missal)
|Let us sing together to our God, Who made all things,
And who created time.
Who made the sky, and filled it with light, and with the different stars –
Who made the sun, for the world’s finery: the moon, the grace of night, and all things shining:
The sea, the land, the highlands, and the level places, and the deep rivers:
The air, whose open distances birds, in their flights, and winds traverse, and showers of rain.
O all these things together, God, our Father, are marshaled under Thy command:
Now and forever, and never an end to their service, world without end!
Their praise is Thy glory.
Who, for our salvation,
Didst send to earth, to suffer, guiltless, for our sins, Thine only Son.
Thee, Holy Trinity, we pray to rule and guard our souls and bodies
And grant us pardon for our sins. Amen.
(translation by Thomas Merton, c1968 by the Abbey of Gethsemani Inc.)