Psallite sapienter - Sacred music


Civis Illustris
I didn't know that Latin is called "Latim" in Portuguese.

Lauda Sion Salvatorem is one of those chants with such a big tessitura (wide range of notes) that no matter what pitch you start at, the tenors and the basses cannot both sing all of the verses!
I don't know a single word of Portoguese, I look at the Latin subtitles :D.
Here we sing an abridged version of Lauda Sion (2.55 min):
Since it's quite easy, everybody can join in (also people who, like me, have the "tessitura" of a doorbell). The arrangement is of an Italian organist, Federico Caudana (1878-1963).


Civis Illustris
This is the best recording I can find.
This hymn is a translation into Latin of the German Counter-Reformation hymn "Unüberwindlich starker Held".
O Heros invincibilis, Dux Michaël,
Adesto nostri proeliis:
Ora pro nobis, pugna pro nobis, Dux Michaël.
Tu Noster dux militiae, Dux Michaël
Defensor es Ecclesiae:
Ora pro nobis, pugna pro nobis, Dux Michaël.
Per te, o heros belliger, Dux Michaël,
Prostratus jacet Lucifer:
Ora pro nobis, pugna pro nobis, Dux Michaël.
Ejectis procul hostibus, Dux Michaël,
Fer opem desperantibus:
Ora pro nobis, pugna pro nobis, Dux Michaël
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Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
This hymn is a translation into Latin of the German Counter-Reformation hymn "Unüberwindlich starker Held".
O Heros invincibilis, Dux Michaël,

I feel a little sorry for the singers, in such a cramped room, and especially for the conductor, who has hardly any space to wave his arms! (I wonder where the organ is located?)

Didn't know that St. Michael is the patron saint of Germany.


Civis Illustris
In the Battle of Lechfeld the Legio Regia was under the protection of Michael when they won so it became the Schutzpatron of the Holy Roman Empire. I don't think he is the patron of present-day Germany too. Although I think the Archangel is still venerated (Saint Michael's church in Hamburg is quite famous).

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
I know the video says it, but I'm not sure 100% about it (I'm not German). I googled "Patron of Germany" and it gives me another name I didn't know.
Ha! so did I! Or rather, I DuckDuckGoed* "patron saint of Germany", and found a number of sites claiming St. Boniface is the patron saint of Germany. Wikipedia claims here "The Archangel Michael ... is the patron saint of the German People, Germany itself has no patron saint" -- while in the same breath listing nine other patron saints of Germany, including Boniface!


Terry S.

Staff member
The protracted unification of Germany might have had something to do with it.

Etaoin Shrdlu

Probably. Who exactly decides who is the patron saint of a country? All this uncertainty would suggest that it's more tradition than a formal process.

For that matter, what does having a patron saint actually mean? It seems a bit crude to think of saints as Homeric gods, protecting their pet nations in the face of other saints who had their own, different favourites. But if they're not doing that, what exactly do they do for a member of a nation that has them as a patron saint that they wouldn't been doing for someone of a different nationality who prayed to them? And whatever it is they do, do they stop doing it when a nation changes their patron saint, as might have happened in parts of Germany?


Civis Illustris
Sometimes the Patron is the result of popular veneration, some other times he/she becomes a patron because he/she was born in a particular Place. E.G. Saint Francis is the Patron of Italy because his apparently naïve yet very insightful poem "Il Cantico delle Creature" is the first poem ever written in the Italian language (actually some might argue there had been other minor inscriptions before), therefore Pope Pio XII declared him "the most italian of all Saints" and Patron of Italy as a consequence.

The Germanic veneration of Saint Michael is explained here in detail.


Civis Illustris

Deus, creator omnium,
Polique rector vestiens
Diem decoro lumine
Noctem soporis gratia,

Artus solutos ut quies
Reddat laboris usui
Mentesque fessas allevet
Luctusque solvat anxios.

Grates peracto iam die
Et noctis exortu preces,
Voti reos ut adiuves,
Hymnum canentes solvimus

Te cordis ima concinant,
Te vox sonora concrepet,
Te diligat castus amor,
Te mens adoret sobria;

Ut, cum profunda clauserit
Diem caligo noctium,
Fides tenebras nesciat
Et nox fide reluceat.

Dormire mentem ne sinas,
Dormire culpa noverit;
Castos fides refrigerans
Somni vaporem temperet.

Exuta sensu lubrico
Te cordis alta somnient,
Nec hostis invidi dolo
Pavor quietos suscitet.

Christum rogemus et Patrem,
Christi Patrisque Spiritum;
Unum potens per omnia,
Fove precantes, Trinitas.

Deo Patri sit gloria
ejusque soli filio
cum spiritu paraclito
in sempiterna saecula

A musicologist keen on Ambrose (mons. Luciano Migliavacca) once said:
"Ambrose was the first pop songwriter in history"
In fact, the easy wording and metric that appeal to the populace as well as to the upper classes, along with the melodies make Ambrose a songwriter in his own right.


Civis Illustris
Jesu, decus angelicum,
in aure dulce canticum,
in ore mel mirificum,
in corde nectar caelicum.

Qui te gustant, esuriunt,
qui bibunt, adhuc sitiunt;
desiderare nesciunt,
nisi Iesum, quem diligunt

O Iesu mi dulcissime
spes suspirantis animae
Te quaerunt piae lacrimae
Te clamor mentis intimae

Mane nobiscum, Domine
et nos illustra lumine
Pulsa mentis caligine
Mundum reple dulcedine

Iesu, flos Matris Virginis
amor nostrae dulcedinis
Tibi laus, honor nominis
regnum beatitudinis

Hymnus a Bernardo Claraevallense scriptus. Fere numquam hic hymnus cantatur, sed censeo hic hymnus mirificus esse: ab ignavia mentem meam somnolentam excitat suaviter.

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
In principio erat Verbum. Josquin Des Prez (b. 1450-1455, d. 1521).
9 minutes.

In principio erat Verbum,
et Verbum erat apud Deum,
et Deus erat Verbum.
Hoc erat in principio apud Deum.
Omnia per ipsum facta sunt:
et sine ipso factum est nihil, quod factum est.
In ipso vita erat,
et vita erat lux hominum:
et lux in tenebris lucet,
et tenebræ eam non comprehenderunt.

Fuit homo missus a Deo,
cui nomen erat Joannes.
Hic venit in testimonium
ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine,
ut omnes crederent per illum.
Non erat ille lux,
sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine.

Erat lux vera,
quæ illuminat omnem hominem
venientem in hunc mundum.
In mundo erat,
et mundus per ipsum factus est,
et mundus eum non cognovit.
In propria venit,
et sui eum non receperunt.
Quotquot autem receperunt eum,
dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri,
his qui credunt in nomine ejus:
qui non ex sanguinibus,
neque ex voluntate carnis,
neque ex voluntate viri,
sed ex Deo nati sunt.

Et Verbum caro factum est,
et habitavit in nobis:
et vidimus gloriam ejus,
gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre
plenum gratiæ et veritatis.

(Io. 1:1-15)


Civis Illustris
An interesting composition, and I guess an interesting chant tradition, though so little is known about it since it has mostly vanished. I don't care much for this performance. though; the singer seems to hammer each note as though it were a tack, with no sense of flow.
It's difficult to find recordings at all of those chants. Over time a lot of traditions have been terminated.

Thank you for John's proemium. Catherine Emmerick foresaw a time of great tribulation when ceremonies would be shortened of that last part of capital importance... Looks like she prophesied correctly.
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