About Me

My photo
I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Lenten CD

For Lent, I made my mom a CD of songs appropriate for the season. Overachiever that I am (I know, I'm not one, but bear with me), I figured I would translate the Latin songs into English myself.

I'm stupid.

So I finally finished. Sheila read over them and offered her corrections. What follows are the finished translations for each song. Maybe if you're good, I'll include why I used those songs.

The CD is divided into two parts. The first, like the season of Lent, is meditative and penitential in nature. The songs deal with returning to God, and reforming our life. This is appropriate, as one of the main themes of Lent is repenting from our sins, seeking forgiveness. God calls us to return to Him, and these first songs will help us prayerfully do just that.

1. Ave Regina Caelorum

This Marian hymn is one of the four Marian Antiphons, which are sung during appropriate times during the year. It is traditionally sung from the Feast of the Presentation (February 2) through Holy Thursday. There have been many variations of the poem; the earliest known version is from the twelfth century.

Ave Regina Coelorum,
ave domina angelorum,
salve radix, salve porta!
Ex qua mundi Lux est orta :
Gaude Virgo Gloriosa, Super Omnes Speciosa:
Vale, o Valde decora, et pro nobis Christum exora.


Hail Queen of Heaven,
Hail Lady of Angels
Hail root, hail gate!
By whom the Light of the World was born.
Rejoice glorious Virgin, beyond all beauty:
Be strong, o greatly glorious one, and for us win over Christ.

2. Media Vita - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

This early medieval poem reflects on our mortality. The earliest form of the poem was falsly attributed to Blessed Notker the Stammerer. St. Thomas Aquinas was reportedly moved to tears when he listened to the song. For Catholics, it is one of the responses for Compline. It is also part of the Anglican burial service in the Book of Common Prayer.

Media vita in morte sumus: quem quaerimus adjutorem nisi te Domine?
Qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris.
Sancte Deus, sancte fortis, sancte misericors Salvator, amarae morti ne tradas nos.
In te speraverunt patres nostri, speraverunt et liberasti eos.
Sancte Deus, etc. . . .
Ad te clamaverunt patres nostri, clamaverunt et non sunt confusi.
Sancte Deus, etc. . . .
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Sancte Deus, etc. . . .


In the middle of life we are in death: who do we ask for aid, except you, Lord,
Who is justly enraged by our sins?
Holy God, holy strong one, holy merciful Savior, do not hand us over to bitter death.
In you our fathers trusted, they trusted and were freed.
Holy God, etc. . . .
To you our fathers shouted, they shouted and were not dismayed.
Holy God, etc. . . .
Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Holy God, etc. . . .

3. Psalm 51 (God is Kind and Merciful) – Fr. Stan Fortuna 4. Miserere - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

Both songs are based on Psalm 50/51, one of the penitential psalms written by King David (see 2 Sam. 11-12). The first track, performed by Fr. Stan Fortuna, contains the full psalm. The second is by an Italian composer Gregorio Allegri, who composed the piece for Pope Urban VIII around 1630. The Christendom College Choir recording, which is the one on this CD, does not have the entire psalm, so I will only translate the verses included on the track.

R. Miserere Domine, quia peccavimus
Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci:
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.


R. Have mercy, Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, God: according to your great mercy.
And according to your many mercies, wipe out my iniquities
Wash me abundantly from my iniquity: and cleanse me of my sins.
Since I see my sins before me; and my sins are always against me.
Against you alone have I sinned, and before you have I done evil.
Create in me a clean heart, God: and restore a proper spirit in my heart.
Do not abandon me from your face: and do not withdraw your holy spirit from me
Return to me the joy of your salvation: and confirm me by your chief spirit.
Lord, open my lips: and my mouth will announce your glory.

5. Audi Benigne Conditor - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

The history behind this hymn is worth noting. The hymn, attributed to Pope Gregory the Great, is a Lenten meditation written for the Roman Breviary, its lyrics recalling the fasts and penances observed during Lent. There are two versions of this hymn: the one completely written by Pope Gregory and an almost identical version with a few changes made by Pope Urban VIII in 1632. These changes were not embraced by the Church then or now (most religious orders rejected the changes, as did the Vatican choirmasters). The version on this CD is the Gregory the Great version.

Audi, benigne Conditor,
Nostras preces cum fletibus,
sacrata in abstinentia
Fusas quadragenario.

Scrutator alme cordium,
Infirma tu scis virium:
Ad te reversis exhibe
Remissionis gratiam.

Multum quidem peccavimus,
Sed parce confitentibus:
Tuique laude nominis
Confer medelam languidis.

Sic corpus extra conteri
dona per abstinentiam,
ieiunet ut mens sobria
a labe prorsus criminum

Praesta beata Trinitas,
Concede simplex Unitas:
Ut fructuosa sint tuis
Jejuniorum munera.


Listen, kind Creator,
To our prayers amid weeping,
Spread out among
Forty days of holy fasting
Kind searcher of hearts,
You know our feeble power:
Returning to you produces
The favor of forgiveness.

Indeed we sinned plenty,
But rarely so admitting:
And you condense out sluggish praise
With your name of healing.
As the body thus is crushed outside
By the gift of fasting,
So that the sober mind fasts
From the stain of sin coming

Prevail O blessed Trinity,
Pardon O simple Unity:
So that your gift of fasting
May be in fruit abounding

6. Vesper Bell - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

The Vesper Bell tells those in a religious community that it is time for Vespers, or Evening Prayer. For this CD, it signals the transition from the general Lenten songs to the ones dealing with the events of the Passion. The bells signal the coming evening, both terrestrially and spiritually. Darkness falls upon us.

7. By My Side – Godspell

Although the events in this song predate the Last Supper, they serve as a fitting prologue to the Passion. The song comes from the 1970 musical Godspell. The song “By My Side” follows the forgiveness of the adulterous woman, who then beseeches Jesus to stay with her, to help her. The song also mentions how Judas agreed to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, thus setting the events of the Passion in motion.

Where are you going?
Where are you going?
Can you take me with you?
For my hand is cold
And needs warmth
Where are you going?

Far beyond where the horizon lies
Where the horizon lies
And the land sinks into mellow blueness
Oh please, take me with you

Let me skip the road with you
I can dare myself
I can dare myself
I'll put a pebble in my shoe
And watch me walk (watch me walk)
I can walk and walk!
(I can walk!)

I shall call the pebble Dare
I shall call the pebble Dare
We will talk, we will talk together
We will talk (chorus) about walking
Dare shall be carried
And when we both have had enough
I will take him from my shoe, singing:
"Meet your new road!"
Then I'll take your hand
Finally glad
Finally glad
That you are here
By my side

By my side
By my side
By my side

(Spoken- Judas)
Then the man they called Judas Iscariot
Went to the chief priests, and said
"What will you give me to betray Him to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver.
And from that moment, he began to look out for an opportunity
To betray Him.
By my side. . .

8. Meditabor - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

This piece, composed by Franz Xaver Witt in the 1800s, is based on Psalm 119:47-48. It is traditionally the Offertory Psalm for the Second Sunday in Lent. It recalls the Israelites’ obedience to God’s commands throughout their history, particularly in observing the Passover meal. Christ embodies this obedience.

Meditabor in mandatis tuis, quae dilexi valde:
et levabo manus meas ad mandata tua, quae dilexi.


I will meditate upon your commands, which I have loved so dearly:
And I will raise my hands at your command, which I have loved.

9. O Salutaris Hostia/Tantum Ergo - Daughters of St. Paul 10. Panis Angelicus - Andrea Bocelli

11. Pange Lingua Gloriosi - Voice Trek 12. Tantum Ergo - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

13. Panis Angelicus - The Priests

These songs meditate on the highlight of the Last Supper: the Holy Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote these hymns in 1264 at the request of Pope Urban IV for the newly instituted Feast of Corpus Christi.

“O Salutaris Hostia” is actually the last two verses of a longer piece, “Verbum Supernum Prodiens,” which St. Thomas Aquinas wrote for use in the Breviary on the Feast of Corpus Christi. Today it is sung during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

O salutaris hostia,
Quæ cæli pandis ostium,
Bella premunt hostilia;
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria:
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.

O saving sacrifice,
Who opened up Heaven’s gate,
the hostile war overwhelms us;
Give us strength, bring us aid.

To the Lord, unity and Trinity,
Is perpetual glory:
He who grants in the Father’s land
Life without any end.

“Tantum Ergo” is the last to stanzas of “Pange Lingua Gloriosi,” which is the sequence for Corpus Christi. “Pange Lingua” is also sung during Mass on Holy Thursday, frequently when the Blessed Sacrament is processed throughout the church. “Tantum Ergo” is sung at the close of Eucharistic exposition, during Benediction.

Pange lingua gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi,
Rex effudit gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex intacta Virgine
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus
Miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte coenae
Recumbens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae
Se dat suis manibus

Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.


Compose, tongue, the mystery
of the glorious Body,
And the precious Blood,
Which the People’s King,
Fruit of a noble womb,
Shed for the world’s ransom,

For us given, for us born
Of the untouched Virgin,
And in the world living,
The word’s seed strewing,
He finished his stay then
With a series of strange acts.

On the night of that last supper
reclining at table with the brethren
and having heeded the laws closely
concerning the meal’s legality,
He gave food to the crowd
Of twelve from his own hands.

Word of flesh,
by word truly makes bread flesh;
and makes wine the blood of Christ,
and if the senses fail,
to strengthen the pure heart
Alone faith suffices

Therefore so great a Sacrament
We would worship prostrate:
and ancient instruction
yields to new rituals.
The supply of faith surpasses
The sense’s imperfection.

To the Father, and the Begotten One,
Praise and jubilation,
health, honor, virtue
and also benediction:
To He that is from both proceeding
Is of equal commendation.

“Panis Angelicus” is the last two verses of the “Sacris Solemniis,” a longer piece which today is sung in the Breviary for the Feast of Corpus Christi. It reflects upon the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum

Pauper, Pauper
servus et humilis.
Pauper, Pauper
servus et humilis.


Bread of angels
Becomes the bread of man;
The heavenly bread gives
The figures an end:
O Wonderful event!
Eat the Lord

Poor man, Poor man,
Slave and humble.
Poor man, Poor man,
Slave and humble.

Our Lord moves with his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. There He prays for the strength to endure the coming trial, for courage and strength for his disciples, and for us, those who would come after Him, for whom he would suffer.

14. O Death - Ralph Stanley

This Southern spiritual comes from the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. The song is a dialogue between a reluctant soul and the Grim Reaper. It is a similar situation, although not identical, to that which faces Christ in the Garden, with His plea of “Let this cup pass before me” bearing a striking resemblance to our own views of suffering. However, unlike the man in “O Death,” Christ accepts his death, a horrible one at that, as God wills it.

R. O, Death
O, Death
Won't you spare me over til another year?

Well what is this that I can't see,
With ice cold hands takin' hold of me?
Well I am death, none can excel,
I'll open the door to heaven or hell.
Whoa, death someone would pray,
Could you wait to call me another day.
The children prayed, the preacher preached;
Time and mercy is out of your reach.
I'll fix your feet til you can’t walk.
I'll lock your jaw til you can’t talk.
I'll close your eyes so you can't see
This very air, come and go with me.
I'm death I come to take the soul,
Leave the body and leave it cold
To draw up the flesh off of the frame,
Dirt and worm both have a claim.”
My mother came to my bed,
Placed a cold towel upon my head.
My head is warm my feet are cold,
Death is a-movin upon my soul.
“Oh, death how you're treatin' me
You've close my eyes so I can't see.
Well you're hurtin' my body,
You make me cold.
You run my life right outta my soul.
Oh death please consider my age,
Please don't take me at this stage.
My wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand.
Oh the young, the rich or poor
Hunger like me you know,
No wealth, no ruin, no silver no gold,
Nothing satisfies me but your soul.

15. Pie Jesu - The Priests

“Pie Jesu” is the last two stanzas of “Dies Irae” (“Day of Wrath”), one of the traditional requiem songs. Several Requiem Masses have come down through the centuries, but this “Pie Jesu,” composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber in memory of his late father, might just be the most famous version of this song.

An angel has come to help Christ in the Garden. To help their Lord, an angelic choir appears and pleads for forgiveness for humanity. We too join in their prayer.

Pie Jesu,
Tender Jesus,
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei,
Qui tollis peccata mundi,

Dona eis requiem


Who takes away the sins of the world
Grant them rest.
Who takes away the sins of the world
Lamb of God,

Grant them rest

16. Christus Factus Est - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

A cohort of guards arrests Jesus in the garden, and they take Him to Caiphas. In such a state, Christ still obeys His Father. We meditate on the beautiful words of St. Paul (Phil. 2:8-9), a hymn used as the gradual for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14). This setting was composed by Felice Anerio.

Christus factus est pro nobis obediens
usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis.
Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum et dedit illi nomen,
quod est super omne nomen.


Christ became for us obedient
To the point of death, even death on a cross.
Because of this God also exalted him and gave him a name,
Which is above every name.

17. O Sacred Head Surrounded – Tatiana

The pain of the Passion is captured well by this ancient hymn. The original was composed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux; the translation sung on this CD is by Henry W. Baker (verse 1) and Owen Alstott (verse 2).

O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
No comeliness or beauty
Thy wounded face betrays
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

O Love, all love transcending
O Wisdom from on high!
O Truth unchanged unchanging
Surrendered up to die!
Was e’er a love so wondrous!
That from His heavenly throne
God should descend among us
To suffer for His own.

18. Improperium - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

This comes from Psalm 69:19-21. The words of the Psalmist reflect Christ’s inner thoughts during His Passion, as if scripted for a Passion Play which is all too real.

Improperium exspectavit cor meum, et miseriam:
et sustinui, qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit:
consolantem me quaesivi, et non inveni:
et dederunt in escam meam fel,
et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto,
potaverunt me aceto.


My heart expected reproach, and misery:
And I hoped for one to grieve with me, but there was none:
I searched for consoling, and found it not:
And they gave me gall in my food,
And in my thirst they soaked up vinegar for me,
They soaked up vinegar for me.

19. Crucifixus - J. S. Bach

The words of this piece are from the Creed, here set to music composed by Bach. It is part of the much larger work Mass in B Minor. These lines discuss the crucifixion of Jesus.

Crucifíxus étiam pro nobis sub Póntio Piláto,
passus et sepúltus est


[He] Was crucified for us under Pontus Pilate,
Suffered and was buried.

20. The Waltz of the Sorrowful Mysteries - L’Angelus

The somberness of this piece evokes the equally somberness of the Cross. The lyrics are the “Hail Mary” in French, which call to mind how the Blessed Mother suffered with Christ through the Passion. Note: I did not translate the French.

Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grâce.
Le Seigneur est avec vous.
Vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes,
et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni.
Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu,
Priez pour nous, pauvres pécheurs,
maintenant et à l'heure de notre mort.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and at
the hour of our death.

21. The Hand Song - Nickel Creek

While not strictly religious, this song references a child reading the Passion account, and reflects that his wounds in his hands reflect the wounds of Christ, who showed “his love, and that’s how he hurt his hands.”

The boy only wanting to give mother something,
And all of her roses had bloomed.
Looking at him as he came rushing in,
knowing her roses were doomed.
All she could see were some thorns buried deep,
And tears that he cried as she tended his wounds.
And she knew it was love, it was what she could understand.
He was showing his love and that's how he hurt his hands.

He still remembers that night as a child, on his mothers knee.
She held him close and she opened her Bible, and quietly started to read.
Then seeing a picture of Jesus, he cried out:
"Mama he's got some scars just like me!"
And he knew it was love, it was what he could understand.
He was showing his love, and that's how he hurt his hands.

Now the boy is grown and moved out on his own.
When Uncle Sam comes along.
A foreign affair, but our young men are there.
And luck had his number drawn.
It wasn't that long till our hero was gone,
he gave to a friend what he learned from the cross.
But they knew it was love, it one they could understand.
He was showing his love, and that's how he hurt his hands.

22. Stabat iuxta Christi crucem - Anonymous 4

I could not find the lyrics to this song. It comes from Medieval England, around the 13th century, and there is a more widely known Middle English interpretation of it, “Stond wel, moder, vnder rode” (“Stand kindly, [his] mother, under the rood”). The song is a dialogue between Mary and Jesus.

23. Tenebrae Factae Sunt - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

We have reached the end of Christ’s life. He hangs on the cross now, and expires for us. This song, used during the traditional Lenten service known as a “Tenebrae,” recalls the final moments of Christ’s life.

Tenebrae factae sunt, dum crucifixissent Jesum Judaei:
et circa horam nonam exclamavit Jesus voce magna:
Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti?
R. Et inclinato capite, emisit spiritum.

Exclamans Jesus voce magna ait:
Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.


It became dark, while the Jews crucified Jesus:
And around the ninth hour Jesus shouted in a loud voice:
My God, why have you abandoned me?
R. And inclining his head, he sent out his spirit.

Exclaiming in a loud voice Jesus said:
Father, into you hands I commend my spirit

24. Pie Jesu - Hayley Westenra

Christ has died, and now the few brave faithful cluster at His feet. Someone remove the lifeless corpse, handing it to Mary, who cradles her son in her arms. The faint voices of “Pie Jesu” here again are the souls longing for Christ, as if the women at the foot of the Cross pray these holy words.

25. Vexilla Regis - The Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

The original of this hymn was written by Venantius Fortunatus in the late 6th century to honor of the arrival of a relic from the True Cross to a convent in Poitiers, France. In this version, using only three of the ten verses, only the first verse is genuinely Fortunatus; the latter two verse were composed by a later poet. The hymn was meant to be sung during a procession of the relics, and thus it brings to mind that first holy procession of the Christian faithful who brought Christ’s body to the tomb. The song appropriately meditates on the sufferings of Christ and the glory those sufferings produced.

Vexilla regis prodeunt
Fulget crucis mysterium
Quo carne carnis conditor
Suspensus est patibulo.

O Crux ave, spes unica,
hoc Passionis tempore!
piis adauge gratiam,
reisque dele crimina.

Te, fons salutis Trinitas,
collaudet omnis spiritus:
quos per Crucis mysterium
salvas, fove per saecula. Amen


The banners of the king go forth
Shining forth the mystery of the cross,
As flesh the creator of the flesh
Is suspended on the gibbet.

Hail O Cross, hope alone,
Of this Passion time!
Increase the tender graces,
And nullify the guilt of our crime

You, Trinity spring of health,
All spirit praises:
Who through the mystery of the Cross
Are saved, favored through eternity. Amen

26. Victimae paschali laudes - The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos

This Sequence is attributed to Wipo, the chaplain to Holy Roman Emperors Conrad II and Henry III. It is the Easter Sequence, which reflects on the sacrifice of Christ for our salvation.

Victimae paschali laudes
Immolent Christiani
Agnus redemit oves;
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello
Conflixere mirando;
Dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria
Quid vidisti in via?
“Et gloriam vidi resurgentis,
Angelicos testes,
Sudarium et vestes;
Surrexit Christus spes mea;
Praecedet vos in Galilaeam.”

Scimus Chrustum Surrexisse
A mortuis vere;
Tu nobis, victor Rex,
Miserere. Amen


Let Christians offer praise
For the paschal victim,
The lamb atoning for the sheep;
Christ the innocent to the Father
Reconciled the sinners.
The duel of death and life
To fight amazing;
The once dead, now living, commander of life reigns.

Tell us Mary
What you saw on the way?
I saw glory reviving,
The Angels’ witness,
The napkin and robes;
Christ my hope rose up;
He will precede you into Galilee.”

We know Christ truly rose
From the dead;
Triumphant King,
Have mercy us. Amen.