March 1, 2015

Miserere Mei, Deus

David with Harp from the Paris Psalter, 10th century - Wikipedia

Miserere Mei, Deus (Have mercy on me, O God) is one of the seven Penitential Psalms. It is the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 50 (51), a song of repentance composed by King David after the prophet Nathan had confronted David with his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband (Uriah the Hittite), which David had arranged. In the 1630's the Italian composer, Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652) wrote what is by far the most well known setting of Psalm 50 (51): The Miserere. It was composed for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins, as part of the Tenebrae service on Holy Wednesday, and Good Friday of Holy Week.

MISERERE MEI, DEUS (from the Latin Vulgate Bible)

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:
ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum:
et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti:
incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
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.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae:
et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies:
et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique:
holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus:
cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion:
ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes,
et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

HAVE MERCY UPON ME, O GOD (from the Douay-Rheims Bible)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity.
Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.
To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee:
that thou mayst be justified in thy words
and mayst overcome when thou art judged.
For behold I was conceived in iniquities;
and in sins did my mother conceive me.
For behold thou hast loved truth:
the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom
thou hast made manifest to me.
Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed:
thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness:
and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.
Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create a clean heart in me, O God:
and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation,
and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.
I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation:
and my tongue shall extol thy justice.
O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise.
For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it:
with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted.
A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit:
a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion;
that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice,
oblations and whole burnt offerings:
then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.

January 25, 2015

Canticles: Benedictus (Canticle of Zechariah)

Medieval Fresco of Zechariah with John the Baptist - Wikipedia

The Benedictus is the Canticle of Zechariah from Luke 1:68-79.  It takes it's title from the opening line of the Latin Vulgate translation by St. Jerome: "Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel" (Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel).  A popular passage since ancient times in the Church, it is believed to have been first introduced into daily prayer by St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-543 or 547). In the Roman Breviary it is sung at Lauds (Morning Prayer).

Latin (begins at 2:00 min.)


Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel;
quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebi suae

Et erexit cornu salutis nobis,
in domo David pueri sui,

Sicut locutus est per os sanctorum,
qui a saeculo sunt, prophetarum eius,

Salutem ex inimicis nostris,
et de manu omnium, qui oderunt nos;

Ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris,
et memorari testamenti sui sancti,

Iusiurandum, quod iuravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum,
daturum se nobis,

Ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum liberati,
serviamus illi

In sanctitate et iustitia coram ipso
omnibus diebus nostris.

Et tu, puer, propheta Altissimi vocaberis:
praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias eius,

Ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi eius
in remissionem peccatorum eorum,

Per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri,
in quibus visitabit nos oriens ex alto,

Illuminare his, qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent,
ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.



Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel,
because He has visited us and wrought redemption for His people.

And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the House of David, His servant.

As He hath promised through the mouths of His holy ones,
the prophets of old:

Salvation from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us.

To show mercy to our forefathers
and to be mindful of His holy covenant:

The oath, which He swore to Abraham, our father,
that He would grant us,

That being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
we may serve Him without fear.

In holiness and justice before Him
all our days.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High;
for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,

To give knowledge of salvation to His people
through forgiveness of their sins.

Because of the compassionate kindness of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us

To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet in the way of peace.