"Sing to the Lord, Sing ". the hymn Comment “Christ Redeemer”

- the angle of historical memory -

"Sing praises to the LORD, Sing ". COMMENT innova: CHRIST, redemption

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Some time ago I read an introduction to The book of God's works in santa Ildegarda in Bingen. Among the various statements, I was struck by these words: "Once destroyed in a few years the secular heritage of the Latin liturgy, as if all the cathedrals of Europe had been razed to the ground ". Marked internally from this, I thought I could make a small contribution to keep alive a few fragments of the immense wealth in Latin liturgical, some small nursery in the great devastation of what was once lush forest.

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Author
Paolo Milani

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In this article, which it is the first of a series, I add my general intention. Some time ago I read an essay by Marta Christians introduction to The book of God's works in santa Ildegarda in Bingen. Among the various statements, I was struck by these words: "Once destroyed in a few years the secular heritage of the Latin liturgy, as if all the cathedrals of Europe had been razed to the ground …». Thus, inwardly marked by this image, I thought I could make a small contribution to keep alive a few fragments of the immense wealth in Latin liturgical; preserve and cultivate some small plant, some small nursery in the great devastation of what was once lush forest. In ciò sono stato spinto a alcuni motivi: anzitutto l’amore per la lingua latina, for her beauty, its outstanding synthetic capacity, its being the bearer of a cultural heritage hardly definable. Following: la passione per la storia, for all that our ancestors have developed and have handed; a legacy that must be continually enriched, not impoverished. At last: la fedeltà alle indicazioni del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II, which involve me particularly as priest, ie belonging to the clerics, when expressed: «According honored tradition rite, The language in the divine office clerks kept » [The Council, n. 101: Trad.. It. "According to the old tradition of the Latin rite, to be retained by clerics in the divine office the Latin language ". full text, WHO]. Tre spunti, three ideas, for a small sign: the comment to some Latin hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours.

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Paolo Milani, among the Fathers de The island of Patmos è l’attento storico e il profondo latinista

The anthem Christ, save us all It is sung at Vespers during Christmastide, until the Epiphany excluded. The text probably dates from the sixth century, the author remains unknown. The meter is iambic dimeter: ˘ˉ˘ˉ|˘ˉ˘ˉ.

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Christ, save us all,

from Father, uniquely,

Only the beginning

worlds,

you lumen, Splendor,

You endless Hope,

aid, which they offer up the prayers of the

you for orbem sérvuli.

salvation by, proofed

saw that our men had once been of the body,,

of a Virgin undefiled

being born, form súmpseris.

Testifies the present day,

Running through the circle,

and from the seat of

salvation ';

this heaven, terra, this sea,

, and all that is in them,,

Author's coming?

praise greet.

we are, who, by Thy

Blood redeemed,

ob diem NATALE tui

new hymn.

Jesus, to be delivered,

He was born of the Virgin,

with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

Quis est. Amen.

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For each verse It follows a purely cognitive translation, without any metric or rhythmic value, and followed a spiritual commentary that is based on linguistic and historical elements.

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Christ, save us all,

from Father, uniquely,

Only the beginning

worlds

[The Christ, Redeemer of all,

Single Father,

the only begotten of the Father before the beginning,

in inexpressible way]

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The hymn is addressed to Jesus Christ, with a link between the first and the last verse, through two vocatives: Christ It is the first word of the first verse, Jesus It is the first word of the last verse.

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The beginning of the poem It stresses firstly the mystery of the eternal generation of the Word, before the creation, before beginning. The movement of this first verse brings us to the heart of the Gospel, through the Johannine Prologue: In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God;, and the Word [GV 1,1]. This verse of the hymn becomes almost a poetic transposition of the wonderful truths of the faith of the Son's Divinity, solemnly proclaimed by the Council of Nicaea, through the Niceno Symbol, approved the 19 June 325 (later refined in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan): we […] And in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, it was born of the Father, only begotten son,, this substance, God from God, the light from the light of, True God from true God, however,, born, it is not, one being with the Father [We believe […] And in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, only begotten born of the Father, This is the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, True God from true God, born, not created, the unique substance with the Father]. The link between the eternity of the Word, His Incarnation and the Redemption which he accomplished, It is highlighted with the engraved save us all - Redeemer of all - which proclaims the universality of salvation.

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The truth of the twofold nativity of the Word, a first time and the second in history, It is beautifully proclaimed in the Second Council of Chalcedon in the year 553, in the same century in which it was probably composed the anthem. Recite the Council of Chalcedon:

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If one does not acknowledge that the Word has two nativities, The first Father before the world without any time and without body, the other hand, in these last days of the, that comes down, And about the glorious power of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Born from the, anathema [If anyone does not confess that there are two births of God's Word, one before the ages from the Father, Timeless and incorporalmente, the other in these our last days, when he came down from heaven and incarnated in the glorious holy Genitrice and Ever-Virgin Mary, born from it, let him be anathema. Canon (II)].

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The deep mystery of divine generation ahead of time is then made with the sweet adverb of manner ineffabíliter, ineffably, namely in a manner not humanly expressible, with which closes the first verse.

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you lumen, Splendor,

You endless Hope,

aid, which they offer up the prayers of the

you for orbem sérvuli

[you world, You splendor of the Father,

perennial hope you all, hears prayers

your servants effondono for orb]

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The second verse It acts as a liaison between the height of the gods and the fragility of the human condition, you will find the perfect mediation in the person of Christ, true God and true Man.

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The first verse He raises his eyes to the sublimity of Christ, sang under the image of the light: lumen/splendor. A theme that, especially starting from the Gospel of John and the reflections of some of the Fathers of the Church, It will be dear to various medieval theological schools, drawing inspiration from the critical writings of Pseudo-Dionysius of the fifth century, to the reflections of Hugh of St. Victor, and to those that Abbot Suger, through the construction of the abbey church of Saint-Denis, give architectural form to the theology of light. He writes in this way Hugh of St. Victor:

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"What could be more beautiful light who have not in themselves color, nevertheless illuminating color of things all their colors?».

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The second verse, You endless Hope, combines the light, in itself very high, as a reason for hope for men, for all men. Again it is noted the universality of Redemption: all; how it should reiterate the Council of the Quierzy 853, the canon 4:

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Jesus Christ […] no, was, or it can be a, for whom he suffered has not been [there is not, there was, there will be no man for whom Jesus Christ has not suffered].

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Against all restrictions the ability to participate in the salvation and new life in Christ.

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The other two verses of the stanza instead dwell on the human condition; the man, in every part of the earth - throughout the —, It is a beggar who asks, imploring, a servant, indeed a slave, it might mean a little slave, but that was often understood with derogatory meaning. The paradigm of this condition is offered by the magnificent scene of blind Bartimaeus, narrated by the Gospel of Mark:

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«Bartimèo, blind, He sat by the roadside begging; man, heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry and to say: “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!”» [MC 10,46-47].

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The only real thing, reasonable, It is to reach out, to raise our prayer. Very nice the verb used to invoke hearing from the Lord Shepherd, imperative of the verb I mean, which in its own sense it means "tending toward, reach out "and then" the minding, wait to, deal ". This is not a simple request for hearing, but a real existential involvement; like saying to God: "Occupied us, take care of us ".

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salvation by, proofed

saw that our men had once been of the body,,

of a Virgin undefiled

being born, form súmpseris

[Author of salvation,

It considers that once assumesti the shape of our body,

born of a virgin inviolate]

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This verse expresses a heartfelt appeal to the Lord, placing the Incarnation as the cause of our salvation. We can still refer to the Nicene faith Profession- Constantinople:

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For us men and for our salvation came down from heaven [For us men and for our salvation came down from heaven].

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It is interesting to note how each petition, prayer, direct request, should be expressed, both in Latin as well as the Italian, through the imperative: a sign of the power of prayer? The verb that expresses the petition in this case is the verb récolo - mandatory recole —, which has among its derived meanings certainly one to remember, but in its origin it has the meaning of "to grow again, restoration", the verb as an iterative colo, ie "grow, take care", hence also the word cult in the religious.

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then say to the Lord: remember! But inside there is this remembering the man's request - in the divine promise - of an original image restoration of mankind, before sin. So the Lord is invoked through the beautiful title of salvation by. The two terms, splendid in their combination, manifest a dual depth. Salus It embodies the sense of physical health, Health Body, wellness, but also that of salvation. author It is certainly the author, founder, then a person who creates, But the word comes from the verb augeo, and properly it means "one who gives the growth"; ie flag as Redemption is a journey, a path of growth and change: a path of God and a man's path. salvation by, we can translate "the author of salvation", It brings a broad sense, as the One who makes man grow into its global salvation, the whole person.

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What must therefore remember, the author of our growth? Where does the restoration of man?

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It starts from the birth of the Virgin, that he has taken the form of our body. The inspiration of our […] body […] form súmpseris It is certainly in the Pauline verse of Philippians [2,7b]: freasoning servant; [the Italian translation of the CEI sounds: "Assuming a form of a servant"]. The term shape in Latin - which translates the greek μορφή morphed - it has a great variety of meanings: shape, appearance, conformation, image, portrait, ghost, appearance, beauty, piano, plant, sketch, template, mold, idea, example, rule, rule; tuttavia si collega alla radice del sanscrito dhar root of the word dharma, of great importance in the religions, a word also polysemic - which means "keep, support, keep in place ", from which the fundamental idea of ​​a "stable figure".

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Christ has steadily assumed our humanity, not as mere appearance, or as a transitional phase, destined to be exceeded: He, while remaining God - and this must ricordarlo-, Man is forever.

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Right in the center of the hymn - if we exclude the final doxology - we are an indication of the way that God has chosen to do this work: of a Virgin undefiled. The adjective impairment, which means "whole, intact, integrates, inviolable ", It is to report the perpetual virginity of Mary, as we all remember St. Augustine:

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pregnant virgin, bearing a virgin, virgin pregnant, virgo feta, a perpetual [Virgin in conceiving, Virgin in childbirth, pregnant Lady, Virgin birth, Virgin perpetual. word 186, 1].

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The total virginity of Mary it is good also expressed Antiphon, Alma Cogan, where explicit: A Virgin before and after,. Unfortunately, the liturgical translation in Italian loses much of its explanatory power through the expression "ever virgin mother". As sings the preface verginitatis permanent glory [Today in the Roman Missal the Preface I of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that sounds in the liturgical translation "always retains its virginal glory"].

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Testifies the present day,

Running through the circle,

and from the seat of

salvation '

[This attests to the present day,

ricorrendo per il circolo dell’anno,

that only six came as world's salvation,

from the abode of the Father]

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In the fourth verse you will enter into a liturgical dimension of time. We can find out how in this hymn are at least three dimensions of time: before the time, in reference to the generation of the Word before Creation; in historical time, in reference to the birth of the Virgin; in the liturgical season, which assumes a circular dimension - Running through the circle, indeed rather spiral, as a repeat of the liturgical year is inserted in the linearity of historical time, tendendo alla Russia.

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This day this, that is, the liturgical feast of Christmas, attests to the salvific event truth. With force is illustrated the fundamental value of the liturgical action, who knows how to make contemporary mystical events of salvation history. Celebrating Christmas in the liturgy we are actually present at the birth of the Redeemer in Bethlehem!

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this heaven, terra, this sea,

, and all that is in them,,

Author's coming?

praise greet

[The sky, the Earth, the sea

e tutto ciò che è in essi lodano,

exulting with song,

this author of Your coming]

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After the time even space becomes part of this song. All elements of creation - do not forget that time is a creature of God - come to praise the Creator. The sky, the Earth, the sea, all that in them is praising the author of the coming of Christ, even the Father. your arrival, Your advent, Your arrival, because the whole composition is fixed on Christ.

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Sky, land and sea, They represent the three basic elements of the world; already in classical mythology the gods had divided the three kingdoms. So the song becomes universal in involving all creation. A vast spiritual current has always managed to combine the expectation of men waiting for all the elements of creation. Even at the popular level they have reread the messianic signs, already present in the biblical tradition, through an almost naive participation, but to a much deeper reality, the birth of the Redeemer.

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The beautiful folk song Quanno nascette Ninno, written in the 1754 by St. Alphonsus Maria de 'Spirits, matters in this broad involvement to the Nativity; reads the second verse of the song:

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De press if scetajeno ll'aucielle

Cantanno of a whole new form:

On 'NSI Agrilia – co strille them,

And zompanno ACCA and;

Is born, is born,

Decevano, the God, that nc'ha criato.

[Immediately they awoke birds

Singing in a whole new form:

Even the crickets with squeals,

jumping from side to side;

Is born, is born,

They said, the God, who created us]

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Or the fifth verse:

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No 'nc'erano nemmice eg earth,

The sheep was tending cu 'or lion;

With 'a capretto – is featured

'The liupardo pazzeà;

Ll'urzo and 'or vitiello

And the co wolf 'No peace' or Pecoriello.

[There were no enemies to the earth,

The sheep was grazing with the lion;

With goats you saw

The leopard play;

The bear and the calf

And with the wolf in peace the little lamb]

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Where the size of creation viene recuperata attraverso la citazione del profeta Isaiah, the great prophet of the Incarnation:

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The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together,, and a little child shall lead them ["The wolf shall dwell with the lamb; the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child shall lead them. Is. 11,6].

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According to St. Francis of Assisi, love the mystery of the Nativity, even animals, on Christmas Day, partakers of universal joy, They were to receive double rations of food.

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we are, who, by Thy

Blood redeemed,

ob diem NATALE tui

new hymn

[We too,

that we have been redeemed by the blood of your holy,

We sing a new anthem,

for the day of your birth]

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That verse begins with the phrase we also which indicates our real involvement: today, ovverossia liturgical in today - after centuries from the composition of this song, and even more from the Nativity of Jesus - we really share of what is narrated and sung.

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The involvement is real because it entered into the paschal mystery; So here is the precious link that shows the unity between the mystery and the mystery of the redemptive death of Christ. For we are inserted in the joyous event of the earthly birth of the Lord by the blood shed on the cross: He redeemed thy Holy Blood.

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The action of the subject is expressed by the verb ransomed; the verb concino, when it is transitive as in this case, significa “far risuonare, intone, accompany in song, glorifying, celebrate, denounce ". The object of singing has a new, a new anthem. Note that the entire verse is reminiscent of the passage in the book of Revelation:

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They sang a new song worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain we have God in your blood [AP. 5,9] [knowledge translation: "And they sing a new song, saying,: you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were killed, and those who have redeemed us to God in thy blood "].

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The term O, replacing the canticum of Revelation, in classical Latin refers exclusively to the religious world, means that a song, a praise addressed to the gods; Only more recently it has expanded its semantic field, so we have the national anthems, football teams, party, etc…

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Interestingly finally motivation why all of us redeemed sing the anthem ob diem NATALE tui: at, followed by the accusative diem, It expresses a complement of cause. We sing not so much in honor of the Nativity, As a result of it. A gentle way, also through the rules of Latin grammar, It expresses the primacy of God and of His Grace.

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Jesus, to be delivered,

He was born of the Virgin,

with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

Quis est. Amen.

[To you be glory, Jesus,

that wast born of the Virgin,

with the Father and the Spirit of life,

for ever and ever. Amen]

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The final verse, like almost every liturgical hymn, It caters to the three Divine Persons, the Holy Trinity. It opens glorifying the name of Jesus Jesus, to be delivered, highlighting the mystery which is celebrated, that is, the birth of the Virgin He was born of the Virgin, and continue joining in the glorification of the Father and the Spirit, that is qualified by the adjective almus, that connects to the verb alo, ie "food, to feed, To make grow"; almus therefore means: "That feeds, which raises, that gives life "and derivatively" good, benigno”.

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The small path taken It can help us to enjoy the beauty and depth of the texts that the liturgical tradition has left us, without having to give up in the name of an immediate understanding, which often leaves things as they are, costringendo all’uso di testi banali e improvvisati. Of course for a full spiritual understanding it is necessary to immerse the text in his own bed, that is the liturgy lived and celebrated in the song of the Church.

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Novara, 28 January 2019

Memory of St. Thomas Aquinas

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