14 September, 2004

A series of Latin hymns

Time to put the cantus into Cantánima!

I'm something of a Latin hymn bigot: I can't stand most of the hymns written over the last forty years. I'll sing them, but I find them terribly shallow, and/or political. Further, the music style is best classified as sentimental pap.

I'm using hyperbole, of course. I can appreciate a fair number of post-Medieval hymns, but Early and Medieval Latin chants possess an appreciation for the beauty of holiness, and a strong connection to the rhythms and needs of daily Christian life, that I find sadly lacking in most anything written since then.

Today, I'll present the first in an ongoing series of amateur translations of these hymns. I say amateur, because it's been too long since I studied Latin — either classical or ecclesiastical — and all I have to go by are a Liber Hymnarius from Solesmes and a Latin dictionary. Corrections to the Latin would be very welcome.

I hope you find these hymns as remarkable as I do.

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