Saturday, 9 June 2012

O Columba, spes scotorum!


St Columba 13th century Scottish chant from the Inchcolm Antiphoner

On St Columba’s Day (9 June) the Bishop of Dunkeld, to whose See the Priory belonged, authorised the burning of 20 candles upon the altar, and one can imagine their flickering flames slowly giving way to the light of dawn as the choir sang the Hymn Aurora rutilatat the beginning of Matins. The Priory’s precarious location and the constant danger from English pirates is reflected in some of the prayers for protection which feature in the Office.

Hymn - Aurora rutilat
Antiphon - Pater Columba decus morum
Responsory - Volens Jesus
Antiphon - Os mutorum
Antiphon - Carne solutus pater Columba
Responsory - O Columba insignis signifer

Aurora rutilat lucis prenuncia:
letos nos excitat a sompnolencia,
volentes celebre festum recolere
Columba venerabilis.
Qui fuit humilis, mitis, affabilis,
vultu vir hilaris, vir venerabilis,
ortu vir nobilis, vir statu stabilis,
corpore castus et mente.
Columba merita et signa singula,
factis prophetica, clara miracula,
vel dictis dicere vel scriptis scribere,
nemo novit totaliter.
Relinquens patriam caram Yberniam,
per Christi graciam venit Britanniam;
per quem ydonea vite promordia
rex gentis sumpsit Britanniam.
O pater patriae, paster egregie,
Columba tribue nobis spem venie;
et labe criminum nostrorum omnium
nos munda sancte Columba.
Qui nobis tribuat peccati veniam,
reatum diluat et donet patriam;
nos tuos famulos, et omnes catholicos
commenda regi gloriae.
Sit laus perpetua, sit semper gloria
patri et filio sancto paraclito,
simplici Domino qui regit omnia
per cuncta semper secula. Amen.

Dawn harbinger of light, glows red:
it rouses us glad ones from sleep,
wanting to reflect on the famous feast
of the venerable Columba.
Who was humble, gentle, approachable.
in appearance a cheerful man, a noble
by birth, a man steadfast inattitude,
chaste in body and mind.
No one knows totally, to say in words or
to write in script, the merits of Columba
and his songs, prophetic deeds,
evident miracles.
Leaving Ireland, the dear homeland,
through the grace of Christ he came to
Britain; through him the king of the British
people received a proper ordination.
O father of this land, excellent shepherd,
Columba, grant us hope of forgiveness;
from the blemish of the guilt of all of us,
cleanse us St Columba.
Who may grant forgiveness of sins to us,
absolve the guilty and vouchsafe this land;
commend us your servants and all
Church people to the king of glory.
Let perpetual praise and glory be to the
Father, Son and Holy Paraclete,
one lord who reigns over all,
world without end. Amen.

Pater Columba decus morum
suscipe vota famulorum
te laudantem serva chorum
ad incursu anglicorum
et insultu emulorum.

Father Columba, glory of our national
tradition, receive the prayers of your
servants, save this choir that is praising
you from attack by the English
and assualt by rivals.

Volens Jesus linire gementem pro
contu vocavit Columbam de
foraminibus petre de cavernis materie.
Qui ad arcem reversus est.
Deferens autem clementie Dei
Columba in ore suo

Jesus, wishing to relieve sighing in favour of
a song, called forth Columba from the
holes of the rock, from the hollows of timber.
This dove returned to the ark,
bearing, moreover, the sign of God’s mercy
in his mouth.

Os mutorum lux cecorum pes
claudarum porrige lapsis manum.
Firma vanum et insanum corrige.
O Columba spes Scotorum nos
tuorum meritorum interventu
beatorum fac consortes angelorum.
Alleluia.

Mouth of the dumb, light of the blind,
foot of the lame, stretch out a hand to the
fallen; strengthen the unreliable and correct
the mad. O Columba, hope of Scots, by the
intervention of your kindness, make us
colleagues of the blessed angels.
Alleluia.

Carne solutus pater Columba
angelorum constipatus turma quibus
conregnat perhenni premio in
resultante celo. Sanctus, sanctus,
sanctus proclamat Deo, alleluia.

Father Columba, released from flesh and
pressed by the crowd of angels, with whom
he reigns as his eternal reward, and with
heavens resounding. They cry out to God:
Holy, holy, holy, alleluia.

O Columba insignis signifer,
mentes mundo ne fallens pestifer
servis officiat maris discrimine.
Tuis ut placeat circumdatis
psallere. Tibi precleris condecet
proxime leticie. Huc aurem adhibe.

O Columba, distinguished standard-bearer,
cleanse our minds lest the deceiving
destroyer injure your servants with danger
from the sea, that it may please those
around you to sing. To you before others it
is fitting that voices of joy be closest. Lend an ear!

Details of the recording of Capella Nova can be found here. The texts have been reproduced from a programme of fellow ensemble Canty.

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