About the hymn…

I thought it would be good to include a little more info about the hymn that we have been singing.  It is a translation of the 9th-century hymn, Iesu, quadragenariae. Here is a video of the Latin, sung during Vespers in Rome.  I included the melody under the video, along with the Latin, our translation, and another translation. See if you can follow along!

Some helpful instruction with reading the melody: Each neume (note or cluster of notes) is for one syllable.   The first line of the hymn is shown by the neumes up to the first quarter bar. The second line goes to the half bar, Third line goes to the next quarter bar, and the fourth line finishes to the double bar.


Microsoft Word - jesuquadragenariae.docx

I included the additional translation because although I think ours is a bit more accurate, the second one is able to be sung to the same melody as the original Latin.  The translator may have taken some poetic license in order to make the syllables work.  The words of the second translation still makes for a worthwhile meditation, so either translations are great for prayer.  Here is a video of the second translation:

And lastly, what actually inspired a post on the hymn was a writing I came across by St. John Paul II on The Grace of Repentance, helping us to focus on the purpose and fruit of the sacrament.  With our hymn directing our Lenten practices of penitence, fasting, and prayer towards union with Christ in order to share in the true joy of His resurrection, I thought the Pope’s words offer a worthwhile supplement to meditation on the hymn.

FYI – We sing this hymn on weekdays during Lent until Holy Week.  Thus, we will encounter a new hymn on Wednesday during Holy Week at St. Monica’s (but not at St. Blaise because we will have Tenebrae on Good Friday).  I will post how to sing the new hymn prior to that Wednesday, so please check this page again if you want an intro.  You can also receive an email when there is a new post by signing up through the “follow” link on the bottom right of the page.


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