Choir Notes

Mother directs the choir at music practice

     Did you know that Pope Benedict has called the whole Church to reclaim our musical heritage, and in particular, the ancient Latin chant? The chant is sung prayer. Because it is not identified with any one culture, it can be and is sung by Catholics throughout the world. The chant does not exist to entertain, but to glorify God and sanctify His people.

     While our community has always preserved some Latin chant, hymns and motets, we are now learning new ones. Among the pieces recently learned is the oldest known Marian antiphon, the “Sub Tuum Praesidium” which means: “Under your protection.” Learning this chant selection was very exciting as it puts us in touch with the faith and prayer in the hearts of early Christians. It originated around Alexandria in Egypt and was in use by 250 A.D. One can almost hear the prayers of the early martyrs, crying out to the Mother of Jesus in their mortal danger:

Under your protection we fly for refuge,
O holy Mother of God:
In our needs, despise not our petitions:
but deliver us always from all perils,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

The Latin:
Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus,
sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

     Kirstine thank you for this excellent translation! Congratulations on successfully defending your master’s thesis…we look forward to your visit in a couple of weeks!

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