MAGINE WAKING UP one morning and being able to listen to an mp3 of the day’s Lauds while you prepare breakfast or get ready for work. Or perhaps today you have time to spare, and can follow along with a handy translation from DivinumOfficium.com, or the chant notation from the PDF of the 1949 Antiphonale Romanum. Maybe it’s even your responsibility to get next Tuesday’s recording done and posted in time, like you signed up for. Sound unrealistic?
You might be surprised. Since November 27th, 2016, the Dominus regnavit blog has indeed been posting daily recordings of sung Lauds, according to the liturgical books in effect in 1962. Not having a monastery on hand (and anyhow, using the Roman secular form of the office), this project is setup in such a way that everyone is encouraged to help out with providing the necessary recordings. And the great thing is, because the whole site is based on free resources, keeping the project going is quite as simple as making sure that someone will record and post the next mp3. (It could be you!)
Be that as it may, whether you incline to listen to a day’s Lauds, poke around the explanatory materials, or consider contributing a recording, I hope you may find this new blog project a useful contribution to the many great chant resources already available. Do stop by sometime!
I would like to append, as something of a footnote to the picture which accompanies this article, a passage quoted in Britt’s The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (1922):
“Cock-crowing had for the early Christians a mystical significance. It said ‘The night is far spent, and the day is at hand.’ And thus the cock became, in the Middle Ages, the standing emblem of the preachers of God’s word. The old heathen notion that the lion could not bear the sight of the cock, easily adapted itself to this new symbolism. Satan, the roaring lion (I Peter 5, 8) fled away terrified, at the faithful preaching of God’s word. Nor did it pass unnoticed, that this bird, clapping its wings upon its sides, first rouses itself, before it seeks to rouse others.”
Thus, for example, it is still sung as part of the hymn for Sunday Lauds in the fall and winter months, “Gallo canente spes redit. / At the crowing of the cock, hope returns.”
…which is a cheering thought.
We hope you enjoyed this guest article by Jonathan Kadar-Kallen.