S MOST OF OUR READERS KNOW, I have made an extensive study of the ancient Roman Catholic hymns which refer to “Christ as Creator.” A prominent example of this would be CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM, which was called “Creator Alme Siderum” after 1631AD. Why was the name changed? Well, it’s a long and fascinating story—involving Pope Urban VIII and the Jesuits—and I would encourage you to pick up a copy of the Brébeuf hymnal, currently being sold exclusively by Sophia Institute Press. Inside that book, the complete history of the “Urbanite Revision” is provided, along with beautiful full-color images.
Writing a review for the “Antiphon” liturgical journal, Dr. Aaron James had effusive praise for the way in which the editors of the Brébeuf Hymnal treated the Urbanite hymn reform. (That’s why I encourage you to obtain a copy.) But since Advent is almost over, I wanted to post a few score of CREATOR ALME SIDERUM you might want to download for next year:
* PDF Download • ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT
—2015 Organ accompaniment by Jeff Ostrowski.
* PDF Download • (1st Singer Score)
—This version has an English translation by Father Edward Caswall (d. 1878).
* PDF Download • (2nd Singer Score)
—This version has an English translation by Father Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923).
A lady named Eleanor Parker runs quite a fantastic blog called “A Clerk of Oxford.” Similar to the Brébeuf hymnal, she has provided color images of ancient (Roman Catholic) vernacular translations for CREATOR ALME SIDERUM—except that the Brébeuf translations are in English, whereas Eleanor’s translations are in Anglo-Saxon:
The images she provides are truly spectacular:
Covid-19 has created insane difficulties, and our current choir situation is exasperating due to all the restrictions. We have small groups of singers, mainly people from the same family because the government counts people in the same family as “one unit.” I used an iPhone to record one of the groups singing CREATOR ALME SIDERUM, but the iPhone corrupted the choral sound resulting in a recording that doesn’t do justice to how beautiful they sounded in real life. In any event, we have several groups that sing at several Masses, and I often use higher or lower tessitura depending upon the voices. The Organ Accompaniment for the Edmund Campion Missal has come in quite handy:
* Accompaniment • Kyriale in Three Keys (388 pages)
—Ordinary of the Mass: High Key, Middle Key, and Lower Key.
“Volume 1” is what you want. The accompaniments are by Achille P. Bragers (LOW KEY), Father Carlo Rossini (MIDDLE KEY), and the Nova Organi Harmonia (HIGH KEY).