OW DO YOU get your point across? I’m talking about when you really really really want to get your point across? Teachers are always looking for different ways to get the point across to students. (By the way, if you’re a choirmaster, you’re ipso facto a teacher.) I wish I knew a method that would allow me to get a message to every reader regarding the rehearsal videos available for free. If people only knew about these resources, I think they’d be thrilled. I can’t believe nobody else has done this before now!
We are at it again (with my friends Andrea and Elizabeth) recording Hymn #441 from the Brébeuf hymnal:
Rehearsal videos for each individual voice await you at #441.
O Caput Cruentatum
Please download this special SATB version of “O Caput Cruentatum,” which includes—for the very first time—an English translation:
* PDF Download • “O Caput Cruentatum” (SATB)
—SATB harmonies, with English Translation courtesy of the Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal.
That particular text—not identical to “Salve Caput Cruentatum” as found in the Brébeuf hymnal—is quite mysterious, and even Mr. John Julian doesn’t know its provenance. Andrew Hinkley, a very generous person, has provided a Plainchant Version if you don’t have resources to sing SATB. On 17 February 2021, which seems like just yesterday to be honest, we discussed that Cantus Gregorianus version along with another Lenten hymn called “Jam Christe Sol Justitiæ.”
A Truly Useful Book
One of the cool things about the Brébeuf hymnal happens at the bottom of each page. Reference numbers are given for “last verses.” That means special harmonizations written by organists such as Noel Rawsthorne. These are wonderful to help choirmasters discover interesting ways to harmonize hymn tunes.
Just how ancient are the hymns in the Brébeuf hymnal? Well, the short answer is: about 1,5000 years! Many of these Roman Catholic hymns are also contained in a special “Anglo-Saxon Hymnal” created around 1050AD. This book provides the Latin version, but also translates the hymns into Anglo-Saxon. Here is an example of #526 from the Brébeuf Hymnal:
Eleanor Parker was the one who brought that 11th-century Anglo-Saxon Hymnal to my attention.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal is a truly Catholic hymnal which contains fabulous tunes, marvelous texts, and beautiful Roman Catholic Theology. Just the other day, we spoke of “Ex More Docti Mystico,” which is featured in the Brébeuf hymnal. Here’s how that hymn appeared in the book from 1050AD:
Page 921 in the Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal talks about when the feast of the Annunciation (25 March) coincides with Good Friday, and I strongly recommend everyone read about that today. Today is the feast of the Annunciation.