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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Memento Homo

Memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

You should all listen to Emendemus in Melius by Cristobal de Morales if you can possibly find a recording. It's a Renaissance-era bi-textual motet for the Lenten season.

I went to the Ash Wednesday service at Christ Church this evening with Story, Josiah, and Janna. It was good. It brought home to me yet again how much I need Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
~ Book of Common Prayer

The choir at Christ Church sang Allegri's Miserere during the imposition of ashes. It's one of my favorite pieces. In some parts, the choir sounded pretty good. In other parts they weren't so good, and once when Story and I made the mistake of catching one anothers' eyes, we kind-of-almost giggled (terrible, I know... on such a sombre occasion!) because while the plainchant parts sounded okay, and the full choir parts sounded okay, sometimes the four- and five-voice parts were a bit painful. But I forgave them, because it's such a wonderful piece and it ought to be sung in churches and I'm glad they did it.

Miserere mei, Deus,
secundum magnam misericordiam tuam;
et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea,
et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco,
et peccatum meum contra me est semper.

Tibi soli peccavi
et malum coram te feci
ut iustificeris in sermonibus tuis
et vincas cum iudicaris.

Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum,
et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti;
incerta, et occulta sapientiae tuae
manifestasti mihi

Asperges me hyssopo,
et mundabor;
lavabis me,
et super nivem dealbabor.

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam'
et exultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis,
et omnes iniquitates meas dele.

Cor mundum crea in me, Deus,
et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua,
et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.

Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui,
et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas,
et impii ad te convertentur.

Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus,
Deus salutis meae;
et exultabit lingua mea iustitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies,
et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium,
dedissem utique;
holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus;
cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus,
non despicies.

Benigne fac, Domine,
in bona voluntate tua Sion,
ut aedificentur muri Hierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium iustitiae,
oblationes, et holocausta;
tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

~ Psalm 51, a Psalm of David

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