Monthly Archives: August 2009

Jesu Dulcis Memoria – Translation

I’ve worked up two translations of this old song. I hope both are singable to some tune, but I’m not sure that even the second version fits the original tune. (Which I’m not real familiar with.) Anyway, one of Rich’s commenters brought up the song today, so I thought I’d translate it.

Here’s the Preces-Latinae version for comparison.

Jesu Dulcis Memoria
Lyrics: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Translations: Maureen S. O’Brien, 8/31/09

Less formal — sort of a country Gospel version:

Sweet to think of You, Jesus —
That gives hearts joy that’s true.
But there’s no honey sweeter than
The Presence of You.

There’s no song that’s lovelier
To sing or hear sung;
There’s no pondering sweeter than
“Jesus is God’s Son.”

Jesus, hope of the penitent,
Kind to all those who pray,
Good to all those who seek for Him.
If you find Him — what to say?

No writing has words for it,
No tongue here can tell;
But try Him and find out
How the ones who’ve loved Him dwell.

O Jesus, be our joy now
And our prize held in store;
May our glory be in You
Forever, evermore.

Translation 2: This actually goes with the tune. I think.

Jesus, the thought of you is sweet.
It gives hearts joy that’s true.
But nothing’s sweeter, even honey —
Than the Real Presence here of You.

There is no song that’s lovelier,
More joyful to hear sung,
Sweeter to wonder and to ponder
Than: “Jesus is God’s Son.”

O hope of all those who repent,
So kind to all who pray,
So good to all who seek for Him.
To those who find Him — what to say?

No writing has the words for it.
No tongue can clearly tell,
But those who’ve tried Him can believe
What waits for those who love Him well.

O Jesus, be our joy for now
And our prize kept in store,
And may our glory be in You
Forever and forevermore.

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Pe trouz war an douar: 17th century Breton Christmas carol

Another really nice hymn tune. Here it is written out, with the lyrics in Breton and French.

An extremely persuasive and amazing performance by a lady named Claude Nadeau. First the lady sings it a capella, then she plays it on the harpsichord with tons of variations!

But you can tell it was an all the way down the street kind of processional song originally, because it has 21 verses! (Scroll down.)

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Adoromp Holl: Breton Communion/Adoration Hymn

A score of the hymn tune, with the words in Breton and French. Very solemn.


The tune on YouTube, as played by harmonium organ and bombarde
. (I love the bombarde, but seriously — turn down your computer’s volume. Bombardes are LOUD.)

A rough translation by me. (I don’t know Breton or French, and am relying on online dictionaries. Beware.)

Adore Him in the Sacrament of the Altar,
The real Son of God, Jesus our master, our Savior.
O blessed Souls, o, princes of His palace,
Adore Him with us, and praise Him forever, and praise Him forever.

For pure mercy, for us, He became incarnate.
For love, He comes to us disguised as bread
Come, Jesus, my Savior, from the altar, your throne,
To give us all your blessing, your blessing.

Honor, glory, and our love eternal
To the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Praise and adore the Three Persons in One God
Through all of time, and all eternity, and all eternity.

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Lovely and Interesting Essay on Greek Culture and Sappho’s Poetry

By that take-no-prisoners scholar Fabio Paolo Barbieri.

There was a lot of this I knew, but several things which were entirely new to me. Classics is a fascinating field.

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Sorry for Being So Very Churchy Lately

I can’t really talk much about what’s going on at work, I don’t want to complain about my health or my weight all the time, and I haven’t really gone anywhere except to see Ponyo. Oh, and I went to the Lebanese Festival over at St. Ignatius of Antioch. But no pics or anything. Sorry.

I’ve read a few books lately, but there either wasn’t much to them or I’d be complaining about how today’s urban fantasy is always making the heroines sleep with guys for no real reason. Also, that I really resent the way this usually ruins the story as well as removing all respect for both the main character and the logical plotting powers of the writer. You all know that already, so nothing new.

Oh, and I picked up an L.E. Modesitt trade paperback of two of his old sf books, mostly because it was 3 bucks in the clearance bin. Not too bad, and though it’s ecology-based sf, there’s not really any ranting at all. Instead it’s diplomatic sf, with intrigue and assassins and war among the stars, and a main characters who’s wilier than the professional diplomats. I’m all for that, so I enjoyed it.

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You Can’t Get There from Here

I was talking to somebody at church the other day, and mentioned that the USCCB had a website up for the new translation of the Roman Missal (ie, all the stuff for Mass, et al.). He was pretty astonished to learn this, as he had just been on the main webpage looking for the thing. Where was it?

Well, there is indeed no direct link to this site off the main USCCB page. I mean, it’s only slightly sorta kinda important. Only gonna affect every Latin Rite Catholic in the English-speaking world. No reason to advertise it or anything. [roll eyes]

The easy way to get there is to follow a direct link, like this one.

Otherwise, you have to go from the main page to the page on Departments and Programs. Then you have to know that you’re looking for the Committee on Divine Worship, and look under “Divine Worship”. The Committee on Divine Worship homepage has one small link to “Roman Missal” on the sidebar.

Once you get to the Roman Missal page, there is lots of info, all right. But the first tab you click is empty, and the most useful tabs are pretty far to the right.

Yeah. Well. Lovin’ that webpage design. (Although, to be fair, it’s clearly laid out, elegant, and legible, in the pure looks department.)

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Gloria, Part 2

The next part of the Gloria is interesting, poetically, because we transition from a parallel structure to both a parallel and a triplet. The fact that the Son and the Father are both God is emphasized. But “Lord” is emphasized three times to tie this section to the next bit:

“Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father,

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.”

This is tied by the title “Lamb of God” to the next bit, which echoes the “Lamb of God” later in the Mass. But it also refers back to the “Lord, Have Mercy” which we may have just said in the penitential part of the Mass. Oh, and it’s another triplet, just like the “Lamb of God” and the “Lord, Have Mercy”:

“You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
You take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
You are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.”

We’re about to hit the homestretch. As is appropriate for a Person of the Trinity and the Trinity Itself, the triplets continue:

“For You alone are the Holy One,
You alone are the Lord,
You alone are the Most High,

“Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

“Amen.”

Did you notice that we’re back to “glory” again?

Anyway, I trust you’ve noticed how much more sense the traditional content of the Gloria has than the old cruddy American translation we’ve been using for forty years. My goodness, the difference is astounding. It should be a heck of a lot easier to memorize, to set to music, to pray…. It’s like letting the old thing unknot itself, stretch out, and breathe again.

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