A hymn that is not Latin, and also is not the vernacular
  • depiantedepiante
    Posts: 2
    As I understand it, hymns during a Missa Cantata "...must be in Latin..." and "...may not be in the vernacular..." It seems to me that the first ("must be in Latin") specifically excludes the use of even ancient Greek, notwithstanding that it is not presently anyone's vernacular.

    The specific case has to do with singing "Xristos Anesti" at Easter. It's not Latin, clearly. And so it seems that it should not be permitted. Yes, Greek is used for the Kyrie at Mass, but that is not a hymn. And yes, it is used for the Trisagion on Good Friday, but that is not at Mass, and it is not a hymn.

    I suppose there are lots of ways to rationalize it, but I am hoping to avoid that in this discussion. What I would like to know, specifically, is if anyone can point to anything authoritative that pronounces on the subject of using ancient Greek as the language for a hymn in the Missa Cantata, or any precedent.

    The closest I can come to an analogy is Rachmaninoff's Bogoroditse Dyevo Raduisya, which has been translated into Latin.

    FWIW, I would be pleased to do Xristos Anesti, but I am enough of a stickler on such matters that I'd like to do better than merely rationalize it.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 399
    De Musica Sacra (1958) II. 14. a:

    In Missis in cantu non solum a sacerdote celebrante et ministris, sed etiam a schola aut fidelibus unice lingua latina est adhibenda. [LINK]

    In sung Masses, the Latin language must be used not only by the priest celebrant and the ministers, but also by the choir and the faithful. [LINK]

    There is a note which follows, but the exception limits itself to allowing certain instances (involving immemorial custom) of vernacular hymns being sung to continue, if they cannot prudently be suppressed.

    [Edit: a different translation may be found HERE, which is a bit more specific in rendering the key word "unice". Apart from what is found in or explicitly permitted by the liturgical books, "only Latin is to be used".]
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,165
    הללו יה ! good thing it is explicitly permitted, especially today.