Liber Hymnarius Translation?
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Our church has begun First Friday Vespers services. The Schola is using the Liber Hymnarius for an opening Chant each month. In putting together the programs we'd like to include a good English translation, but that seems a bit beyond my HS Latin expertise. Is there a book of translations for these Chants?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,498
    Priorstf,

    Are you referring to the hymns? I've translated a few and am interested in doing more. Let me know what you are looking for and maybe I can help.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    At the moment, it's the words to AD II VESPERAS for Doctorum Ecclesiae. (p. 303) The next First Friday is 1 August, St Alphonsus Ligouri, and we'd like to use the correct Vespers song. We'll likely use only the first 2 verses.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Prior: Are you looking for singing translations or literal ones? If you're looking for singing translations, many Anglican hymnals such as the 1940 and the New English Hymnal have them.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Thanks Gavin --

    They need not be exact, but should at least have the gist of what's being sung. The idea is to grdually acclimate participants to the Latin. I'd sneak into one of the Anglican churches but I'm not even sure what to look for!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,498
    I'll play with this in the morning--try to have something for you early tomorrow (thurs.) afternoon.
  • I see that Kathy has covered the immediate need of Priorstf, and maybe that's all he or she needed.

    If anyone else is just looking for someone who has been working with the texts of the Liber Hymnarius, I started a blog about a month ago to do just that. I have started with the Lauds hymns for Ordinary Time and am now into the second week of Vespers hymns. My Latin skills are intermediate at best, but my goal is personal understanding while praying the Breviary in Latin, so sometimes I am content with the "flavor" of the hymn. If I can make it grammatical and translate according to the correct tenses and moods, all the better.

    If anyone else is at kind of at that level in Latin and would enjoy looking at someone else's work and perhaps even offering your own translations, stop over to http://hymnosdebitoscanamus.blogspot.com.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,498
    Priorstf,

    I'm sorry, I wasn't able to get to this today because no one was around to check my syntax--which is unfortunately something I always need help with because of my mediocre Latin.

    There's nothing worse than writing a nice hymn translation and then discovering you were all wrong about the meaning of the thing.

    By the way, while I'm glad to do this, it isn't something that I would have chosen to translate myself because it isn't ancient. In the back of the Liber H. there is an alphabetical list by first line titles. The indexer made a note of when the text was written and its authorship (when widely known or ascribed). This text was one of those marked Novus, which means they are modern Latin hymns. That doesn't mean they can't be good, but it's less likely, because they haven't had to stand the test of time like the older hymns have.
  • The Mundelein Psalter has many metrical translations of hymns found in the LH.
  • awruff
    Posts: 94
    Exsultemus: Rejoicing with God in the Hymns of the Roman Breviary by Martin O'Keefe, SJ (Institute of Jesuit Sources) translates every hymn of the 1983 Liber Hymnarius. The translations are not metrical or intended for singing. His style of translation is quite flowery and over-done ("lux" = "light that never sets"), but it does tell you what every hymn text means.
    Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Kathy - any luck getting your Latinist to look at things yet? I just had 11 more Vespers and/or Morning Prayer programs "granted" to me to prepare. Something is going right in this diocese! (Still no EF, but we're happy to mix mortar whilst we await the bricks.) And thanks for the information about the times of writing. I'd never known the LH was not some ubermanual ating back centuries. I love this learning.