antiphons for N.O. 'morning prayer'
  • I've been asked to put together 'morning prayer', with music, for next Saturday. The state of the texts is *killing* me.

    Example (of my current frustration): The antiphon for Psalm 118 is given as "Prope es tu, Dómine, et omnes viæ tuæ véritas." I cannot find this text set as an antiphon anywhere (not in online databases, not in any chant books that I own, including the 1962 Liber Antiphonarius and the 1934 Antiphonale Monasticum). I am aware that the text is part of the Introit for a day in Advent, but surely we are not supposed to extract it from there.

    Where do these texts even come from? (I don't mean 'what's the Biblical source?'; I mean how did they become antiphons?) *Is* there a setting of them as antiphons?

    (I understand the inclination to say "just forget N.O. and use the 1962 anitphonale", and variations on that theme. It's not a viable option in this case.)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,191
    Try Justus es, Domine, et rectum judicium tuum.
  • Thanks for the thought. It doesn't appear as an antiphon in the 1962 or 1934 antiphonale books, nor in the Liber Usualis. (It shows up as part of a psalm, of course, as does "Prope es tu..."

    It does come up in cantus as an antiphon for Vespers II on Tuesdays per annum (not exactly my case, but better than nothing), so if I can find my way to a melody from that information, I could use it, I suppose (but cantus isn't readily coughing up a melody and the manuscript it lists as a source does not appear to be available online).

    In any case, going forward, how was I to guess this result? How did you guess it? (I understand that the texts are *similar* in meaning. That fact seems a slim bit of evidence.)

    How, indeed, is one supposed to sing the office at all with what appear to be such massive obstacles to finding the melodies? (At any rate, thus it appears to me -- please somebody tell me I'm wrong.)
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    The N.O. antiphons don’t even seem to agree with each other. I have a PDF of ARII and the Latin antiphons for Sundays are different than in Christian Prayer or any breviary app or website (the latter 3 all being in agreement, but not with ARII). Sometimes the English antiphon is similar, though notably different enough to say it’s not just an odd translation, and sometimes it’s entirely different - often not derived from the psalm, while the Latin is often (always?) a line from the succeeding psalm text.

    What I’ve read about the forthcoming revised LOTH makes it seem like this might(?) be corrected whenever that work is completed.
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  • Yes, I've also noticed a good deal of inconsistency. I know that there have been various 'tinkerings' made over the past decades. Perhaps that's part of the explanation.

    I suppose, as well, that if I could shell out $300 for Les Heures Gregoriennes I'd find melodies there. My question is: where did *they* get the melodies? I have no problem with doing legwork to find this stuff, but I'm out of ideas about where to look (and I'm very tempted to just use existing office antiphon melodies that adapt well enough to these texts).
  • And yes, I agree (with hope) that the 'forthcoming' LOTH might make it easier.

    But 'forthcoming' it has been, for some time.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    NCR reported recently that it might be as soon as 2022

    And it seems to me (I may very well be wrong) that even if you were to reference LHG,you’d still run into the problem of the English antiphons being drawn up from wherever it is they came from, and not aligning with the Latin ... unless you were to just take those as your source instead.
  • As with the Mass Propers, it seems reasonable that, should the "official" text (Missal) not match anything in the sung source (Graduale), one should feel free to use the text that is sung. In your case, it would be whatever appears in the modern Antiphonale Romanum, the Antiphonale monasticum, or even the Psalterium monasticum for the day, rather than what the modern Breviary gives. The Breviary texts were expanded and varied, but they were intended for recitation, not for singing. Of course, you can always write your own stylish settings of the new texts:
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  • I gave up.
  • Saturday, October 12 is Sabbato Hebdomadae III. The Ordo cantus officii (2015) gives for Lauds:

    Hymnus: Aurora iam spargit (LH 207)
    Antiphona 1: In matutinis, Domine, meditabor in te (Ps. 62, 7; AM 372 - LHG I 1728)
    Antiphona 2: Mecum sit, Somine, sapientia tua (Sap. 9, 10; LHG I 1730)
    Antiphona 3: Veritas Domini manet in aeternum (Ps. 116, 2; LHG I 1734)
    Responsorium breve: Clamavi ad te, Domine (PM 258)

    LH: Liber Hymnarius (1981)
    AM: Antiphonale Monasticum (1934)
    LHG I: Les Heures Grégoriennes I (2008) - not indicated by OCO
    PM: Psalterium Monasticum (1982)

    The Ordo cantus officii also indicates the sources of antiphons for which there is no melody yet available in modern chant books (that excludes the recent Antiphonale Monasticum and Les Heures Grégoriennnes by the way):

    Mecum sit: Sol = melodia antiqua cura Paleographiae solesmensis accomodata
    Veritas Domini: Mil = melodia ex traditione mediolanensi sumpta

    That's where the melodies in Les Heures Grégoriennes come from: they have been provided by Solesmes. As long as the chants books for the NO Office have not been completed yet, LHG is an invaluable resource. See this offer.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Are there chant books in the works? It seems that the revised LOTH is going to be text-only and left to communities to decide what psalm-tone collection they prefer...
  • The Antiphonale monasticum for the modern Office are complete, in four volumes, edited by Dom Saulnier. If you're waiting for settings of the secular Office, you'll be waiting a long time.
  • @smvanroode -- first and foremost, thank you for your detailed response. (I was able to find it also, but not having LHG, I was stuck.)

    LHG is an invaluable resource.

    I suppose in some sense I agree (not having seen it....), but it is in fact valued at around $275 American, which for some people is a lot of money.

    It seems quite a shame (other terms do come to mind) that the n.o. office was, in some sense (I am aware of at least some of the turns of fate) revised in the early 1960s, and yet here, in the late 2010s, we are yet to have, readily available (or indeed at all available?), a usable, singable, version for the people that is not prohibitively expensive for many.

    Indeed, being somewhat familiar with the publishing business, and having made many things (not church related) available for free or very cheap (as I know you have also, smvanroode), I'm going to go ahead and claim 'shameful'.

    It makes me sad. CatherineS says "I gave up." That makes me sad.

  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    The Mundelein Psalter is a good resource for chanting it simply. And I’ve just become aware of Fr Weber’s “Hymnal for the Hours” which has some antiphons composed as well.
  • I agree that the Mundelein Psalter is a good resource. I do use it sometimes.

    (Edit: I have seen of the existence of Fr. Weber's book. I have some credit on Lulu and will use that to check it out first hand. Thanks.)
  • Hate to ask - but if you're doing in the office in Latin, why not just . . .
  • A cantor sings the antiphons and a few other things in Latin. Nearly everything else is done in English.

    As I said originally, EF is not an option, here, for reasons that would be fruitless to discuss in this context.
  • Here are the three antiphons:
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  • joerg
    Posts: 82
    With respect to the day hours of the latin office the situation is not as bad as it may seem. There are by now 4 volumes by Mons. Alberto Turco of "Antiphonae et Responsoria" (each one approx. at EUR 25) Vol. I for Advent and Christmas Season, vol. II for Lent and Easter Season, vol. III the Psalterium, and vol IV for Ordinary Time. Mons. Turco is currently working on vol. V, the Sanctorale. Then these volumes will give the complete day time Hours -- each volume with detailed annotations as to "where did *they* get the melodies?". In my oppinion Alberto Turco's work is the definitive edition of the relevant material. I have to admit that it is not easily available outside Rome, but one can always write to the Libreria Benedetto xvi ( to obtain a copy.
  • If someone is interested in the source of the melodies, Laus Divina (2010) by Frans Kok is an excellent resource. For example, it provides the following information for two of the three antiphons for next Saturdays Lauds:

    Antiphona 1: In matutinis, Domine: AM 372
    Antiphona 3: Veritas Domini: Liber Vesperalis iuxta ritum sanctae Ecclesiae Mediolanensis (1939), p. 15 + Antiphonarium de Limoges (Paris, BN. lat. 784), 44r
  • @smvanroode,

    Thanks for that reference.

    Odd: the antiphon Veritas Domini as given from LHG in your scan above differs from the one in the stated source (the Ambrosian Liber).

    (Edit: I guess LHG is based on an earlier OCO?)
  • Thanks. I didn't check, but it's odd that they don't match up. It's not that LHG is based on the 1983 OCO. Veritas Domini isn't even in the earlier OCO. Even though LHG was published years before the current OCO, they tend to agree perfectly most of the time. It makes me curious what Alberto Turco provides as the melody and resource for this antiphon!
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,015
    Antiphonarium de Limoges Lemovicense (Paris, BN. lat. 784), 44r
    Veritas Domini on this page, right hand page fifth line. But to my eye it's not precisely as printed in the scan above.

  • I agree -- they do not look to be the same. Perhaps somebody more skilled than I at reading this sort of manuscript could make the case they are are at least related (which could not be said for the LHG melody and the one in the Ambrosian Liber, I think).
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