first week of Advent

From Advent until the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is customary in some places to sing the 11th-century antiphon, 'Alma Redemptoris Mater' instead of the 'Salve Regina'. The Dominican chant tone heard on this recording is somewhat different from the solemn Roman version that is perhaps more well-known. It was recorded by a group of Dominican students in Blackfriars, Oxford.

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

"Kindly Mother of the Redeemer, who art ever of heaven
The open gate, and the star of the sea, aid a fallen people,
Which is trying to rise again; thou who didst give birth,
While Nature marvelled how, to thy Holy Creator,
Virgin both before and after, from Gabriel's mouth
Accepting the All hail, be merciful towards sinners."

(translated by Cardinal Newman)

In past posts, Fr John Zuhlsdorf has written about the Advent hymns for Morning and Evening Prayer:
Chantblog goes into these hymns too, from the Sarum perspective, and Fr Mark Kirby reflects on Conditor alme siderum at Vultus Christi.

Father Mark has also written a reflection on Advent Sunday, here.

To close, NLM has featured a series of photographs from the 1st Vespers of Advent in St Peter's Basilica, Rome, here.

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