The Lauda Sion and the forgotten sequence for Holy Trinity

The rather brilliant Tom Windsor from the Schola at St.Bede’s, Clapham Park in London sent me a link to the former sequence for Holy Trinity, Profitentes Unitatem.

Recognize the tune?

It appears that when St. Thomas Aquinas was asked by Pope Urban IV to write some hymns for the new feast dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament he nicked an already probably well known tune by Adam St. Victor.

After the medieval sequence cull of the Council of Trent, St. Thomas’s sequence, the Lauda Sion, the sequence for Corpus Christi remained. The Holy Trinity sequence along with the sequence Laetabundi iubilemus was lost to the ecclesiastical history books.

Tom quotes Dom Gueranger from ‘The Liturgical Year’:-

“The Middle Ages have left us several Sequences for the Feast of the blessed Trinity. They are much overladen with metaphysical terms, and, for the most part, have but little melody or poetry in them. They give us the language of the Schools, with so much roughness, that they would scarcely find any readers now-a-days to relish them. There is one, however the one composed by Adam of Saint Victor which we here insert, as it maintains, even in its scholastic phraseology, all the majesty and melody which characterise the compositions of that great Poet.”

Have a look at some of the other music Tom has typeset.

Society of St.Bede’s Website

He is gradually building up a unique collection of forgotten Office hymns and music from other rites. There are also Mass sheets for numerous feast days.



2 thoughts on “The Lauda Sion and the forgotten sequence for Holy Trinity

  1. Thomas Windsor says:

    Thanks for the very kind comments…

    Profitentes Unitatem, is one of many Sequences written by Adam of St. Victor. There are around 70 in the French National library, 45 of which can be found in “Les Proses d’Adam de Saint-Victor: Texte et Musique, by E. Misset and Pierre Aubry. Published in 1900.
    The text and music are rather old fashioned so I re-typeset the chant.

    All of these are metrical sequences, so follow a pattern, that varies slightly with the different sequences. This metrical arrangement was later used by St. Thomas Aquinas. The music for the Lauda Sion seems to have been first used for the famous Sequence of the Holy Cross; Laudes Crucis. The first few notes of the Laudes Crucis mirror the Alleluia for that feast. This melody is used in many of the Adam of St. Victor Sequences.

    We have also recently sung the former Sequences (as Hymns) for Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension;

    Monday of Pentecost week;

    And an Easter Sequence;
    this has another melody…

    The minor changes to the melody of the Laudes Crucis / Lauda Sion towards the end of the Profitentes / Postquam are superb.

    God Bless

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