What we are singing for the Feast of St Mary Magdalen on Friday

All the propers – Score HERE

For those not proficient with Gregorian chant, just have a look at the Introit and the Communion chants.


Ordinary –  Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannes De Deo ‘Little Organ Mass’

NB – we are singing the longer Gloria (with prolongation by Michael Haydn) P.5 in Oxford edition, NOT the original sing every line at the same time version.   WE ARE NOT SINGING the Haydn CREDO.

There are lots of practice files for individual parts on You Tube

Navigate from this clip to find more.

(and if you are a liturgical-muso aficionado and want to know why we are singing this particular ordinary on this particular feast day it’s because we don’t have many polyphonic Masses in the music cupboard or in our repertoire at the moment. Thanks to St Barts who have kindly loaned us a set of music for the evening. )



Offertory Hymn – Magdalae Sidus   Score HERE

This is the Vespers hymn in the Ordinary form office.   (We will be singing this again on Sunday for another installment in celebrating our feast day.)

Communion Hymn – Votiva Cunctis Orbita   Score HERE

This is the Lauds Hymn.

Score – HERE .  Tom Windsor has set it to a tune which is rarely used.

Translation found on Google –

. Votive offerings of all the orbit
celebrates a triumph over the grace of light,
NATIVE which climbs the stars,
Mary of Christ shining.

2. LURID treader of the Blessed

age to the engine ruentis

the ardor of the Holy Spirit

slippery subdued the fires.

3. These sacred tears of Jesus

Watered plants inmost,

Clean hair kissing,

Cleansing the darkness of the mind.

4. Thee we beseech Thee, very acceptable

I request pardon us,

Heavenly Court Ringing

Which may enjoy organs.

5. Hail, blessed Trinity,

while remaining perennial joy,

Service, creative, world

which reign for ever.     update – Tom and Stan have both done their own translations for this hymn (show-offs!) SEE COMMENTS PAGE FOR DETAILS

Extra info for Office hymn junkies:-

Image of early manuscript –  HERE

Another source from way back in the Chant Database uses the tune of the Epiphany office hymn Hostis Herodis Impie which we sang in January (twice!). There are quite a few other references in Dutch, but the Analecta finds it in a Stuttgart Breviary 11th century, and in other Germanic Breviaries from the 15th century.

Recessional  – O quam gloriosum – Victoria – SCORE HERE     

or P.355 in ‘European Sacred Music.’

(See picture at the top)

Thanks to Tom who has been frantically setting these office hymns for us all week. He hopes to have a sequence for us next year.


4 thoughts on “What we are singing for the Feast of St Mary Magdalen on Friday

  1. Thomas Windsor says:

    Google translate has tried its best, but the translation needs some improvement; Here is my attempt, but it would be better to find someone better versed in Latin than I. But I think the below gives a some idea of the sentiments expressed by the Hymn.

    1. The votive offerings of the orbit
    Light triumphs (with?) grace
    The servant climbs above the stars
    Christ shining with Mary

    2. Walking with the blessed away from the lurid ruin of the age
    The warmth of the Holy Spirit helps drive up (out ?) the fires.

    3. The devoted tears (of ?) Jesus
    guides the growing shoot
    Mary wipes with her hair, and kisses
    Cleansing the sins of her soul.

    4. We beseech thee pleasing
    to request pardon for us
    The heavenly court ringing
    where to enjoy music (organ)

    5. Hail, Blessed Trinity
    remaining with perennial joy
    receiving home, the mother (or the produce), the people?
    Which reign forever. Amen.

    N.B The Monastic Lauds Hymn is the “Aeterni Patris Unice”, the “Votiva cunctis orbita” according to the manuscript is a Lauds Hymn.

  2. Stan Metheny says:

    Latin text and (quick and dirty) translation follow. (The Latin poetry here has some allusions that would take more time that I have today to tease out.)

    Votiva cunctis orbita
    lucis triumphat gratia
    qua scandit astra vernula
    Maria Christi fulgida

    Calcans beata luridam
    saecli ruentis machinam
    ardore Sancti Spiritus
    ignes subegit lubricos

    Haec sacras Jesu lacrimis
    plantas rigavit intimis
    tersit capillis osculans
    mentis tenebras expians

    Te quaesumus gratissimam
    deposce nobis veniam
    caelistis aulae tinulis
    quo perfruamus organis.

    Salve, beata Trinitas,
    perreni manens gaudio
    juva, creatrix, saeculum
    Quae regnas in perpetuum. Amen

    The orbit of light longed for by all triumphs by the grace by which the radiant servant of Christ, Mary, ascends the stars.

    The saint tramples underfoot the lurid contrivance of a fallen world and by the burning heat of the Holy Spirit she subdues (its) deceitful splendours.

    She watered the sacred heels of Jesus with her most inmost tears and kissing them, wiped them with her hair, atoning for the darkness of her mind.

    We beseech you, beg for us a most acceptable pardon, so that we might enjoy the ringing music of the heavenly court.

    Hail, Blessed Trinity, dwelling in eternal joy. Creator who reign forever, give support to the world. Amen.

    N.B. This melody is in the modern Office (OF, Liturgia Horarum) for the hymn Optatus votis omnium sung at Lauds between Ascension and Pentecost.

      • Ben Whitworth says:

        I wonder whether ‘creatrix’ is feminine because it is in appostion to ‘Trinitas’ which is feminine. Tom, is there still a public website for the Society of St Bede? Following the old link I just get a screen asking me to sign in to something. Thanks.

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