Vexilla Regis (translated literally as Regal Banner) – The office hymn of Passiontide and the hymn in honour of the Holy Cross is considered as one of the greatest hymns of the liturgy written by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) – PDF from the Parish Book of Chant.
It is important to remember the context in which this hymn was written to give some idea of the rhythm and tempo.
This is a joyful hymn, a celebration of the wood a ligno, the beautiful and resplendent tree Arbor decora et fulgida that adorned with the purpled majesty of Christ, purpura symbolising the Most Precious Blood, that chose to bear on thy worthy trunk, limbs so holy, electa digno stipite Tam sancta membra tangere. Tangere – to touch, to come into contact with.
I like this recording recorded at Mass in Edinburgh with quite a defiant organ accompaniment. Many of the recordings on You tube have tortuously extended dotted punctums at the end of each line, this doesn’t.
Introit – from the Simple English Propers
Offertory – Judge my Cause O Lord – Aristotle Esguerra
Score and Midi files HERE
Crux Fidelis – John of Portugal
This polyphonic setting will alternate with the full choir singing the chant verses of the Crux Fidelis. PDF of chant score HERE.
Hide not Thou Face – Farrant
Recessional Hymn – O Sacred Head Sore Wounded : Bach from St Matthew’s Passion
Horrible MIDI file HERE
There are lots of good recordings on You tube but this was my favourite, the virtual organ accompaniment. It gives me an idea…