Choral Report: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I am reminded today of why I love to sing, and choose to sing in my parish choir.

During the offertory, we sang Byrd’s Surge Illuminare Jerusalem, normally an Epiphany motet but just as beautiful for today’s feast.

Latin: Surge, illuminare, [Jerusalem], quia venit lumen tuum, et gloria Domini super te orta est. Quia ecce tenebrae operient terram et caligo populos. Super te autem orietur Dominus et gloria eius in te videbitur.

English: Arise, shine [O Jerusalem]; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 

During communion, we sang Victoria’s most thrilling Jésu, dulcis memoria which is simply heavenly and possibly one of the most beautiful pieces I have sung.

Latin: Jesu dulcis memoria
Dans vera cordis gaudia:
Sed super mel et omnia
Ejus dulcis præsentia.

English: Jesus, sweet remembrance,
Granting the heart its true joys,
But above honey and all things
Is His sweet presence.

Just shut your eyes and listen.

Image: By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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