The Lorrha-Stowe Preface and Sanctus

The Lorrha Missal (also called the Stowe Missal) was a book containing the texts of the mass, written in Ireland in the late 8th century. It begins in the same way as the Roman rite, but becomes a beautiful poem on the attributes of God.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It good and right.

It is truly good, right and salutary
for us to give thanks to you always and everywhere,
holy Lord, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord;
with your only Son and the Holy Spirit you are
one immortal God,
incorruptible and unchangeable God,
invisible and faithful God,
wonderful and praiseworthy God,
honorable and mighty God,
most high and magnificent God,
living and true God,
wise and powerful God,
holy and glorious God,
great and good God,
awesome and peaceful God,
beautiful and righteous God,
pure and benevolent God,
blessed and just God,
pious and holy God,
not one singular person,
but one Trinity of substance.

We believe you.
We bless you.
We adore you.
We praise your name forever and ever
through him who is the salvation of the world,
through him who is the life of humanity,
through him who is the resurrection of the dead.

Through him the angels praise your majesty,
the dominions adore,
the powers of the highest heaven tremble,
the virtues of the blessed seraphim rejoice together.
We pray, grant that we may join our voices with theirs, confessing you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of Sabaoth.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who came down from heaven that he might live on the earth, be made fully human, and gave his flesh as a sacrificial victim, and by his passion gave eternal life to those who believe.

Source: Lorrha-Stowe Missal, eighth century. Translated by Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in Latin:

Stowe Preface.png

A facsimile of the book can be seen here: https://archive.org/details/stowemissalmsdii01cath

But wait… there’s more!

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

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A Canticle of Christ (1)

resurrection-carl-heinrich-bloch

Christ Jesus,
the true Word,
the God of eternity,
born of a virgin,
a tender shoot from the stump of Jesse,
the blessed Lamb,
by him souls were set free,
through his blood all were redeemed,
the earth rejoiced because the enemy departed,
death of death,
hell’s destruction,
you gave freedom to your new creation
that rejoices to call you Master.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
you forgive the sins of the world.
We call on your holy name.

Source: Greek Papyrus Fragment, Cairo Museum, Fourth Century

Source of this version: The New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament by Camdem McCormick Cobern, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1918, p. 292

Text gaps freely reconstructed by Paul C. Stratman.

“Christ Jesus, the true Word, the God of eternity” is a reference to John 1:1

“born of a virgin” is a reference to Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:34

“a tender shoot” is a reference to Isaiah 53:2

“Stump of Jesse” is a reference to Isaiah 11:1

“through his blood” is a reference to 1 Peter 1:19

“death of death, hell’s destruction” on p. 293 of The New Archaeological Discoveries… a similar prayer has the phrase, “the one that has abolished death and the grave (Hades).” The phrase “death of death…” is from the hymn “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” by William Williams.

“new creation” is a reference to 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Lamb of God” is a reference to John 1:29

Text as it reads in The New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament  without gaps reconstructed:

Christ…
the true Word,
the God of eternity

the blessed Lamb,
by him souls were set free
through his blood …
the earth rejoiced because the enemy departed

You gave freedom to the creation
that asked for a Master.
Jesus, you …
forgive sins …
we call on your holy name.

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“A Canticle of Christ” from a Greek Papyrus Fragment as reconstructed by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

Christmas Acclamation

KAPraise and adoration
be to our God,
for he is good.
His grace and mercy
fill the heavens and earth.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving,
and joyfully praise
our creator.

As a father,
he loves us,
his children.
Sing his praises
with joyful thanks
in love and devotion!
Let us love him
who has loved us
since the world began.
Who would not
love God from the heart?

We can not give him
adequate praise.
Still, in heaven
he receives with goodwill
our joyful songs of praise
and pours much joy into our souls,
whenever we thank him,
whenever we live in him.

Sing to Jesus Christ
praise, thanks and glory,
for he came from heaven
to destroy sin and death for us
and by his precious, willing sacrifice,
restored innocence and peace.

Already here on earth
he renews joy and life to us
by his grace.
Still greater bliss is prepared there
for those who love him
when one day they will be renewed in his image,
made new and holy,
and awakened from death.

Let us rejoice in our holy God!
Let us rejoice in our eternal God!
How blessed it is to praise him
here, and then in heaven.
He is our holiness!
He is our life!
He always loves us, his children.

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Am Feste der Geburt Jesu,  p. 62-64, translated for A Collection of Prayers.

festegeburt

Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by [Stratman, Paul]This prayer is from Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage, available from Amazon.com, and also available for Amazon Kindle. It is a collection of prayers from the history of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Luther to Loehe. The collection includes prayers by Johannes Bugenhagen, Georg C. Dieffenbach, Veit Dietrich, Matthias Flacius, Wilhelm Loehe, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Joachim Mynsinger, Johann G. Olearius, Johann Jacob Rambach, and the early agendas and prayer books of the Austrian, Brunswick, Hamburg, Lueneberg, Norwegian, Nuremberg, Pomeranian, Riga, Russian, Saxon, Schleswig-Holstein, and Swedish Evangelical-Lutheran churches.

 

You Are the Blessed Lord God of Israel

Almighty Lord our God,
guide our feet into the way of peace,
and strengthen our hearts to obey your commands.
May the sunrise dawn upon us
and give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
that they may adore you for your mercy,
follow you for your truth,
desire you for your sweetness,
for you are the blessed Lord God of Israel.

Source: Collection post Prophetiam, prayer after the Benedictus, freely modified from  Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 126#2.

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

Canticle: A Longer Sanctus

Image result for russia lutheran christus pantocrator
Christos Pantokrator, Russian Icon, 18th century

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God almighty!
Heaven and earth
are full of your glory.

We worship you.
We give you thanks for your marvelous deeds,
Lord God, heavenly King,
God and Father, Almighty Lord.

Jesus Christ, only Son of the most high,
Holy Spirit, Spirit of peace, truth and grace,
to you, eternal God, be praise for all your works.

Your might is eternal,
and your love unwavering.
Look with mercy on your people
who gather in your sanctuary to worship you,
to thank you for all your benefits for body and soul,
to implore your grace
to enlighten us in knowledge of you
and to instruct our hearts,
that we may bring the holy offerings
of devout obedience to you.

Source: Agende für die Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden im Russischen Reiche, 1832, an alternative canticle to the Gloria in Excelsis, p. 6-7

This canticle seems to blend the Trisagion, an opening hymn in Eastern Orthodox worship, with the Gloria in Excelsis, along with some other elements.

Original in German:

Heiliger! Heiliger! Heiliger! HErr! Gott! Allmächtiger! Himmel und Erde sind Deiner Herrlichkeit voll; wir beten Dich an, wir danken Dir für Deine Wunder, HErr Gott! himmlischer König! Gott Vater! Allmächtiger HErr! eingeborner Sohn des Allerhöchsten! Jesus Christus! Heiliger Geist! Geist des Friedens, der Wahrheit und der Gnade! Dich, ewiger Gott, loben alle Deine Werke; ewig , wie  Du selbst, ist Deine Macht, unwandelbar Deine Liebe; blicke mit Milde herab auf Dein Volk, welches versammelt ist in Deinem Heiligthutne, Dich anzubeten, Dir zu danken für Deine Wohlhaten, und für sich, im Geistigen und Leiblichen, Deine Gnade zu erflehen ; erleuchte unsern Verstand zu Deiner Erkenntniss und lehre unsere Herzen, die heiligen Opfer eines ächten Gehorsams darzubringen!

Agnus Dei / Lamb of God

File:AGNUS DEI.jpgIn most liturgies, the Agnus Dei immediately follows the Words of Institution. The Agnus Dei is based on John the Baptist’s short sermon, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” This short song brings the liturgy of the Divine Service to a sort of fulfillment. In the Kyrie we sang “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.” In the Agnus Dei, this is repeated: “Lamb of God,… have mercy on us,… have mercy on us,… grant us peace.” In the Gloria in Excelsis we sang most of the words while singing the praise of Christ, “Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us.” The words of the Agnus Dei also reflect on the words of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper, “Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

In one form or another, the Agnus Dei has been part of the Western Rite since the seventh century. It is has been called the “fraction anthem,” meaning that the bread for Holy Communion would be broken while it is sung. In some traditions, the distribution of Holy Communion begins with the Agnus Dei. Here is the standard English text from ELLC:

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

The Latin text and other English versions of the text can be seen in this Wikipedia article.

The German translation from the time of the Reformation added “Christe,” or “O Christ,” either to clarify who the Lamb of God is, or to fill out the meter of the notes so that the German text could be sung to the same notes as the Latin. Here is the German tune from Luther’s Deutsches Messe, “Christe, du Lamm Gottes.” 

Agnus Dei
WELS Book of Hymns, 1920, 1931

And in the video it is sung with the English text, “O Christ, Lamb of God” at the 2017 WELS National Worship Conference.  It is preceded by an intonation and a new harmonization by Kermit Moldenhauer.

Since the Reformation, this hymn version of the Agnus Dei by Nicholas Decius was also sung as a German Agnus Dei:

Here it is in English with the new standard text in a contemporary setting by Ricky Manalo:

Here is the Latin text, sung to a setting by Samuel Barber. When performed by an orchestra with no choir, it is called the Adagio for Strings. It is very beautiful and haunting with the Latin text:

 

Sanctus / Holy, Holy, Holy

The Sanctus is in the Communion part of the Divine Service. The text comes from Isaiah’s vision of heaven (Isaiah 6) and John’s vision of heaven in Revelation (Revelation 4) and includes a phrase from the Palm Sunday Gospel, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9). It is thought to have this place in the liturgy, at the end of a prayer of thanksgiving before the words of institution, since the fifth century. It’s origins in Christian worship may go back to the second century.

The use of “Holy, holy, holy,” together with “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” has some doctrinal implications. When they heard the song or shout of the angels, “Holy, holy, holy,” Isaiah and John were in the presence of God. The Palm Sunday acclamation also states, “Your Savior is here.” There is a connection between the Sanctus and the doctrine of the real presence in the Lord’s Supper. (More on that below.)

Here is the standard liturgical text from ELLC:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Some arrangements use the phrase: “Lord, God of hosts.”

And the older English text from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church. “Sabaoth” is a Hebrew word meaning ‘armies’ or ‘hosts,’ as in the heavenly hosts of angels and all the power of nature. I’ll mention something more about this with the Greek text below:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory;
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.

The Book of Common Prayer inserts “Glory to thee,…” and makes “Blessed is he…” optional. This is because some Anglicans taught real presence and some taught representation in the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. (I told you it was doctrinal!):

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts:
Heaven and earth are full of thy Glory.
Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.

Here may be added

Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

In Greek:

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ.
Πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου.
Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.
Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.
Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.

The Greek text in Revelation 4 has παντοκρατωρ (pantokrator)instead of Σαβαώθ (Sabaoth). Pantokrator is a word that means “powerful over all.”

Text in Latin:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Some musical arrangements try to portray these words with the sublime bliss of heaven. Here’s one based on Pachelbel’s Kanon that is similar to the style of Enya:

Some arrangements seem to focus on the Pantokrator or Sabaoth, that the God who is present, our Saving God who comes to us, is powerful over all. Here it is as it appeared in The Lutheran Hymnal and also in Lutheran Service Book and in Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal‘s Common Service.

Sanctus.png
WELS, Book of Hymns, 1920, 1931

This recording includes the Sursum Corda (a dialogue before the preface) the chant of the preface, and then the Sanctus. In different liturgy and accompaniment books, I could only find the tune credited as “traditional.” In an older German source (Choralbuch, Concordia, 1902),  this tune is listed with the note “Seit c. 1848 allhier verbreitet.” (“Widely used since around 1848”).

Here is the German text with a tune arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach:

Here is Mozart’s Sanctus. (The video says its from his Requiem, but that is not correct. ):

Luther’s hymn Jesaia, dem Propheten, Isaiah, Mighty Seer in Days of Old retells the vision from Isaiah 6, and among German Lutherans, this hymn took the place of the Sanctus, or was even called the German Sanctus. Here it is as arranged by Michael Praetorius with much tone-painting that supports the meaning of the words:

And here is Isaiah, Mighty Seer sung in English at the 2017 WELS National Worship Conference. It is performed by a children’s choir, adult choir, assembly, organ, brass and percussion. I was there for the performance, and it also conveyed the awe and the power of our thrice-holy God. The recording begins with the Exhortation from Luther’s Deutsches Messe, and is followed by Isaiah, Mighty Seer: