Sacred Music in Honor of Ukraine

Ave Maria, Gregorian Chant (14th century)
The “Ave Maria” first existed as a Gregorian chant, or plain chant, derived from the French plein chant, meaning “full singing.” This plein chant prayer is full of the sounds of medieval Europe, praying their intercession to Mary.

Ave Maria is the prayer “Hail Mary”. The first part of the prayer is from Luke where the angel Gabriel announces Mary and announces to her that she is full of grace (her child will be God). The second part is also from Luke where Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and Elizabeth realizes there is something very special about Mary, and tells Mary “blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit Jesus.” The last part of the prayer was added in the 14th century when the plague (Black Death) was sweeping across Europe, and the petition to Mary to pray for us, especially at the hour of our death.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum,
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you,
blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Ave Maria
ás Luis de Victoria (Spain, 1548 - 1611)

The “Ave Maria” is known in English as the “Hail Mary” prayer, and is the best known of all the prayers devoted to
Mary. The Spanish priest Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 - 1611) composed this setting from its three distinct parts. The
first part is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke and joins together the words of the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation (Luke
1:28). The second part is Elizabeth's greeting to Mary at the Visitation (Luke 1:42). The third and final part dates back to
the time of the plague in Europe in the 14th century, and calls for the intercession of Mary at the hour of our death.

Randall Thompson (USA, 1899-1984)

Thompson composed this piece on the eve of World War II, just days following France’s fall to the Nazis in the summer of 1940. Thompson later explained, "the word Alleluia has so many possible interpretations. The music in my particular Alleluia cannot be made to sound joyous. It is a slow, sad piece…” Schola performs it with the intention that the journey of this piece exhibits sadness, frustration and finally succumbing to, and acceptance of, our life experiences.

Servant Song
Richard Gilliard (England, b. 1953)

Gilliard composed this spiritual piece in the 1970s in New Zealand. It speaks beautifully to our current times.

Miserere Mei, Deus
Gregorio Allegri (Italy, 1582 - 1652)

Gregorio Allegri's famed 16th century "Miserere" composition was smuggled out of the Sistine Chapel in Wolfgang Mozart's head after his visit to Rome during Holy Week of 1770 (at the age of 14!)

Psalm 50/51: Have Mercy on Me, God

Miserere mei, Deus,
secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

Have mercy on me, God,
in accord with your merciful love;

Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuárum,
dele iniquitatèm meam.

in your abundant compassion
blot out my transgressions.

Amplius lava me ab iniqui-tate mea:
et a peccato meo munda me.

Thoroughly wash away my guilt;
and from my sin cleanse me.

Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognósco:
et peccatum meum contra me èst semper.

For I know my transgressions;
my sin is always before me.

Tibi soli peccavi, et| malum, coram te feci:
ut justificeris in sermonibus tūis, et vincas cum

Against you, you alone have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your eyes

Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus súm:
et in peccatis concepit me matèr mea.

Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti:
incerta et occulta sapientiae tuæ | manife-stasti mihi.

Behold, I was born in guilt,
in sin my mother conceived me.

Asperges me hyssopo, et mundábor:
lavabis me, et super nivem deàlbabor.

Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam,
et exsul-tabunt ossa humiliate.

You will let me hear gladness and joy;
the bones you have crushed will rejoice.

Averte faciem tuam a peccatis méis:
et omnes iniquitates meàs dele.

Turn away your face from my sins;
blot out all my iniquities.

Cor mundum crea in me, Deus:
et spiritum rectum innova | in vi-sceribus meis.

A clean heart create for me, O God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.

Ne projicias me a facie túa:
et spiritum sanctum tuum | ne aufèras a me.

Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.

Redde mihi laetitiam | salu-taris tui:
et spiritu principali confirma me.

Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.

Docebo iniquos vias túas:
et impii ad te convèrtentur.

I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you.

Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, | Deus sa-lutis meæ:
et exsultabit lingua mea | ju-stitiam tuam.

Rescue me from violent bloodshed, God, my saving God,
and my tongue will sing joyfully of your justice.

Domine, labia mea apéries:
et os meum annuntiabit laudèm tuam.

Lord, you will open my lips;
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique:
holocaustis non delectaberis.

For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it;
a burnt offering you would not accept.

Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulátus:
cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non dèspicies.

My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.

Benigne fac, Domine, | in bona voluntate - tua Sion:
ut ædificentur - muri Jerusalem.

Treat Zion kindly according to your good will;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, |
oblate-ones et holocausta;
Tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

Then you will desire the sacrifices of the just,
burnt offering and whole offerings;
Then they will offer up calves on your altar

Set Me As a Seal
René Clausen (USA, b. 1953)

This song tells of true love, the text being from the Bible’s Song of Songs, a book of the Old Testament that is an exquisite collection of love lyrics, arranged to tell a dramatic tale of mutual desire and courtship. Clausen beautifully paints this text (8:6) that states that love should be shown clearly, that the waters of chaos cannot extinguish its’ fire, nor can floods carry it away.

E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come
Paul Manz (USA 1919 - 2009) & words by Ruth Manz (Canada, 1919 - 2008)

Paul and Ruth Manz wrote "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" in 1953 during a time when their three-year old son was critically ill. Reflecting on the time, Ruth Manz reported, "I think we'd reached the point where we felt that time was certainly running out so we committed it to the Lord and said, 'Lord Jesus quickly come'". During this time, she had prepared some text for Paul for a composition based on the Book of Revelation. While at his son's bedside, Paul Manz began drafting the composition, which later became the current piece. Their son did recover, to which the couple owed to prayer.

Sing Me to Heaven
John Gawthrop (USA, b. 1949)

Northern Virginia’s Voce Chamber Singers’s first commission was Daniel Gawthorp’s “Sing Me to Heaven.” It was first performed by the Voce Chamber Singers on February 4, 1991.

Sicut Cervus
G. P. da Palestrina (Italy, 1525-1594)

As a deer longs for the flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. -Psalm 42:1. Serene and sensuous, this four-voice Renaissance polyphonic piece evokes the flowing water that promises to satisfy the thirsty deer. Its expansive, continuously aspiring lines suggest a deep sense of longing and lament.

This psalm of the great Easter Vigil was set by Palestrina in the 16th following the death of his wife, son and brother. Palestrina's constant calling out in anguish cannot be overlooked during its' performance.

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes: ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.

Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem vivum:
quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei?
Fuerunt mihi lacrymae meae panes die ac nocte, dum dicitur mihi quotidie,
“Ubi est Deus tuus?”

As the deer longs for running, so longs my soul after thee, O God.

My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God:
when shall I come and appear before the face of God?
My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily,
"Where is thy God?"

If Ye Love Me
Thomas Tallis (England, 1505 - 1585)

Politics and dogma leave their temporary mark on the shifting sands of history, while music remains eternal.

The life of the great English composer Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585) is a testament to this idea. While Tallis remained an “unreformed Roman Catholic” throughout his life, he adapted professionally to serve the monarch of the time. He wrote for the Latin Catholic Mass until Henry VIII’s break with Rome. After writing Anglican music, he returned to the Catholic Mass to accommodate Queen Mary. Under Elizabeth I, he returned to the Anglican tradition.

This brief four-part motet was published in 1565 during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It is a setting of a passage from the Gospel of John (4:15-17). Tallis’ writing conforms to the pure style of the time, employing “to each syllable a plain and distinct note” as he explained it.
If Ye Love Me is still standard sacred music of the Anglican tradition, with performances at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and during Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 visit to Westminster Abbey. Surviving the winds of change over the course of 400 years, it comes to us as pure music.

If ye love me,
keep my commandments,
and I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another comforter,
that he may bide with you forever,
e'en the spirit of truth.

Hosanna filio David
Gregorian chant

This ancient chant accompanies the ancient Palm Sunday procession of the Roman Mass.

Hosanna filio David:
benedíctus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Rex Israel: Hosanna in excelsis.

Hosanna to the Son of David:
blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
King of Israel; Hosanna in the highest heavens.

Hosanna to the Son of David
Orlando Gibbons (England, 1583 - 1625)

A choirboy at King's College, Cambridge, Gibbons became organist of the Chapel Royal of James I at the age of 21 and later of Westminster Abbey. His brilliant rendition of Hosanna brings to life the yelling of the crowds at Jesus as we he entered Jerusalem through the Western Gate on what today is known as Palm Sunday.

Hosanna to the Son of David:
blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the King of Israel;
blessed be the Kingdom that cometh in the name of the Lord:
peace in heaven, and glory in the highest places;
Hosanna in the highest heavens.

Ubi Caritas
Ola Gjeilo (Norway, b. 1978)

Since the 10th century, "Ubi Caritas" has been chanted (as a Gregorian chant that likely originated in France) during Holy Week's Maundy Thursday Mass. Schola sings this contemporary setting by Norway's Ola Gjeilo.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

Guillaume Machaut (France, 1300 - 1377)

Machaut set the great Gloria hymn of the Roman Catholic Mass during the time of the Black Death. The sounds of this medieval setting mirrors the dark times of the Middle Ages.

The ancient Gloria began by the priest or bishop echoing the proclamation of the angels at the birth of Christ: "Glory to God in the highest!" In this ancient hymn, the gathered assembly joins the heavenly choirs in offering praise and adoration to the Father and Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Glória in excélsis Deo
et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis.

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

Laudámus te,
benedícimus te,
adorámus te,
glorificámus te,
grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam glóriam tuam.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory.

Dómine Deus, Rex caeléstis,
Deus Pater omnípotens.
Dómine Fili unigénite, Jesu Christe,
Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fílius Patris.

Lord God, heavenly King, O God,
Almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.

Qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis;
qui tollis peccáta mundi, súscipe deprecatiónem nostram.
Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserére nobis.

you who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you who takes away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you who are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

Quóniam tu solus Sanctus,
tu solus Dóminus,
tu solus Altíssimus,
Jesu Christe,
cum Sancto Spíritu in glória Dei Patris.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father.


And so it shall be.

Pie Jesu
Arr. Michael McGlynn (Ireland, b. 1964)

A song of prayerful hope of eternal rest. This arrangement was composed by Michael McGlynn following the bombing in Armagh that took place during Ireland’s ‘Troubles.’

Pie Jesu, dona eis requiem.

Merciful Jesus, grant them eternal rest.

Earth Song
Frank Ticheli (USA, b. 1958)

A cry for peace in a world torn by war, this poignant a cappella setting of an original text is filled with striking dynamic contrasts. "Sing, Be, Live, See... This dark stormy hour, the wind, it stirs. The scorched earth cries out in vain... But music and singing have been my refuge, and music and singing shall be my light..."