Saturday, 28 April 2012

Sung Latin Grace Before Meals

A few days ago Clare asked on twitter if there was a sung Latin Grace.  A quick search turned up this, which is the traditional Latin Grace set to a simple psalm tone.

I thought it OK, but a bit basic and searched some more.  I couldn't find anything else.

So I gave it some thought and came up with this.



The melody of the grace itself (Benedic Domine etc) is taken from the first line of the chant for the Ubi Caritas.  I chose that for a number of reasons. One is that I love the tune; a second that it is a chant for Maundy Thursday, and I liked the link between grace and the Last Supper; and the third is that it quickly became apparent that the structure of the melody would need little adaptation to fit the words - apart from the Signum Crucis (In nomine Patris) and the concluding Per Christum Dominum Nostrum.

For these, I turned to the Gloria Patri for the Introit of the Mass, in Mode 6 (as the Ubi Caritas melody is in mode 6) and adapted them.

I think the whole thing works ok: not super smooth, but singable and recognisably Gregorian in feel.

If anyone can do better, by all means do!

Here is the Grace and chant written out.  If you would like a .pdf of it, simply email me  (Benny.trovato [at] gmail.com) or leave your email address in the Comms Box.


14 comments:

Trisagion said...

It is usually sung in Benedictine houses to the collect tone.

Patricius said...

You have a very fine voice and have done a good job of setting the words to the Ubi Caritas tune. My personal preference, however, is to stick to the ordinary prayer tone which I last heard some years ago while staying at a monastery.

I never had the opportunity of studying Latin at school but have a fair amount of liturgical stuff off by heart- so sort of "know" it.
Keep up the good work!

Ben Trovato said...

Trisagion: thanks that's interesting, I went to a Benedictine school and we never did that - but it was in the 70's I suppose... Do you know of an example of that online anywhere?

Patricius: it sounds as though you are referring to the same thing. This is news to me: one of the great things about displaying my ignorance on the web is that it flushes out other people's knowledge to put me right! Again, if you know of a recording, i'd be very interested.

Patricius said...

Blogging can certainly change lives! I was so inspired by this piece that, having friends invited to dinner yesterday, I decided to sing the grace before meals. I used the prayer tone from the link, which I printed off for everyone, and added the appropriate invocation- found on the Latin Prayers site. ("Ad cenam vitae aeternae perducat nos, Rex aeternae gloriae. Amen")Result? The meal was an outstanding success!

Ben Trovato said...

Patricius

What a great outcome! Would it be churlish of me to remind you of the post hoc propter hoc fallacy...?

Patricius said...

Ben Trovato

As the cook of said meal modesty prevents me from attributing superlative flavours etc to my own efforts. It must have been the blessing!

Londiniensis said...

Query. When did "which we are bound to receive" become "which we are about to receive"? I seem to remember I was taught the former, but only ever hear the latter nowadays.

Ben Trovato said...

Londiniensis,

I have to confess, I had never come across 'which we are bound to receive' and further, looking at the Latin, can't really see a basis for it.

A quick Google search reveals no instances of it either.

Could it be that it was a local anomaly: the oral tradition at work?

I'd be interested if other readers were 'bound to receive'...

Patricius said...

In school - 1960's - we said "which we are going to receive". Isn't this the "monk swimming" syndrome?

Ben Trovato said...

Monk swimming?

Hugh of Avalon said...

Sumpturi is the plural future active participle, so 'we are about to receive' or 'we are going to receive' are both correct. If you wanted to say 'we are bound to receive' you would need something like 'debemus sumere', but that destroys the flow of the prayer and really means 'we ought to receive'.

Londiniensis said...

I don't think it was a mondegreen. "Bound" would have the meaning of "going", as in "homeward bound". Source is the Irish Passionist nuns who taught me, circa 1950s.

("monk swimming" = presumably, "amongst women")

Ben Trovato said...

Talking of variants, a priest friend of mine says 'tua munera.' Anyone else?

Hugh of Avalon said...

I usually say 'dona tua' and 'de largitate tua' - don't know why, it just seems to roll off the tongue better. Obviously in Latin the word order is not so important.