Sunday, 3 March 2013

Tantum Ergo - lets wake the kids with a joyful early morning song

This morning I was chided for waking my kids up. "Can't we sleep late just once." they cried. On Saturday, they all had to get up early to support their sibling in a walk-a-thon, so they were hoping for a 6:00pm mass. Instead their tortuous father woke them up at 7:00am so that they could have a good breakfast before we went off to 9:00am Sunday mass.

My wife rang in with "You should have been woken up with the Latin chants that your Grandfather woke us up with." Their grandfather, my father-in-law, had been to boarding school at Ratcliff college in the village of Ratcliff on the Wreake, Leicestershire, England which was founded on the instructions of Blessed Father Anonio Rosmini-Seerbati in 1845 as a seminary. In 1847, the buildings were converted for use as a boarding school. He went their just after the second world war and supposedly brought back with him some of the songs the brothers thought him.

My wife and her siblings were usually woken by a booming latin song emanating from my father-in-law of which my wife has blacked out of her memory. "It was all unpleasant business." she would say. A call to my father in law brought back the memories in a flood.... "Tantum Ergo Sacramentum"... he said with a laugh.

 "You children are lucky that your father gently wakes you." she told them "Granddad would burst into the room almost shouting the latin at us as he put the lights on and ripped the covers off of us."

My wife's memories meant nothing to my children... SO..... I think I will make it mean something. Perhaps I will wake them up for a week with the ol' Tantum Ergo Sacramentum.

Now I don't know if the brothers woke up my father-in-law and the other boys at the school with this song, but they were expected up for lauds or morning prayer... so it may be possible.

The "Tantum Ergo" according to wiki is...

....the opening words of the last two verses of Pange Lingua, a Mediaeval Latin hymn written by St Thomas Aquinas. These last two verses are sung during veneration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church and other churches that practice this devotion. It is usually sung, though solemn recitation is sometimes done, and permitted.

Here is the prayer in Latin and English-

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail,
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from Each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.

Well wish me luck trying to remember the latin...

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