Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Media vita

Gregorian chant

Media vita in morte sumus:
quem quaerimus adjutorem nisi te Domine?
Qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris.

In the midst of life we are in death:
from whom shall we ask help if not from thee, Lord?
Who for our sins art justly angry.

Sancte Deus, sancte fortis,
sancte misericors Salvator,
amarae morti ne tradas nos.

Holy God, holy strong one,
holy, merciful Savior,
do not hand us over to bitter death.

In te speraverunt patres nostri,
speraverunt et liberasti eos.

In thee our fathers hoped,
they hoped and you freed them.

Ad te clamaverunt patres nostri,
clamaverunt et non sunt confusi.

To thee our fathers cried,
they cried and they were not disturbed.

* * *

For once, a translation that is entirely my own! I didn't like the others out there, and this is very easy Latin.

This is a favourite piece our schola here at Christendom sings during Lent. I've been listening for two Lents and finally figured out enough of it to look it up on Google. The first line is the most powerful: "In the midst of life we are in death." And it's the truth. Every moment is either spiritual death or a death to self. We cannot bear fruit without dying in the furrow; and if we refuse to die in the furrow our souls will die. On another level, we are always surrounded by death. It is something we are constantly faced with, and the only way to understand and face it is to cry out to God.

1 comment:

boinky said...

Thanks for the poem