September 18, 2012

Requiem for Children (1-3)

first part of
Requiem for children: victims of war, famine, and the folly of their elders
for strings, percussion and celesta
based on a 1980 work for unaccompanied chorus and semichorus (in Latin)

MP3 File
I. Introit and Kyrie
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
Out of the depths I call to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my prayer.
To you, our God, shall hymns be sung in Zion and vows fulfilled in Jerusalem.
To you all flesh shall come.
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.

II. Gradual
Out of the mouths of infants and nursing children, your praise is perfected against your enemies.
O Lord, our Lord, how admirable is your name in all the world.
When I regard your heavens, the work of your fingers
the moon and the stars you established,
what is man that you think of him,
or the son of man that you visit him?
Out of the mouths of infants and nursing children, your praise is perfected against your enemies.

III. Sequence (Dies Irae)
Whoever should place an obstacle before one of these little ones,
it would be more expedient for him to have a millstone hung about his neck
and to be cast into the depths of the sea.
(Full text of Dies Irae. here in a translation courtesy of Fr John-Julian, OJN)

Ah, that Day, that Day of Passion,
Earth exploding, heavens ashen,
Just as prophets’ warnings fashioned.

Ah, the trembling and the shaking
With the Final Judgment breaking;
All the world is crushed and quaking.
Gabriel’s trumpet cries: its singing,
Through the graves of earth is ringing,
All before the throne is bringing.

Death and nature are confounded,
By the rising dead surrounded,
As the call to Judgment sounded.

From the book with all recorded,
Sin is judged and good rewarded;
Thence each verdict is awarded.

When to shame we are committed,
All our secret faults admitted,
Nothing then will be omitted.

How shall fools like us be pleading?
Who will hear our poor entreating
When the best are mercy needing?

Lord of kingly exaltation
Who has offered us salvation,
Pity us in tribulation

Mindful, Lord, that our salvation
Caused Your wondrous Incarnation,
Leave us not to condemnation.

With the labors You have given,
On the tree of suff’ring riven,
Shall we still be unforgiven?

Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution,
Grant the gift of absolution
Ere the day of retribution.

Through our weeping we implore You;
Shamed and anguished we adore You;
Spare us humbled here before You.

Sinful Magdalen You greeted,
And the dying thief You heeded,
Giving us the hope we needed.

Pray’rs of ours, though undeserving,
You redeem with love unswerving,
From the endless flames preserving.

With Your lambs a place provide us,
From the goats rejected hide us,
To Your right hand may You guide us.

When the wicked are refuted
And to bitter flames deputed,
Let our sentence be commuted.

Low we kneel with hearts entreating,
Worn to ruin by death’s beating,
Save us at our lives’ completing.

On that day of agonizing
From the dust of the earth arising,

Though our sins to guilt subject us,
Of Your mercy, Lord, protect us.

Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
Grant us Your eternal rest. Amen.

Latin, 13th century; tr. John-Julian, OJN, 1992
©Copyright, 1992 by The Order of Julian of Norwich
All rights reserved. Used by permission


June Butler said...

Very nice, Tobias. Did you do the traditional translation?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, Mimi. No, the translation isn't mine (found it on the web) but I will soon be replacing it with a much better one by Fr John-Julian, with his permission... (His version actually scans and fits the music!)

Anonymous said...

I don't like the idea of anyone, much less children, needing salvation from eternal flames and torments.
It's one of the most unattractive features of religions like Christianity and Islam. And "salvation" generally leaves me cold; why do I need curing when I was created with serious flaws-hard of hearing or dyslexic?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

TG, my thought in the Dies Irae -- which I thought the antiphon would make clear -- is that the ones who need deliverance are those who have harmed or abused or murdered children.

Personally, I don't believe in hell as a place of eternal punishment -- I find it irreconcilable with a loving God -- and thus my thinking here is part of a response to a tradition.