Sacred Music Studies
Year 1 - September

You have a choice between two hymn texts this month! They both use the same hymn tune, which means they share the same melody. Orientis partibus is the name of the hymn tune. The first text, Concordi lætitia, is a 13th century Latin poem, and the other, Maiden Mother, Meek and Mild, is a devotional hymn from the 19th century.

Hymn Tune Information:

Orientis partibus - attributed to Pierre de Corbeil,1222
graphy of Corbeil on Wikipedia
A little history of the hymn tune

Four Week Basic Schedule:

If possible, sing everyday at the start of school, at morning prayers, or another set time of family prayer. If the hymn is sung often enough, memorization will come naturally. The final goal is to have as much of the hymn memorized as possible.

Prep - Print out music; put in binder. Briefly look over the history of the hymn, tune, composer, lyricist, time period, etc. to get ideas about additional assignments.

Week 1 - Introduce the hymn and its history. Listen to the audio, and sing along. Choose which, if any, additional assignments will be given, and assign. Flexibility, interest, age, musical ability etc. will determine which type of assignment is best. 

Weeks 2 - 4 - Complete additional assignment(s). Sing and memorize. Review other hymns.
Concordi lætitia
13th century Latin poem. Author anonymous.
Sheet Music with translation and modern notation

Gregorian score (download as a PDF if you want to print it)

Video & Audio - from CCWatershed


Translation by Jeffrey C. Kalb, Jr., in public domain:

With concordant mirth inspired,
All our sadness now retired,
Mary let the Church recall,
Heralding her praise to all:
O Virgin Mary!

Who with glad and joyful sighs,
When the Lord from death did rise,
Flowered as the lily bloom,
Seeing Son His life resume:
O Virgin Mary!

Whom with harmony the same,
The angelic choirs acclaim.
We with dwellers heavenly
Venture novel melody:
O Virgin Mary!

Virgin Queen of Virgins, heed
Vows of suppliants in need.
After death’s own course has fled,
Bring reward of life instead:
O Virgin Mary!
O Thou glorious Trinity,
Undivided Unity,
On account of Mary’s due
Through the ages save us too:
O Virgin Mary!

Original Latin text:

1. Concordi lætitia, Propulsa mæstitia, Mariæ præconia Recolat Ecclesia: Virgo Maria!
2. Quæ felici gaudio, Resurgente Domino, Floruit ut lilium, Vivum cernens Filium: Virgo Maria!
3. Quam concentu parili Chori laudant caelici, Et nos cum cælestibus Novum melos pangimus: Virgo Maria!
4. O Regina virginum, Votis fave supplicum, Et post mortis stadium, Vitæ confer praemium: Virgo Maria!
5. Gloriosa Trinitas, Indivisa Unitas, Ob Mariae merita, Nos salva per saecula: Virgo Maria! Amen.
Maiden Mother, Meek and Mild 
text by Cecilia Mary Caddell, 1814-1877
Sheet Music from the Catholic Choir Book

Easier piano version

Another version on, with 2 extra verses

Audio 1 (choir - first verse in Latin, the rest in English)

Audio 2 (piano only)
Maiden Mother, meek and mild,
Take, oh take me for they child.
All my life, oh let it be
My best joy to think of thee, Virgo Maria!

Teach me, when the sunbeam bright
Calls me with its golden light,
How my waking thoughts may be
Turned to Jesus and to thee, Virgo Maria!

Teach me also through the day
Oft to raise my heart and say,
"Maiden Mother, meek and mild,
Guard, oh guard thy faithful child", Virgo Maria!

When my eyes are closed in sleep,
Through the night my slumbers keep,
Make my latest thought to be
How to love thy Son and thee, Virgo Maria!

Thus, Sweet Mother, day and night
Thou shalt guard my steps aright
And my dying words shall be:
"Virgin Mother, pray for me! Virgo Maria!"
Learn to Read Gregorian Chant

Teaching yourself and your children to read Gregorian Chant is an important part of a Catholic education, and an invaluable skill that will benefit your spiritual lives. I would even go so far as to suggest that learning to read chant is more important than learning the hymns, because if you can read chant, and if you understand solfege sight-reading (do-re-mi), you can learn any hymn on your own! 

This year, we are using "A Gregorian Chant Coloring Book for Children and Adults" (Click for PDF) by Noel Jones. It is free to download. Here is the PDF of the Teacher's edition (Same as the coloring book, but with more explanation. Great for older students, but I wouldn't print it because of the cost of ink!)

Assignment for September: Pages 1-9 - Intro, Staff, Ledger Lines, Neumes 

Are your children too young to learn to read chant? Try singing songs from "The Story of the Redemption for Children in Chant". Free audio is available for each song to help you learn. Free PDF download of the book from Musica Sacra. Your littles will easily become familiar with several Gregorian melodies.
Optional Enrichment and Learning
Language Arts Ideas:
  • Copywork - copy a verse or the chorus; make a handwriting sheet here
  • Dictation
  • Choose a favorite stanza and enter it in a personal journal
  • Define any new vocabulary words
  • Narration - have your student tell you what the hymn is about in his own words

History Ideas:

  • Read the biographies of the composers
  • Locate birthplaces on a globe
  • What else was happening in the world/country of origin when it was composed?
  • Make a page for your Book of Centuries or add it to a Timeline 
Religious Ideas:
  • Search the Catechism for related topics; read and discuss.
  • Read John xix; 25-27
  • Which prayers, apparitions, or Marian devotions mention/show Mary as a watchful, protective Mother?
  • Draw/color a picture of Mary as described in the hymn 
  • Add drawn symbols, images, and embellishments to the sheet music for the family hymnal
For further learning about sacred music:
More Sacred Music to Listen to and Enjoy:
Connect on the Google+ Community

I started a Google+ community for these studies. I think it would be helpful if questions, answers, interesting facts found, or other helpful information could be easily seen and discussed by all.  Think of it as an online study and support group. Some suggested posts to the group might be:
  • What relevant scripture or catechism references did you find?  
  • Share a link to another recording.
  • Share your blog posts or photos of your family learning the hymns.
  • What is your favorite verse from the hymn?
  • Did you discover something interesting about its history?
  • Do you have other suggestions for learning activities?

Let's enjoy this learning experience together!

If you are new to Google+,  here's a great tutorial on getting started
Sacred Music Studies Community
Sacred Music Studies Community
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