Sarum Sequence for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Continuing my project of offering translations and versifications of four sequences appearing in the Sarum rite marking the four Sundays of the season of Advent, I present “Jubilemus omnes” for the fourth Sunday.

My source for these Sarum sequences is Charles Buchanan Pearson, Sequences from the Sarum Missal, with English translations (London: Bell and Daldy, 1871), though I have also consulted F[rederick] E[dward] Warren, The Sarum Missal in English (London: A. Moring Ltd, 1911) which employs Pearson’s versifications. I have also found the 2009 pdf of Fr. Anthony Chadwick’s Lectionary of the Sarum Missal  and the digital reproduction of Walter Howard Frere, Graduale sarisburiense; a reproduction in facsimile of a manuscript of the thirteenth century, with a dissertation and historical index, illustrating its development from the Gregorian antiphonale missarum  to be helpful in studying this sequence.

The following presents the Latin text with a slavishly literal translation by yours truly below each line:

Jubilemus omnes una
As one let us all rejoice
Deo nostro Qui creavit omnia.
To our God who has created all things.
Per Quem cuncta condita sunt saecula,
Through Whom all the ages were created,
Caelum quod plurima luce coruscat, et diversa sidera;
The sky that gleams with full light, and the various stars;
Sol, mundi schema, noctium decus luna, caeteraque splendentia:
The sun, the center of the world-system, the moon, adornment of nights, and the rest of the glittering things;
Mare, solum, altum, plana, ac profunda flumina:
The sea, land, heights, plains and profound depths:
Aeris ampla spatia, quae discurrunt aves, venti atque pluvia;
The ample space of the air, where birds and winds and rainfalls fly forth;
Haec simul cuncta Tibi Deo soli Patri militant
All these at one accord sing out to You, God alone,
Nunc et in aevum sine fine per saecula; laus eorum Tua gloria;
Now and unto with age without end through the ages; their praise sings out your glory;
Qui pro salute nostra Prolem unicam
Who for our salvation
Pati in terram misisiti sine culpa; sed ob nostra delicta.
Have sent unto the earth your only Son to suffer without guilt of sin, but on account of ours.
Te, Trinitas, precamur et corpora nostra et corda
We pray you, O Trinity, that you would rule and protect
Regas, et protegas; et dones pecatorum veniam.
Our bodies and hearts; and grant mercy to sinners.

Here is Pearson’s versification of this sequence:

Before the all-creating Lord
Let us rejoice with one accord,
Who made the worlds, the beaming sky,
The stars that glitter variously;
The sun, creation’s central light,
The moon which softly decks the night,
All other orbs that gleam around,
Sea lands, hills, plains, and deeps profound;
The air, where fly the feather’d tribes,
The winds go forth, the tempest rides;
All, now and ever, Thee alone
Ceaselessly praising, Father own;
Who to this lower earth has sent
Thine only Son, all innocent,
Bringing salvation from on high,
For our transgressions here to die.
To Thee, blest Trinity, we pray,
Guide all our goings in Thy way,
Control our wills, our hearts revive,
To our offences pardon give.

In the Sarum Rite, the epistle assigned to the Fourth Sunday of Advent is the same as assigned to the Third Sunday of Advent in the Roman Rite: Philippians 4:4-7 with its ringing call to “rejoice in the Lord always.” The opening lines of the sequence suggest that the worshiping community is fulfilling Paul’s exhortation to the community in Philippi by their own singing of the sequence: “Jubilemus omnes” (Let us all rejoice). The gospel assigned to the Fourth Sunday of Advent in the Sarum Rite is likewise the same as that assigned as gospel to the Third Sunday of Advent in the Roman Rite [John 1:19-28], a narrative in which John identifies himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to herald “the one who stands in [your] midst, whom you do not know”. The Sequence does not appear to be influenced by the gospel reading, but nearly the entire composition can be seen as a response to the command of the Gradual that, in addition to the worshiper(s), “all flesh give thanks to [God’s] holy name.” Here, as in, e.g., Psalm 148, human rejoicing is placed in the context of the praise that all creation offers to its Creator, with humanity also praising God for redemption through the death of the Only-Begotten.

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