27 May 2010

Elites

There are elites within elites within elites within elites. If you say the Divine Office ... in Latin ... according to the Old Rite ... but using the text of the hymns as they were before Urban VIII debauched those texts in the 1630s ... then:

You will know that the Office Hymn at Mattins this week is Iam Christus astra ascenderat. In the post-conciliar reforms, Dom Anselmo Lentini kept it as the hymn for Terce; but, as well as adding a new stanza (Descende ...), he eliminated several of those in the original. Not surprisingly, one of these was the stanza about the Jews (Iudaea ... vesana ...). But that stanza had already been neutered by Barberini. The original contained the line "ructare musti crapulam" - belching the drunkenness/drunken hang-over of the must. But belching, although Horace uses ructare in the Ars, is not the sort of vocab you expect in the Odes - and it was the Odes which Urban's merry men took as their stylistic bench-mark. So they changed it to "... madere ...". (I know what you're thinking: Quod barbari non coinquinaverunt, stupraverunt Barberini.)

You may be wondering how the disciples could have been drunk on must: unfermented grapejuice. Sometimes, mustum seems to mean partially fermented wine, and S Jerome certainly thought that it was a fair translation for the gleukous of the original.

2 comments:

Fr LR said...

Ah-hah! I find it in the Anglican Breviary in the matchless un-debauched, urtext hand of the inimitable Prime Mover of poetic inspiration - but only tripleĆ«lite; because…'tis in English.

(The Sacred Cross Monastic Matins translation has been made to play the whore by politically correct editorializing ninnies.)

Joshua said...

Yes, as I'm using the Dominican Breviary, I've been happily praying these very words this week - in the Brev. S.O.P., they occur at Lauds, as the 3rd stanza of the hymn Impleta gaudent viscera, which must be a continuation of the Matins hymn...

Nice to be keeping up with the Joneses!