Saturday, 13 December 2008

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One...

The Annunciation

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum. Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorem.
Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour.
Isaias 45:8


This versicle appears throughout the Offices for Advent and is yet another example of how much more Scriptural the old Roman rite of the Catholic Church is compared with the new rite of Paul VI in which, sadly, it is almost never sung. Most modern Catholics do not even know that this most beautiful Advent antiphon even exists.
 
The full hymn is sung thus:
 
Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum.

Ne irascaris Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas Sancti facta est deserta, Sion deserta facta est: Ierusalem desolata est: domus sanctificationis tuac et gloriae tuae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.
Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.
Peccavimus, et facti sumus tamquam immundus nos, et cecidimus quasi folium universi; et iniquitates nostrae quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Vide, Domini, afflictionem populi tui, et mitte quem missurus es, emitte Agnum dominatorem terrae, de Petra deserti montem filiae Sion: ut auferat ipse iugum captivatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua:. quare moerore consumeris, quia innovavit te dolor? Salvabo te, noli timere: ego enim sum Dominus Deus, tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.
Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Listen to these French monks singing the Rorate in the monastic church of their conventual home, calling upon God to forgive their sins as they await with joy, once again, the great Feast of the Birth of our Most Holy Saviour:




Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of Thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of our holiness and of Thy glory, where our fathers praised Thee.
Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!
We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away; Thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.
Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!
See, O Lord, the affliction of Thy people, and send Him whom Thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the Ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that He Himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.
Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!
Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? Why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

"

With this extraordinarily beautiful hymn the prayer of the Church during Advent is lifted up to the heavens in song.
Henry Tanner. The Annunciation. 1898
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5 comments:

umblepie said...

Thank you for this beautiful Advent hymn, also for the lovely painting of the Annunciation - very unusual and 'mysterious'. I regularly visit your blog-site, which I find interesting, informative, and truly Catholic.

Tribunus said...

Thank you!

Dyan said...

Ok this is broken down wonderfully but can someone explain to me where all the different parts or versicles of the hymn comes from---in particular consolamini etc... I know the openin is Isaias---but where does each verse come from???? I cant seem to find it anywhere and I would (my mother) really like to know this... thankyou

Copernicus said...

how much more Scriptural the old Roman rite of the Catholic Church is compared with the new rite of Paul VI

Sad to see this gratuitous sideswipe, which is patently untrue. The "full hymn", as you call it, is devotional rather than liturgical, and you won't find it in any liturgical book, of the old rite or the new. Its verses are only paraphrased from scripture.

The antiphon text you quote at the beginning of your post, on the other hand, is unaltered in the Missal of Paul VI. It's hard to see what justification you propose for denigrating the newer Missal.

Tribunus said...

Sorry, Dyan, but that is poppycock.

You merely publish your own ignorance.

It appears in the offices for Advent in the old rite.

GO AND TAKE A LOOK.

So - yes - it is liturgical.

You also contradict yourself. You say the antiphon appears in the missal of Paul VI but, at the same time, does not appear in any liturgical book.

Face it. The simple truth is that the hymn Rorate is almost NEVER heard in the new rite and most new rite Catholics don't even know it exists.

If you bothered to study and compare the old and new liturgies you would quickly find the old is much more scriptural.

And you would also find that the new collects are worse: they are doctrinally ambiguous.

Read Professor Lauren Pristas on the subject.

Next time you feel like shooting your mouth off - do some reading first.