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Orationes sanctorum

- Gary D. Penkala


PDF Sample

Use: Eastertide, General
Required Resources: SATB choir, organ
Language: Latin & English

Orationes sanctorum: The Prayers of God's Holy People is a majestic motet, not overly difficult, that offers grandeur and flexibility in its use.

The antiphon text is the dramatic Matin Responsory for Tuesday of the Third Week of Eastertide:

Stetit angelus ante altare, habens thuribulum aureum in manu sua; et ascendit fumus incensorum coram Deo, alleluia.

An angel stood before the altar, holding a golden thurible in his hand; and the smoke of incense rose to the presence of God, alleluia.

The spine-tingling Latin text of the antiphon is highlighted by this musical setting. Stetit angelus is sung on high pitches, accented and in unison. The phrase et ascendit fumus incensorum begins with basses on low A; each voice part enters on the rising motive, until the sopranos soar to a high G. Finally the wondrous Latin term coram Deo, which translates "in the presence of God" or "before the face of God," is actually much deeper and embodies how a Christian should live his life — under the authority of our glorious God. This rich text is sung in a solid choral register, on tenuto half notes, which are slower than the rest of the antiphon. Mirroring the et ascendit section, the final triple Alleluia begins in the soprano with a descending motive, passing sequentially through the other voice parts. The antiphon ends with a sturdy IV-V7-I cadence.

While the stately antiphon text is Latin, the three verses from Psalm 149 are in English. They're scored for cantor or unison choir, with chordal harmonies in the accompaniment. The organ part for the antiphon is independent, but quite supportive of the vocal lines.


Order #: 3197
Price: $1.65


- Liturgical Setting
- Easter
- Ordinary Time
- SATB Choir
- Latin / English

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