Emicat meridies: A Sequence for St Scholastica

The proper Mass for St Scholastica Surge propera that appears in the Benedictine supplement to the Roman missal is of relatively late introduction, first appearing in the latter part of the 17th century. It is, however, graced with an elegant sequence in honour of the monastic patriarch’s peristeramorphic sister displaying all the unction one might expect from a truly mediæval production. 

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The melody of the Sequence in Nivers’ Gradual.

In the Solesmes editions of the Gradual, the sequence is set to a first-mode melody redolent of the High Middle Ages. It replaced the melody one finds in the Gradual prepared in 1696 by Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers for the use of Benedictine nuns: a saccharine ditty typical of the infelicitous taste en vogue during that putatively enlightened age. 

emicat

Emicat meridies,
et beata requies
virgini Scholasticae.
Midday shines forth,
and blessed rest
upon the maiden Scholastica.
Intrat in cubicula:
Sponsi petit oscula,
quem amavit unice.
She entereth the Bridegroom’s chambers,
she seeketh his kisses,
whom alone she lovedst.
Quantis cum gemitibus,
cordis et ardoribus
haec Dilectum quaesiit!
With what groans,
and ardour of heart
she sought her Belovèd!
Movit caelos lacrimis,
imbribusque plurimis
pectus fratris mollit.
She movedst heaven with her tears,
and with heavy rains
softenedst her brother’s heart.
O grata colloquia,
cum caelorum gaudia
Benedictus explicat!
O happy conversation,
when the joys of heaven
Benedict explaineth!
Ardent desideria,
mentis et suspiria,
virgo, Sponsus excitat.
Desires burn,
and sighs of the heart,
O maiden, doth the Bridegroom arouse!
Veni formosissima,
sponsa dilectissima,
veni, coronaberis.
Come, most comely,
most belovèd bride,
come, thou shalt be crowned.
Dormies in liliis,
afflues deliciis,
et inebriaberis.
Thou shalt sleep among lilies,
thou shalt abound in delights,
and be inebriated.
O columba virginum,
quae de ripis fluminum
adis aulam gloriae.
O dove of maidens,
who from the stream banks
goest forth to the hall of glory.
Trahe nos odoribus,
pasce et uberibus
immortalis gratiae. Amen.
Draw us by thy scent,
and feed us with the paps
of grace everlasting. Amen.

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3 thoughts on “Emicat meridies: A Sequence for St Scholastica

  1. ‘peristeramorphic’, what a magnificent word, but, temporarily distanced from reference books I am struggling to grasp its meaning. The OED, which I can access on my ‘phone is silent!

    Liked by 1 person

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