Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Lamentations for Good Friday ‘In Parasceve’

This is the second in a series of three postings of Palestrina’s setting of readings from the Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah. These are the readings appointed to be read on Good Friday. You’ll find the introduction to the series here: Introducing Palestrina’s Lamentations: A Series For Holy Week 2013 | Saturday Chorale. The singers are the Westminster Cathedral Choir, the Latin text and English translation are also below.

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Text & Translation: Lamentations for Good Friday ‘In Parasceve’

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Lectio I: De Lamentatione Ieremiae prophetae
Heth: Cogitavit Dominus dissipare murum filiae Sion;
tetendit funiculum suum,
et non avertit manum suam a perditione;
luxitque antemurale,
et muras pariter dissipatus est.
Heth: The Lord resolved to destroy the walls of the daughter of Sion.
He extended his line
and did not stay his hand from their destruction.
He brought lamentation upon rampart
and walls alike, and as one they were destroyed.
Teth: Defixae sunt in terra portae eius,
perdidit et contrivit vectes eius;
regem eius et principes eius in gentibus: non est lex,
et prophetae eius non invenerunt visionem a Domino.
Teth: Sunk into the ground are her gates:
he has broken and destroyed her bars:
her king and her princes are among the pagans: the law is no more,
and her prophets no longer find vision from the Lord.
Ierusalem, Ierusalem,
convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
turn to the Lord, your God.
Lectio II: Lamed. Matribus suis dixerunt
Lamed: Matribus suis dixerunt: Ubi est triticum et vinum?
cum deficerent quasi vulnerati in plateis civitatis:
cum exhalerent animas suas in sinu matrum suarum.
Lamed: They say to their mothers: ‘Where is the corn and wine?’
when they swoon like the wounded in the streets of the city,
and breathe their last in the arms of their mothers.
Mem: Cui comparabo te, vel cui assimilabo te,
filia Ierusalem?
Cui exaequabo te, et consolabor te, virgo, filia Sion?
Magna est enim velut mare contritio tua;
quis medebitur tui?
Mem: To what shall I compare thee, to what shall I liken thee,
O daughter of Jerusalem?
To what shall I equal thee, O virgin daughter of Sion,
that I may comfort thee? For thy downfall is great as the sea:
who can heal thee?
Nun: Prophetae tui viderunt tibi falsa et stulta; nec aperiebant iniquitatem tuam, ut te ad poenitentiam provocarent; viderunt autem tibi assumptiones falsas, et eiectiones.Nun: Your prophets have seen vain foolish things for you:
and they have not discovered your iniquity:
to stir you to repentance;
but have seen for you false burdens and causes of banishment.
Ierusalem, Ierusalem,
convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
turn to the Lord, your God.
Lectio III: Aleph. Ego vir videns paupertatem meam
Aleph: Ego vir videns paupertatem meam
in virga indignationis eius.
Aleph: I am the man that has seen affliction
by the rod of his wrath.
Me minavit, et adduxit in tenebras, et non in lucem.He has led me, and brought me into darkness and not into light.
Tantum in me vertit et convertit
manum suam tota die.
Surely he is turned against me;
he turns his hand against me all the day.
Beth: Vetustam fecit pellem meam et carnem meam,
contrivit ossa mea.
Beth: My flesh and my skin have he made old;
he has broken my bones.
Ierusalem, Ierusalem,
convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
turn to the Lord, your God.
Series Navigation<< Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Lamentations for Maundy Thursday ‘In Coena Domini’Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Lamentations for Holy Saturday ‘Sabbato Sancto’ >>

2 thoughts on “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Lamentations for Good Friday ‘In Parasceve’

  1. These are magnificent selections from Jeremiah. One can only marvel as one is transported to a hill overlooking Jerusalem where a lonely figure sits abandoned… et Dominus Flevit. Thank you for this inspiring series.

    Bro. John

    • I’m of the opinion that Palestrina was inspired when he wrote this, it also helps that it’s Westminster Cathedral Choir – they’re a church choir, not an academic one, they are moreover singing their repertoire – and singing it with fervour AMDG which is how it was meant to be sung. Et dominus flevit pro omnibus nobis, nobis peccatoribus …

      mfi

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