The tune ‘Veni, Veni Emmanuel’ was adapted by Thomas Helmore from a fifteenth century French Franciscan Processional. He first published it in The Hymnal Noted in 1854 with a translation by John Neale of the Latin hymn ‘Veni Emmanuel’. The text is a paraphrase of the O Antiphons sung at vespers during the seven days immediately before Christmas.
Dies Irae is the Gregorian chant Latin sequence sung at the Roman Catholic Requiem mass. It dates from at least the thirteenth century and is often attributed to Thomas of Celano of the Franciscan Order or the Dominican Latino Malabranca Orsini. In some sources its origin is ascribed to St. Gregory the Great, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, or St. Bonaventure. The text describes the day of judgment, the last trumpet summoning souls before the throne of God, where the saved will be delivered and the unsaved cast into eternal flames.
Jesu dulcis memoria is a hymn often attributed to St Bernard of Clairvaux. The original poem, depending on the manuscript, ranges from forty-two to fifty-three stanzas. Three sections of it are used as hymns in the Liturgy of the Hours of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus: “Iesu dulcis memoria” (Vespers), “Iesu rex admirabilis” (Office of Readings), “Iesu decus angelicum” (Lauds).
Several English hymns sung today are based on translations of Jesu dulcis memoria. These include “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts” (1858 translation by Ray Palmer) and “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee” (1849 translation by Edward Caswall).
Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting light,
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
and hear Thy servants when they call.
Conditor alme siderum is an anonymous text from the 7th century used at Vespers during Advent. It was translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale in the Hymnal Noted, published in 1852. The hymn follows the Long Meter poetic rhythm and is in Mode IV.
Victimae paschali laudes is the Sequence chant for Easter Day. Charles Tournemire recorded an improvisation on the chant which was later transcribed be Maurice Duruflé. This transcription has become a popular piece of organ literature.