immaculate-heart-of-maryRight now our family just does two hours, Prime and Compline. I’ve mentioned the hymn for Compline earlier. We did try singing Prime from the regular Divine Office, but found it a bit difficult. Instead we settled on the Little Office version. It’s the same each day, with minor seasonal variations for Advent and Christmas.

The Divine Office has different hymns for each hour: Jam Lucis for Prime, Nunc Sancte Nobis for Terce, Rector Potens for Sext, Rerum Deus for None and Te Lucis for Compline. Matins, Lauds and Vespers have different hymns for each day of the week and different feast days and seasons. The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary has much fewer hymns and most of them to the one tune.

This is the hymn for Prime, Terce, Sext, None and Compline:

Memento, rerum Conditor,
Nostri quod olim corporis,
Sacrata ab alvo Virginis
Nascendo formam sumpseris.

Maria, Mater gratiæ,
Dulcis parens clementiæ,
Tu nos ab hoste protege
Et mortis hora suscipe.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

Remember, O Creator Lord,
that in the Virgin’s sacred womb
Thou wast conceived, and of her flesh
didst our mortality assume.

Mother of grace, O Mary blest,
to thee, sweet fount of love, we fly;
shield us through life, and take us hence
to thy dear bosom when we die.

O Jesu! born of Mary bright!
Immortal glory be to Thee;
praise to the Father infinite,
and Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.

Matins and Lauds have slightly longer hymns, but same tune.

Some collections of chant have a shorter version, just taking the last two verses of Memento, as sung in this clip from youtube:

So, for singing along, here is the sheet music: MementoRerum
You might remember last weeks diversion into the differences in chant hymns introduced by Pope Urban VIII. Here is the earlier, medieval wording: MementoSalutis. Which is also the same wording that William Byrd used in a beautiful polyphonic arrangement.

Those pages are from a book I was working on which is up at github/veromary/littleOffice. A booklet with Prime and Compline from the little office, plus the text of the Gospel Canticles, Benedictus and Magnificat.

Here are recordings of our family singing compline.



Hymn – Here’s Memento Rerum Conditor

Little chapter or reading

Canticle (Nunc Dimittis)

Collect (or prayer)

Marian Antiphon (Salve Regina)

Download all the tracks as one zip file: littleOfficeCompline