Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Music Video: Pie Jesu by Celtic Woman

Learn the meaning and history of this traditional song, Pie Jesu, which hails from ancient Christianity, rearranged by composers throughout the centuries.





From Denny:  A very peaceful song indeed. Here is the short translation of two lines which summarize the song:

Pie Jesu, Pie Jesu, Qui tollis peccata mundi; Dona eis requiem, Dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, Qui tollis peccata mundi; Dona eis requiem, Sempiternam requiem.

Merciful Jesus, Who takes away the sins of the world; Grant them rest.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world; Grant them rest, Everlasting rest.


Here's an explanation of the meaning of the song from Answers.com and the English translation of the lyrics:

"Pie Jesu" is the Latin vocative for "Pious Jesus" though it is usually translated as "O Sweet Jesus" as part of invocations in prayer.

An exact translation of a song such as this is clearly difficult to give. It is
the feeling that counts most. The lyrics and translation into English given in
the CD-booklet of Voice of an Angel (1998) from Charlotte Church, for example,
are:

Latin lyrics to English translation of "Pie Jesu"


Pie Jesu, Pie Jesu,
Pie Jesu, Pie Jesu,
Qui tollis peccata mundi;
Dona eis requiem,
Dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei,
Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei,
Qui tollis peccata mundi;
Dona eis requiem,
Dona eis requiem.
Sempiternam, sempiternam requiem.
Lord, have mercy,
Lord, have mercy,
You who take away the sins of the world;
Grant them peace,
Grant them peace.

Lamb of God, Lamb of God,
Lamb of God, Lamb of God,
You who take away the sins of the world;
Grant them peace,
Grant them peace.
Peace everlasting, everlasting.

The last line is actually "Everlasting, everlasting peace" of course. By the
way, the translation of "requiem" as "peace" is, religiously speaking, not
really correct: it is better to use "rest", as in the first translation.

The translation of the Latin phrase, "Pie Jesu" as "Lord, have mercy" is incorrect. A better translation would be "Devoted Jesus", "Faithful Jesus", "O Sweet Jesus", or perhaps even "Merciful Jesus".The writer might have had the phrase "Kyrie eleison" in mind, which is actually Greek. Another translation of "sempiternam requiem"is "Grant them eternal rest."

It translates as Blessed Jesus, or Sanctified Jesus.






From The Straight Dope written by Songbird: If you are not familiar with the Latin Mass or Catholicism - "Kyrie eleison" is Greek for "Lord, have mercy" and is a song by which the faithful praise the Lord and implore his mercy.

The beginnings of the Kyrie eleison can be found in Holy Scripture, mostly in the book that served as the Church's first prayer book, the Book of Psalms ("Have pity on me, O Lord ..." Psalm 6:3).

Written origins of the Kyrie can be traced to the fourth century. In 390 A.D. the Gallic pilgrim lady Aetheria tells how in Jerusalem at the end of Vespers one of the deacons read a list of petitions and "as he spoke each of the names, a crowd of boys stood there and answered him each time, 'Kyrie eleison' ... their cry is without end."

The Kyrie was finally incorporated into the Latin sacramentary in the sixth century for Matins, Mass and Vespers, according to Canon 3 of the Synod of Vaison (529). I remember it like it was yesterday.

In today's Vatican II Church, the Kyrie has been translated into English and is ordinarily prayed/sung by the assembly (which means everyone, ministers included) after the Penitential Rite, in keeping with the rubrics (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 30-31). As a rule, each of the acclamations is said twice (e.g. Presider: "Lord, have mercy." Assembly: "Lord, have mercy." P: "Christ, have mercy." A: "Christ, have mercy." P: "Lord, have mercy." A: "Lord have mercy.")

Why is the Kyrie in Greek? It harkens back to the earliest years of the Church, when the members of the Church in Rome themselves used Greek, and Greek was the language of worship until about the middle of the third century. During the days of the Latin Mass, it was the only remaining Greek prayer.






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