Hymn #90: Rising in Darkness

Gregory the Great (540-604) is believed to have written the words to this Latin office hymn for matins, although some scholars believe that it may be the work of the poet Alcuin (735-804).  It was the practice of monastic communities to hold services at appointed hours throughout the day and night.

 

Gregory the Great was a celebrated early pope of the Roman Catholic church - a post which he held from 590 until his death in 604.  He was responsible for sending Augustine of Canterbury as the first Christian missionary to England and had a great influence on liturgy and music.

This anonymous French church melody, CHRISTE SANCTORUM, has been traced to a 1681 Paris Antiphoner.  The name is taken from the first line of a different medieval Latin hymn text.  The musical style reflects the French preference for metered psalm tunes of the English.

 

La Feillee's Methode de plain-chant was an instructional book for choral directors that provided music and addressed the performance not only of traditional plainsong but of newer forms of church music.  It was published in a number of editions.