Big dilemma at the moment. I am on music in my local parish tomorrow morning. Its Corpus Christi and the question is: Do I dare to sing the Sequence, Lauda Sion?
The problems are principally the following:
1) it is extremely long (24 verses!)
2) the 8.8.8 metre is unusual, and it goes pear-shaped at verse 19 (188.8.131.52) and then again at verses 23 and 24 (184.108.40.206.8)–so there are no well known tunes to sing it too
3) None of the English translations are modern, and some are really twee (eg. “the very music of the breast”) or tortured (“We break the Sacrament; but bold / and firm thy faith shall keep its hold; / Deem not the whole doth more unfold / than in the fractured part resides”) or simply grating (“the bread for God’s true children meant, that may not unto dogs be given”–I know the biblical allusion, but can one actually sing this?)
4) No Catholic hymnal I possess has any setting of it at all, not even the Adoremus Hymnal (I did find a translation to the original Gregorian tone in the New English Hymnal and a paraphrase by Alexander Ramsay Thompson in the Australain Lutheran Hymnal).
Given all this, it is no wonder that no one knows the damn thing. Yet the Liturgy Office of England and Wales lists it in their draft “Core Music Repertoire” (which is quite a neat document in itself).
Now, here’s the rub. Do I dare to sing it tomorrow morning? My parish priest usually likes a bit of music or something solo during the offertory instead of a hymn, so this would be a perfect opportunity to stick it in as a solo piece. In Latin? Or in English?
PS. While doing this blog, I came across this Spanish(?) site that has all the missal texts for the Sundays of this year on it in easy printing PDF form. Check it out!