Italic Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
Non-Italic Text is taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.
(Translated from the French by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.)
Time After Pentecost, Book V, Fourth Edition, Volume 14. from
The Holy Guardian Angels.
Feast Day 2 October.
The Guardian Angel.
Artist: Pietro da Cortona (1596 - 1669).
Current location: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica,
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art:
Let us unite with the Church, and offer to Our Guardian Angels this following Hymn, taken from the Vespers of 2 October:
Custodes hominum psallimus angelos,
Naturae fragili quos Pater addidit
Coelestis comites, insidiantibus
Ne succumberet hostibus.
We celebrate The Angels, guardians of men,
whom our Heavenly Father has given us as Companions,
lest our weak nature should be overcome
by the snares of our enemies.
Nam quod corruerit proditor angelus,
Concessis merito pulsus honoribus,
Ardens invidia pellere nititur
Quos coelo Deus advocat.
For, because the traitorous Angel fell,
and was justly cast down from the honours he enjoyed,
burning with envy, he now endeavours to expel those
whom God calls to Heaven.
Huc custos igitur pervigil advola,
Avertens patria de tibi credita
Tam morbos animi, quam requiescere
Quidquid non sinit incolas.
Fly hither, then, O ever-watchful guardian;
ward off from the land committed to thy care,
as well diseases of the Soul,
as all that threatens to disturb the peace of the inhabitants.
Sanctae sit Triadi laus pia jugiter,
Cujus perpetuo numine machina
Triplex haec regitur, cujus in omnia
Regnat gloria saecula.
May loving praise be ever to The Holy Three,
by Whose Eternal Power is ruled this triple world,
Heaven and Earth and the Abyss;
and Whose Glory is Supreme throughout all ages.
The Dream of Gerontius
The Dream of Gerontius, popularly called just Gerontius, is a work for voices and orchestra (Op. 38) in two parts composed by Edward Elgar in 1900, to text from the poem by John Henry Newman. It relates the journey of a pious man's Soul from his deathbed to his judgement before God and settling into Purgatory.
Newman's poem tells the story of a soul's journey through death, and provides a meditation on the unseen world of Roman Catholic theology. Gerontius (a name derived from the Greek word "geron", "old man") is a devout Everyman. Elgar's setting uses most of the text of the first part of the poem, which takes place on Earth, but omits many of the more meditative sections of the much longer, otherworldly second part, tightening the narrative flow.
English composer, Edward Elgar.
Source: http://www.geocities.com/hansenk69/elgar3.jpg (broken link).
In the first part, we hear Gerontius, as a dying man of Faith, by turns, fearful and hopeful, but always confident. A group of friends (also called "assistants" in the Text) join him in Prayer and Meditation. He passes in peace, and a Priest, with the assistants, sends him on his way with a valediction.
In the second part, Gerontius, now referred to as "The Soul", awakes in a place apparently without space or time, and becomes aware of the presence of his Guardian Angel, who expresses joy at the culmination of her task (Newman conceived the Angel as male, but Elgar gives the part to a female singer). After a long dialogue, they journey towards the Judgement Throne.
They safely pass a group of demons, and encounter Choirs of Angels, Eternally Praising God for
His Grace and Forgiveness. The Angel of the Agony pleads with Jesus to spare the Souls of the Faithful. Finally, Gerontius glimpses God and is Judged in a single moment. The Guardian Angel lowers Gerontius into the soothing Lake of Purgatory, with a final Benediction, and the promise of a re-awakening to Glory.