Sanctus

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The towers of the huge Sagrada Família church in Barcelona, Spain are decorated with the words "Sanctus", "Hosanna" and "Excelsis".
Detail of a tower decorated with the word "Sanctus"

The Sanctus (Latin: Sanctus, "Holy") is a hymn from Catholic liturgy. It may be called the epinikios hymnos (Greek: ἐπινίκιος ὕμνος, "Hymn of Victory") when referring to the Greek rendition.

In Western Christianity, the Sanctus forms part of the Ordinary and is sung (or said) as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine. The preface, which alters according to the season, usually concludes with words describing the praise of the worshippers joining with the angels, who are pictured as praising God with the words of the Sanctus. In Byzantine Rite Christianity, the Sanctus is offered as a response by the choir during the Holy Anaphora.

Tersanctus ("Thrice Holy") is another, rarer name for the Sanctus. The Sanctus is loosely related to the Trisagion, an invocation also sometimes referred to in the West as the Tersanctus.[1]

In the Roman Catholic Church, a partial indulgence was once specifically granted for recitation of the Sanctus prayed once a day together with the Trisagion, with a contrite heart to adore the Holy Trinity.[2] The present Enchiridion Indulgentiarum grants a partial indulgence to Christians who, in carrying out their tasks and undergoing the difficulties of life, raise their minds to God in humble trust, adding, even if only mentally, some pious invocation.[3]

Text[edit]

In Greek[edit]

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ· πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου, ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου. Ὡσαννὰ (ὁ) ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.[4][5][6][n 1][n 2][n 3]

In the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom[4] and the Liturgy of St. Basil:[7]

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ·
πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου,
ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.
Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.
Ὡσαννὰ ὁ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.

In the Liturgy of St. James:[6][n 3]

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ.
Πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου.
Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.
Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.
Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.

In Latin[edit]

In the Roman Rite:[8]

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

In the Mozarabic Rite:[9]

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth:
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria maiestatis tuae,
Hosanna filio David.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Hagios, hagios, hagios Kyrie o Theos.

In English[edit]

The Sanctus appears thus in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer (and as set to music by John Merbecke in 1550[10]):

Holy, holy, holy, Lorde God of Hostes:
heaven (& earth) are full of thy glory:
Hosanna, in the highest.
Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lorde:
Glory to thee, O lorde in the highest.

In the 1559 BCP it appears without the Benedictus:[11]

Holy, holy, holy, lord god of hostes,
heven and earth are ful of thy glory,
glory be to the, O Lord most hyghe.

English version of some Lutherans:[12]

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest.

In 1973 the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) produced an ecumenical version that at that time was adopted by Catholics, Anglicans and others:[13][14]

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Since 2011 the Roman Missal in English has:[15]

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Sources[edit]

As Enrico Mazza writes:

The Sanctus became part of the Roman Eucharistic Prayer only in the first half of the fifth century; all in all, this was a fairly late period, inasmuch as by then the text of the Roman Canon had become fixed and was regarded as a text possessing great authority.

There exist two fundamental types of Sanctus: the Alexandrian and the Antiochene. The Sanctus of the Roman Eucharist derives from the Antiochene liturgy and has two parts: (a) the Sanctus true and proper, consisting of the acclamation from Isaiah 6:3; and (b) the Benedictus, a christological acclamation taken from Matthew 21:9. The Sanctus has been given a christological interpretation and a trinitarian interpretation, and this in both the East and the West. These differing interpretations may be due to the presence, in the text of the Sanctus, of a theological section, namely, the acclamation from Isaiah 6:3, and a christological part, namely the acclamation from Mattthew 21:9.

The text of the Sanctus passed from Jewish use to Christian use at a very early time, since it cited in the Apocalypse of John and in the letter of Clement to the Corinthians.[16]

As can be read in the same source, in the Alexandrian tradition on the other hand:

the Sanctus consisted of only the first part, the citation of Isaiah 6:3, and lacked the Benedictus; this was the earliest form taken by the Sanctus in the Eucharist. This early state can be seen in the testimonies of Eusebius of Caesarea, the Mystagogical Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem, and, above all, the Ritual used in the Church of Theodore of Mopsuestia. In the latter, too, that is, in the archaic stage of the Syrian liturgy, the Benedictus was unknown, and the Sanctus consisted solely of the acclamation from Isaiah 6:3.[16]

The first part of the Sanctus, the adaptation from Isaiah 6:3, describes the prophet Isaiah's vision of the throne of God surrounded by six-winged, ministering seraphim. A similar representation found in Revelation 4:8 appears to be the basis of the Trisagion, with which the Sanctus should not be confused. In Jewish liturgy, the verse from Isaiah is uttered by the congregation during Kedusha, a prayer said during the cantor's repetition of the Amidah (18 Benedictions):

Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tz'vaot
Melo Kol Haaretz Kevodo.

The text of the second part, beginning with the word Benedictus (Latin for "Blessed") and taken from Matthew 21:9, describes Jesus' Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem, which is in turn based on the first half of Psalm 118:26.

The Sanctus appears in the Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis (the saint died in 360), but may go as far back to Christian liturgy in North Africa in the year 200.[17]

Hymn forms in Eastern liturgies[edit]

The present form of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the primary liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church, reads (when in Greek) the following text:

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ· πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου, ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου. Ὡσαννὰ ὁ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.[4][n 2]

The above differs from the Roman Rite Latin text

  • in that the Latin adds to the word Dominus (Lord), which is the regular Latin translation of יהוה, the Deus (God), which is found in neither the Greek nor the Latin translations nor in the original text of Isaiah 6:3,[19][20][21] but is found in Revelation 4:8: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
  • in that the Latin has the plural caeli, and the Greek the singular οὐρανός for the mention of "heaven", which appears in neither the Latin nor the Greek translation of Isaiah 6:3.
  • in that the Greek gives two different forms of the phrase corresponding to Hosanna in excelsis, the second one including an article. The article is not found in Matthew 21:9.[22] The form of the hymn without the article is also used in the Greek Liturgy of Saint James,[6] and in modern settings, practises and contexts.[5][n 3]

The Liturgy of Saint Basil of the Eastern Orthodox Church has the same form of the Sanctus as the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, with its two variants of the Hosanna phrase.[24]

In older Greek liturgical manuscripts, various forms of the hymn are attested; the ones that will follow below, belong to the ones edited by Swainson in his 1884 book The Greek liturgies; among these forms, there are variations of the hymn being composed of practically only the Old testament part. Others include:
In the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, one of them excludes not only the article , but also the article «τῆς»:

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος, Κύριος Σαβαώθ· πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ δόξης σου. Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.[25]

The Liturgy of Saint James as given in Swainson reads as follows:

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος, Κύριε σαβαώθ· πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. Eὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.[26][27]

This text not only omits the article that is used in the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, but also has Kyrie (vocative case) where the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom has Kyrios (nominative).

In current use, the Liturgy of Saint James may use the nominative rather than the vocative case of Κύριος; the article is also not present in this form at the concluding Hosanna.[6]

Moreover a different variant of the Liturgy of Saint James is found in the margin of a manuscript that gives only the three words Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος in the body: "In the margin, much abbreviated, may be discerned the following: Κύριος σαβαώθ, πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου. Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐλθὼν καὶ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.[28] This produces the text:

Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος, Κύριος σαβαώθ, πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐλθὼν καὶ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.

This version adds "he who came and" before "he who comes"; in this it resembles the Liturgy of Saint James in the tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; heaven and earth are full of His glories. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who came and will come in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.[29]

The Syriac Orthodox Church also has what it calls the Liturgy of Saint Dionysius, in which the Hosanna phrase appears only at the end:

Holy Holy Holy, Lord of Sabbaoth, Heaven and Earth are full of Thy Glory. Blessed is He that cometh in the Lord's Name; Hosanna in the highest.[30]

The form used in the ancient Liturgy of Addai and Mari is much shorter:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; full are the heavens and the earth of His glory.[31]

The Coptic version of the Liturgy of Saint Basil also gives a short text of what it calls the Hymn of the Seraphim:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of hosts; Heaven and earth are full of Your holy glory.[32]

Alternative ancient names and ancient secrecy[edit]

The priest's introductions, following the rubrics that set what should be done by whom with each passage, uniformly call the hymn the ἐπινίκιος ὕμνος, i.e. "the hymn of victory". On the other hand it used to be that, as Swainson notes about an attested variant form wherein only Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος is being quoted:

In the margin, much abbreviated, may be discerned the following: Κύριος σαβαώθ, πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου. Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐλθὼν καὶ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. Chrysostom frequently refers to this: sometimes as τὸ μυστικὸν μέλος; sometimes as ὁ πανάγιος ὕμνος; sometimes as the τρισάγιος ὕμνος. The knowledge of it as a whole was confined to the faithful.[28][n 4]

Musical settings[edit]

The Sanctus has been set to numerous plainchant melodies, many of which are given in the Roman Missal, and many more composers have set it to polyphonic music, both in single settings and as part of cyclic mass settings.

Accompanying ceremony[edit]

In the Tridentine Mass the priest joins his hands while saying the word "Sanctus" and then, bowing, continues to recite the whole of the Sanctus in a lower voice, while a small bell is rung; then, on reaching the words "Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini", he stands erect again and makes the Sign of the Cross.[34] He then continues immediately with the Canon of the Mass, while the choir, if there is one, sings the Sanctus, pausing for the Consecration and continuing with the Benedictus part afterwards. As a result of this division, the Sanctus has sometimes been spoken of as "Sanctus and Benedictus".[35][36][37]

In the Mass as revised after the Second Vatican Council, the only ceremony prescribed for the priest is to join his hands. He and the people sing or recite together the whole of the Sanctus, before the priest continues the Eucharistic Prayer.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ This is the text of the two present forms (with or without the parenthesised article) of the hymn in Greek; for more details, see the Sources and the Hymn forms in Eastern liturgies sections.
  2. ^ a b A recorded example of the hymn chanted-sung in the form with the article, can be listened to here (Speaker Icon.svg Page will play audio when loaded) (realmedia format). The cantor is the Archon Protopsaltes of the Great Church of Christ Leonidas Asteres, promoted to that position and title by Patriarch Demetrios.[18]
  3. ^ a b c A recorded example of the hymn chanted-sung in the form without the article, can be listened to here (Speaker Icon.svg Page will play audio when loaded) (realmedia format). The cantor is the Archon Protopsaltes of the Great Church of Christ Thrasyboulos Stanitsas (1907 or 1910–1987), promoted to that position and title by Patriarch Athenagoras.[23]
  4. ^ See μυστικόν, mystikon; μέλος, melos; πανάγιος, panagios.[33]
References
  1. ^ Cross, F. L.; Livingstone, E. A., eds. (2005). "Tersanctus". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ Joseph P. Christopher et al., 2003 The Raccolta St Athanasius Press ISBN 978-0-9706526-6-9 page 1
  3. ^ General Grant I in Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, fourth edition (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1999 ISBN 88-209-2785-3), p. 33
  4. ^ a b c "Ἡ Θεία Λειτουργία τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰωάννου τοῦ Χρυσοστόμου". Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (in Greek). . For an English translation, see The Orthodox Page: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostomos
  5. ^ a b Trempelas, Panagiotes N. (1978) [1949]. Εκλογή Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Υμνογραφίας [Selection of Greek Orthodox Hymnography] (in Greek). Athens: Soter. 
  6. ^ a b c d Ἡ Θεία Λειτουργία τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰακώβου τοῦ Ἀδελφοθέου [The Holy Liturgy of Saint James the Brother of God] (in Greek). Ἐπιστασίᾳ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Ἀθηνῶν Χρυσοστόμου (11th ed.). Athens. p. 28. 
  7. ^ Ἡ θεία Λειτουργία τοῦ Βασιλείου τοῦ Μεγάλου
  8. ^ Missale Romanum 2002, p. 517 (electronic text)
  9. ^ Shawn Tribe, "The Mozarabic Rite: The Offertory to the Post Sanctus" (with regularized spelling). English translation: "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth: Heaven and earth are full of the glory of Thy majesty. Osanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Osanna in the highest. Agyos, Agyos, Agyos Kyrie o Theos" (The Mozarabic Liturgy).
  10. ^ "The Book of Common Prayer Noted: Communion, part 7". Justus.anglican.org. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  11. ^ "The Ordre for the Administracion of the Lordes Supper, or Holy Communion". Justus.anglican.org. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  12. ^ Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service III
  13. ^ Felix Just, S.J. "Liturgy of the Eucharist". Catholic-resources.org. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  14. ^ Book of Common Prayer. Books.google.ie. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  15. ^ THE ORDER OF MASS. Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal. © 2010, International Committee on English in the Liturgy
  16. ^ a b Enrico Mazza (1999). The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation. Liturgical Press. p. 285. 
  17. ^ Perspectives on Christian Worship by J. Matthew Pinson, Timothy Quill, Ligon Duncan and Dan Wilt (Mar 1, 2009) ISBN 0805440992 pages 64-65
  18. ^ "Ecumenical Patriarchate. Byzantine Music". 
  19. ^ Isaiah 6:3. "Tanakh". biblehub.com (in Hebrew). "קָדֹ֛ושׁ קָדֹ֖ושׁ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאֹ֑ות מְלֹ֥א כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ כְּבֹודֹֽו׃" 
  20. ^ Isaiah 6. "Old Testament". myriobiblos.gr (in Greek). "ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος σαβαώθ, πλήρης πᾶσα ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ" 
  21. ^ Isaiah 6. "Vulgata Old Testament". biblehub.com (in Latin). "sanctus sanctus sanctus Dominus exercituum plena est omnis terra gloria eius" 
  22. ^ Matthew 21:9. "New Testament". biblegateway.com (in Greek). 
  23. ^ "Ecumenical Patriarchate. Byzantine Music". 
  24. ^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, "The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great: A New Translation"
  25. ^ Swainson, Charles Anthony, ed. (1884). "Liturgy of Saint John the Chrysostom". The Greek liturgies: Chiefly from original authorities. With an appendix containing the Coptic ordinary canon of the mass from two manuscripts in the British Museum, edited and translated by Dr. C. Bezold. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 128.  At the Internet Archive.
  26. ^ Swainson, Charles Anthony, ed. (1884). "Liturgy of Saint James". pp. 268–269. 
  27. ^ For an English translation of the Liturgy of Saint James, see Christian Classics Ethereal Library, "The Divine Liturgy of James the Holy Apostle and Brother of the Lord"
  28. ^ a b Swainson, Charles Anthony, ed. (1884). "Liturgy of Saint James". p. 268. 
  29. ^ Syriac Orthodox Resources, "Anaphora of St. James"
  30. ^ Liturgy of St. Dionysius, Bishop of the Athenians
  31. ^ Christian Classics Ethereal Library, "The Liturgy of the Blessed Apostles"
  32. ^ Abraam D. Sleman (editor), St Basil Liturgy: Reference Book, p. 83
  33. ^ μυστικόν, μέλος, πανάγιος in Liddell and Scott.
  34. ^ Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae, VII, 8
  35. ^ "Adrian Fortescue, "Sanctus" in ''Catholic Encyclopedia'' (New York 1912)". Newadvent.org. 1912-02-01. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  36. ^ "Gail Ramshaw, "Wording the Sanctus"" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  37. ^ "Library of Congress". Loc.gov. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 

External links[edit]