O decus ecclesiae (Heinrich Isaac)

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  • (Posted 2016-07-13)  CPDL #40318:       
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2016-07-13).   Score information: Letter, 20 pages, 2.03 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Source: EDM 1st ser. xxxiii, 1960. The source has text in the top part only, with no attempt to underlay. Notation here is at the original pitch with time values halved. Translation, text underlay and musica ficta by John Hetland and the Renaissance Street Singers. 26 Feb 2016

General Information

Title: O decus ecclesiae
Composer: Heinrich Isaac

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SAATB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1504 in Nicholas Apel Codex – appears multiple times
First published: 1508 in Motetti a cinque libro 1, no. 6

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

O décus ecclésiae vírgo,
o gloriosíssima múndi, sálve,
et cárdina glória mágna
chóri díve dómus mágni reverénde,
et máxima préses súmme, pátes
gráta innumeránter mánu.
Tu spes cára vénis,
tu marína, tu régula in te,
vírgines que tu
fírma colúmna Déi.

Te láudant ómnes
et pláudunt úndique túrbe,
spárgitur et láto nómen in úrbe túum.
Sic hábeas quecúmque precátus
púra volúntas. Sic vítae dítans
det tíbi sécla Déus, ut pia purpurea
tíngat túa témpora,
amíctus ámbiat et sácrum
sícut diadéma cáput. Amen.

English.png English translation

O Virgin, glory of the church,
O most renowned of the world, hail,
and turning point in great glory
of the great choir of the reverend holy house,
and as the greatest high power, you are open
innumerably with gracious hand.
You, dear hope, come,
you of the sea, you rule of life in you,
and, for virgins, you
steadfast pillar of God.

All praise you
and applaud you everywhere, multitudes,
and your name is spread far in the city.
Thus may you have whatever you prayed for
in your pure will. Thus enriching life,
may God grant you the world, that holy purple
may color your brow,
and a cloak may encircle your holy
head like a diadem. Amen.