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Baptism of our Lord Antiphons

by sean.daenzer ~ January 12th, 2010

Pastor Weedon, browsing through the 1613 Magdeburg service book, found three antiphons he particularly enjoyed (free liturgical texts). He translated them here, here and here, and then pondered in his heart what it would be like to have them in English to sing. I capitulated, naturally. Here are three antiphons for use at the daily office of the Baptism (Octave of Epiphany) in the Lutheran tradition of the 17th century. They are for the Benedictus (Lauds canticle), the third Psalm of 2nd Vespers (Vespers on Jan. 13th) and the 5th Psalm of 2nd Vespers (Vespers on Jan. 13th).

For help in singing these, they bear qualities similar to this antiphon. (note: this recording is quite low)

If one were to sing a gregorian Psalm or setting of the Benedictus with these, they all use tone VII.

If one were to use them with LSB, the first antiphon may be difficult to use. Since LSB Matins is a conglomeration of the Orthodox period “Matins” and “Lauds,” we choose either the Benedictus or the Te Deum. The Te Deum is proper to all feasts, and this antiphon does not fit well with any of LSB’s settings. The best fit would be the Benedictus from Morning Prayer on page 238. (Transpose the antiphon down one step, so the starting note is “C”) Alternatively, the first antiphon could be sung with any Psalm. In my opinion, LSB tone D fits best with the antiphons. (Transpose the antiphon up one half-step, so the starting note is “E-flat”)

Selected Baptism Antiphons

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