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The Nashville Dominicans sing to their patron, St. Dominic

J-P Mauro - published on 10/24/17

Another gem from their album '800 Years of Gospel Mercy'

The Nashville Dominicans recorded this responsory for the feast day of their founder and patron, St. Dominic. The hymn is traditionally sung during Matins, which — depending on the community — could be sung in the morning before sunrise, or as part of the Office of Readings.

The lyrics, translated from Latin, are:

O wonderful hope which you gave to those who wept for you at the hour of your death, promising that after your decease you would be helpful to your brethren. Fulfill, Father what you have said, and help us by your prayers. You enlightened the bodies of the sick with so many miracles: bring us the help of Christ, to heal our sick souls. Fulfill, Father what you have said, and help us by your prayers.

It is unclear who wrote the text, which originated in the 13th century in the form of an Ambrosian chant. Ambrosian chant is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Ambrosian Rite of the Catholic Church. It is named for St. Ambrose, just as Gregorian chant is named for St. Gregory. Ambrosian chant is the oldest surviving plainchant tradition besides the Gregorian.

“O Spem Miram” was released on the sisters’ 2016 album, 800 Years of Gospel Mercy. The album was produced in honor of the Jubilee Year of Mercy called for by Pope Francis. 2016 was also the 800-year anniversary of the Dominican Order.

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